Professor of Chemistry
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, Massachusetts


Dr. Jeremiah Johnson is a chemist who is creating next-generation cancer therapeutics that have enough precision to overcome the limited efficacy and toxicity that often hinders successful drug development and minimizes favorable patient outcomes.

Dr. Johnson’s team has developed the Bottle-brush Analogue Macromolecule (BAM) platform, which keeps drugs inactive as they are bound to the polymers or macromolecules making up the BAM structure. As the drug-bound BAM circulates throughout the body, a targeting agent attached to the BAM directs the structure only to cancer cells. Once the targeting binds to the cancer cells, BAM releases the drugs to penetrate and kill the cancer cell.

The BAM platform’s lead candidate drugs aim to improve the treatment for patients with multiple myeloma (blood cancer) and solid tumors from triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) to colorectal, lung, and pancreatic cancers.

Support from NFCR’s AIM-HI Translational Research Initiative for Dr. Johnson is helping to advance this novel and promising treatment through the pre-clinical research, the final research period needed to apply and gain approval for a New Drug Application (IND) from the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration). With IND approval, the BAM platform can treat patients for the first time in a Phase I clinical trial.

Most cancer patients may be immune-compromised, weakened from their illness, and unable to withstand potentially viable therapies due to tolerability, safety, and toxicity concerns. The BAM platform will enable patients to tolerate life-saving treatments without the dangerous effects of toxicities. The BAM platform could also transform treatment for patients with non-symptomatic cancers by making highly active treatments more tolerable for earlier intervention – when cancer treatment is most effective.


Dr. Jeremiah Johnson received a B.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering with a second major in Chemistry at Washington University in St. Louis. He received a Ph.D. in Chemistry at Columbia University. Later, he held a Beckman Postdoctoral Fellowship at the California Institute of Technology. Dr. Johnson is a Professor of Chemistry at MIT, where he has been since 2011. He is also a member of the MIT Program for Polymers and Soft Matter (PPSM) and the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research.

Dr. Johnson has received numerous accolades, including many honoring his accomplishments in chemistry. He received the 2019 American Chemical Society Cope Scholar Award, the 2018 Macromolecules-Biomacromolecules Young Investigator Award, the 2018 Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education, a Sloan Research Fellowship, the Air Force Young Investigator Award, the Thieme Journal Award for Young Faculty, the DuPont Young Professor Award, the 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award, and a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. He was awarded the 2018 MIT School of Science Undergraduate Teaching Prize.

Jeremiah Johnson, Ph.D.

Areas of Focus

Precision Medicine
Targeted Therapies
Innovative Therapies

Cancer Types

Blood Cancer
Breast Cancer
Colorectal Cancer
Lung Cancer
Pancreatic Cancer