About a decade ago, when the President of MIT approached Angela Belcher about doing cancer research, Belcher turned her down. After all, Belcher is a materials and biological engineer who had done lots of work on environmental sustainability. But cancer research? That was an area she didn't feel she could contribute to. And then she realized that a new, interdisciplinary approach to cancer - involving some of the best scientists and clinicians in the world - might be able to move the needle. We talk with Belcher about how this new approach is changing cancer research, how breakthrough work in engineering could affect how we fight biological weapons, and the challenges of getting new inventions to market.