Monica Stanciu

PhD Candidate, Lees Lab
Department of Biology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Bldg 76, Koch Institute, Cambridge, MA, 02139.
mstanciu at mit dot edu


I recently defended my PhD in the Department of Biology at MIT, working in the lab of Dr. Jacqueline Lees at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. My research interests are in cancer biology, specifically, identifying novel therapeutic targets for malignant brain tumors. I am also passionate about biomedical and healthcare entrepreneurship.


I am interested in understanding the biology of glioblastoma, a highly aggressive type of brain tumor with an extremely poor prognosis. We use animal and cell-based models to identify novel regulators of tumor growth and therapy response. Our exciting work in this field investigates the possibility of using targeted epigenetic therapies to enhance patient survival.

Leadership and Innovation

MIT Biomedical Entrepreneurship course

Together with a small team of fantastic students and postdocs, I am helping to organize a brand new course in biomedical entrepreneurship. It will take place in January 2017, and is targeted to research trainees who are interested in learning how to commercialize their bench science, as well as MBA students interested in life science ventures. Participants will work in small groups on a real biomedical research prject, guided by an incredible line-up of guest lecturers and team mentors.

MIT Hacking Medicine

As an executive team member, I have had the pleasure of organizing healthcare hackathons, events that bring together brilliant scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, clinicians, and developers to solve pressing healthcare problems. Our GrandHack in April 2016 was a 3-day event that attracted more than 450 participants and mentors from around the globe!

MIT Start6 Workshop for Entrepreneurs and Innovators

I participated in a startup bootcamp offered by the EECS Department at MIT, where we learned the basics of starting a business from successful entrepreneurs. We visited startups and incubators around Boston and the Bay Area and gathered valuable input for our own idea. At the end, my team won a $10,000 prize for our project, which we plan to continue developing!

MIT Department of Biology - Sampling of Careers in Biology

Our department is making great efforts to expose students and postdocs to a wide variety of careers as they think of their next steps. I helped to organize these panels and host speakers who have moved on to careers in consulting, biotech, patent law, and academia.

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