Northeastern University’s Lopez Research Lab Taps Kebotix for Cancer Research Project Funded by Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Grant

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Digital Health Impact – Aimed at offering more effective drugs at a lower cost to cancer patients turning to photomedicine as an alternative to chemotherapy, a grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) will have chemical and data scientists working side by side at the Lopez Lab of Boston’s Northeastern University and the Cambridge facilities of Kebotix, an artificial intelligence technology company for new chemicals and materials.

“What makes this grant different from many others is it’s bringing industry and academics closer together, while importing top data scientists to Massachusetts to work on today’s most pressing life science problems,” said Dr. Steven Lopez, assistant professor of chemistry at Northeastern University.

The project was among several announced today at Digital Health Impact 2019, a summit hosted by the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council that explores how life sciences companies may capitalize on the power of data and digital technologies in transforming drug development, discovery and patient care.

Lopez’s research team uses high-throughput quantum mechanical computation to identify next-generation organic materials for applications in renewable energy and photomedicine. The results of these computations are open-access via Lopez’s website ( Partnering with Kebotix and its self-driving lab, the world’s first for materials discovery powered by machine learning algorithms for decision making and robots for synthesis and characterization, the Lopez Lab is expected to drastically accelerate development of multicolor chromophores used in cancer surgery and light-activated therapy.

“Partnering with prominent scientists who do research at the front edge of materials science enables Kebotix to solve much harder problems faster,” said Semion Saikin, company chief science officer and founder. “Our work with Northeastern University is aimed at discovering new molecules that can be game changers in photodynamic therapy.”

The partnership provides Northeastern University access to Kebotix’s autonomous lab capabilities and the team’s expertise in machine learning of materials properties.

“From a business perspective, one desired result is faster commercialization of potential products,” Saikin said. Lopez agreed, adding, “When it comes to cancer research, especially when there’s potential benefit to reducing human suffering, enabling accurate and novel, faster-to-market products is paramount.”

About the Lopez Lab and Kebotix

The Lopez Lab ( of Northeastern University’s Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology uses quantum mechanical and machine learning techniques to identify next-generation organic materials for applications in renewable energy and photomedicine. Run by Dr. Steven Lopez, assistant professor of chemistry, the group contends that organic materials are of tremendous interest because they are highly abundant, low cost and flexible. The lab’s computational approach is combined with the experimental expertise of its collaborators to establish a powerful experiment-theory feedback loop that accelerates discoveries.

Kebotix ( is the materials technology company of the 21st century, ushering in a new age of high-speed innovation using artificial intelligence and robotics. Based on technology developed at Harvard University, Kebotix has built the world’s first self-driving lab for materials discovery powered by AI and robots. Kebotix, founded in 2017, is accelerating the exploration, discovery, use and production of new chemicals and materials that can solve some of the world’s most urgent problems.


Connie Zheng

PR for Kebotix


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