Anders Sejr Hansen awarded prestigious Pew-Stewart Grant for Cancer Research

Anders Sejr Hansen, assistant professor of biological engineering at MIT, has been named a Pew-Stewart Scholar for Cancer Research for 2021. The Pew-Stewart Scholars Program for Cancer Research is a national initiative designed to support promising early-career scientists whose research will accelerate discovery and advance progress toward a cure for cancer.

The Hansen Lab will investigate how genetic elements, known as enhancers, control the expression of genes in cancer. Notably, enhancers can be quite far away from the genes they control. For example, the enhancers that regulate c-Myc, a gene commonly expressed in high levels in cancer, are amplified in lung and endometrial cancers. However, it is not well understood how having more copies of the enhancer drives the uptick in c-Myc expression.

Using a combination of single-molecule and super-resolution live-cell imaging methods and gene-editing tools, the lab will examine how long-range DNA loops are formed to promote functional interactions between enhancers and…
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