77 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02139
- PhD, Chemical Engineering, University of Delaware, 1988
Arup K. Chakraborty is one of the 12 Institute Professors at MIT, the highest rank awarded to a MIT faculty member. He served as the founding Director of MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, and he is a founding member of the Ragon Institute of MIT, MGH, and Harvard. For over two decades, Chakraborty’s work has largely focused on bringing together approaches from immunology, physics, and engineering. His interests span T cell signaling, T cell development and repertoire, and a mechanistic understanding of virus evolution, antibody responses, and vaccine design. Since 2016, Chakraborty has also been interested in the role of phase separation in gene regulation. Chakraborty is one of only 25 individuals who are members of all three branches of the US National Academies – National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Medicine, and National Academy of Engineering. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and has received many other honors including the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, the E. O. Lawrence Medal, the Max Delbruck Prize from the APS, and the Colburn, Professional Progress, and Prausnitz Institute Lectureship from the AIChE. Chakraborty has received 6 teaching awards for his classroom teaching, and 24 of his former lab members are now faculty members at universities around the world. He is a co-author of the recent book “Viruses, Pandemics, & Immunity”. Chakraborty previously served on the US defense Science board, and is a member of the Board of Governors of the Wellcome Trust.
Infectious Diseases/Immunology/virology; Regulation of transcription; Condensate biology; Statistical Physics and computation
For over two decades, Chakraborty’s lab has focused on understanding the mechanistic underpinnings of the adaptive immune response to pathogens, and then to harness this knowledge to help design better vaccines and therapies. Current interests in immunology can be divided into three broad categories: understanding the network of biochemical interactions that enable T cells to translate engagement of membrane receptors to cognate ligands into functional responses, how T cell development results in T cells that are specific for unknown and emerging pathogens, and the human immune response to HIV, influenza, and coronaviruses. The goal of the last effort is to guide the rational design of vaccines and therapies against highly mutable infectious disease-causing viruses based on an understanding of the pertinent fundamental immunology and virology. Another recent focus is the role of phase separation in eukaryotic gene regulation. In particular, how droplets of transcriptional molecules form at specific genomic loci, and how their functions are regulated by non-equilibrium processes. Chakraborty’s work represents a crossroad of the physical and life sciences. A hallmark of Chakraborty’s research is the close synergy and collaboration between his lab’s theoretical and computational studies (rooted in statistical physics) and investigations led by experimental biologists and clinicians.
A full list of Professor Chakraborty’s publications can be found on his website.
- Required Graduate Core subject for Chemical Engineers on Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics (10.40)
- Statistical Physics in Biology (HST.452 (J) /8.592)
- Viruses, Pandemics and Immunity (HST.438 (J) /8.245/10.382/5.003)