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Broad Institute

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard is an American research institute dedicated to the study of genomics for the biomedical sciences.



The Broad Institute evolved from a decade of research collaborations among young scientists affiliated with MIT and Harvard.[1]

One cornerstone was the Whitehead Institute at MIT. Founded in 1982, the Whitehead became a major center for genomics and the Human Genome Project. As early as 1995, scientists at the Whitehead started pilot projects in genomic medicine, forming an unofficial collaborative network among young scientists interested in genomic approaches to cancer and human genetics.

Another cornerstone was the Institute of Chemistry and Cell Biology established by Harvard Medical School in 1998 to pursue chemical genetics as an academic discipline.[2] Its screening facility was one of the first high-throughput resources opened in an academic setting. It facilitated small molecule screening projects for more than 80 research groups worldwide.

To create a new organization that was open, collaborative, cross-disciplinary and able to organize projects at any scale, planning took place in 2002-2003 among philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad, MIT, the Whitehead Institute, Harvard and the Harvard hospitals (the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Children's Hospital Boston, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Massachusetts General Hospital).

The Broads made a founding gift of $100 million and the Broad Institute was formally launched in May 2004. In November 2005, the Broads announced an additional $100 million gift to the Institute. [3]

Note: "Broad" rhymes with "toad", not "thawed"; staffers are often seen wearing tee shirts bearing the quip, "Broad as in code."

Research programs

The Broad Institute's scientific research programs include the:


The faculty and staff of the Broad Institute include physicians, geneticists, and molecular, chemical, and computational biologists. The Faculty currently includes six Core Members, whose labs are primarily located within the Broad Institute, and 108 Associate Members, whose primary labs are located at one of the universities or hospitals.

The Core Members of the Broad Institute currently are:

  • David Altshuler, a clinical endocrinologist and human geneticist, is director of the Medical and Population Genetics program. He studies human genetic variation and its application to disease, using tools and information from the Human Genome Project.
  • Todd Golub, a physician-researcher, is director of the Cancer program. He applies genomic tools to the classification and study of cancers.
  • Deborah Hung is a chemical biologist and an infectious disease physician who studies the interactions between pathogens and their hosts, with the goal of discovering new antibiotic targets.
  • Eric Lander is the director of the Broad Institute. A geneticist, molecular biologist and mathematician, Lander has been a driving force in the development of genomics and a prominent leader of the Human Genome Project.
  • Aviv Regev is a computational biologist with interests in biological networks, gene regulation and evolution.
  • Stuart Schreiber is director of the Chemical Biology program. He has developed systematic ways to explore biology, especially disease biology, using small molecules toward the development of therapeutic drugs.


The Broad Institute's facilities at 320 Charles Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, house one of the largest genome sequencing centers in the world. As WICGR, this facility was the largest contributor of sequence information to the Human Genome Project.

In February 2006, much of The Broad Institute relocated to a new building at 7 Cambridge Center, adjacent to the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.[4] This seven-story 231,000 square foot building contains office, research laboratory, retail and museum space.


  1. ^ Broad Institute created: Links Harvard, M.I.T., and others in interdisciplinary initiative in genomics and medicine. Harvard Gazette (2003-07-17). Retrieved on 2007-12-25.
  2. ^ A Brief History of the ICCB-Longwood Screening Facility. Harvard Medical School. Retrieved on 2007-12-25.
  3. ^ Broads' Dollars Doubled. Broad Institute (2005-11-30).
  4. ^ Map of 320 Charles Street and 7 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Broad_Institute". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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