Professor / Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 76-261, Cambridge, MA 02139
Darrell Irvine’s research is focused on the application of engineering tools to problems in cellular immunology and the development of new materials for vaccine and drug delivery. His current efforts are focused on problems related to vaccine development for HIV and immunotherapy of cancer.
This interdisciplinary work has been recognized in numerous awards, including a Beckman Young Investigator award, an NSF CAREER award, selection for Technology Review’s ‘TR35’, election as a Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society, and appointment as an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is the author of over 70 publications, reviews and book chapters, and an inventor on numerous patents.
The Irvine laboratory works at the interface of materials science and immunology. They use synthetic model systems to study immune cell biology and synthesize new materials for vaccines/immunotherapy, using a mechanistic understanding of the immune system to guide the design of these materials.
They have pioneered the use of patterned surfaces as tools to dissect T-cell activation, using the ability to control the density, placement, and mobility of T-cell ligands, supported membranes or entire cells on surfaces to dissect the functions of the immunological synapse in T-cell triggering.
In a second focus, they study leukocyte chemotaxis/chemokinesis; they have discovered novel mechanisms for chemokine-mediated control of naïve lymphocyte migration, and shown that both T-cell and B cell migration in secondary lymphoid organs may be regulated by a complex interplay of chemokinesis and chemotaxis.
Building on these fundamental findings, they have developed chemokine-releasing microparticles and hydrogels as tools to study immune cell migration and adjuvants to modulate cell migration in vaccines and immunotherapy.
Finally, they have developed nanoparticles that can address key challenges in immunotherapy: