MIT’s School of Engineering and global health care company Novo Nordisk has announced the launch of a multi-year program to support postdoctoral fellows conducting research at the intersection of artificial intelligence and data science with life sciences. The MIT-Novo Nordisk Artificial Intelligence Postdoctoral Fellows Program will welcome its first cohort of up to 10 postdocs for a two-year term this fall. The program will provide up to $10 million for an annual cohort of up to 10 postdoc for two-year terms.
“The research being conducted at the intersection of AI and life sciences has the potential to transform health care as we know it,” says Anantha Chandrakasan, dean of the School of Engineering and Vannevar Bush Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. “I am thrilled that the MIT-Novo Nordisk Program will support early-career researchers who work in this space.”
The launch of the MIT-Novo Nordisk Program coincides with the 100th anniversary celebration of Novo Nordisk. The company was founded in 1923 and treated its first patients with insulin, which had recently been discovered in March of that year.
“The use of AI in the health care industry presents a massive opportunity to improve the lives of people living with chronic diseases,” says Thomas Senderovitz, senior vice president for data science at Novo Nordisk. “Novo Nordisk is committed to the development of new, innovative solutions, and MIT hosts some of the most outstanding researchers in the field. We are therefore excited to support postdocs working on the cutting edge of AI and life sciences.”
The MIT-Novo Nordisk Program will support postdocs advancing the use of AI in life science and health. Postdocs will join an annual cohort that participates in frequent events and gatherings. The cohort will meet regularly to exchange ideas about their work and discuss ways to amplify their impact.
“We are excited to welcome postdocs working on AI, data science, health, and life sciences — research areas of strategic importance across MIT,” adds Chandrakasan.
A central focus of the program will be offering postdocs professional development and mentorship opportunities. Fellows will be invited to entrepreneurship-focused workshops that enable them to learn from company founders, venture capitalists, and other entrepreneurial leaders. Fellows will also have the opportunity to receive mentorship from experts in life sciences and data science.
“MIT is always exploring opportunities to innovate and enhance the postdoctoral experience,” adds MIT Provost Cynthia Barnhart. “The MIT-Novo Nordisk Program has been thoughtfully designed to introduce fellows to a wealth of experiences, skill sets, and perspectives that support their professional growth while prioritizing a sense of community with their cohort.”
Angela Belcher, head of the Department of Biological Engineering, the James Mason Crafts Professor of Biological Engineering and Materials Science, and member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, and Asu Ozdaglar, deputy dean of academics for the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing and head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, will serve as co-faculty leads for the program.
The new program complements a separate postdoctoral fellowship program at MIT supported by the Novo Nordisk Foundation that focuses on enabling interdisciplinary research.