Broad Institute

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Broad Institute
MIT Broad Center.jpg
Established 2004
Research type Basic (non-clinical) and translational research
Field of research Genomics, Bioinformatics
Director Eric Lander
Affiliations Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Harvard University
Whitehead Institute

The Broad Institute /ˈbrd/ is a biomedical and genomic research center located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. Although it is independently governed and supported as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit research organization, the institute is formally affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University and its affiliated hospitals.


The Broad Institute evolved from a decade of research collaborations among MIT and Harvard scientists.[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 (in particular, 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] On 4 September 2008 the Broads announced an endowment of $400 million to make the Broad Institute a permanent establishment.[4] The donation will be managed by Harvard's investment unit.[5]

Organizational Structure[edit]

The Broad Institute is made up of three types of organizational units: core member laboratories, research programs, and platforms. The institute's scientific research programs include:[6]

The Broad Institute's platforms are teams of professional scientists who focus on the discovery, development, and optimization of the technological tools that Broad and other researchers use to conduct research. The platforms include:[7]

Core Members[edit]

The faculty and staff of the Broad Institute include physicians, geneticists, and molecular, chemical, and computational biologists. The Faculty currently includes ten Core Members, whose labs are primarily located within the Broad Institute, and 135 Associate Members, whose primary labs are located at one of the universities or hospitals.[8]

The Core Members of the Broad Institute currently are:[9]

  • 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.
  • Steven Hyman is the director of the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research.[10]
  • 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 (Whitehead Institute/MIT Center for Genome Research), this facility was the largest contributor of sequence information to the Human Genome Project.

In February 2006, The Broad Institute expanded to a new building at 7 Cambridge Center, adjacent to the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.[11] This seven-story 231,000-square-foot (21,500 m2) building contains office, research laboratory, retail and museum space. In 2010, the Broad expanded into a further 80,000 sq ft (7,400 m2). at 301 Binney St. In 2011 the Institute announced plans to construct an additional tower adjacent to the 7 Cambridge Center site at 75 Ames St.[12] The proposed tower would include 12 stories of research space and would consolidate other research from the 320 Charles, 5 Cambridge Center, and 301 Binney sites when those leases expire in 2014.[13][14] The general design was approved as part of a district rezoning decision made by the Cambridge City Council in August, 2010.[15]


  1. ^ "Broad Institute created: Links Harvard, M.I.T., and others in interdisciplinary initiative in genomics and medicine". Harvard Gazette. 2003-07-17. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  2. ^ "A Brief History of the ICCB-Longwood Screening Facility". Harvard Medical School. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  3. ^ "Broads' Dollars Doubled". Broad Institute. 2005-11-30. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Strom, Stephanie (September 4, 2008). "$400 Million Gift to Genetic Institute". The New York Times. 
  6. ^ Broad Programs, Broad Institute official website (retrieved October 30, 2012).
  7. ^ Broad Platforms, Broad Institute official site (retrieved October 24, 2013).
  8. ^ "Broad Institute welcomes 135 associate members", Broad Institute (November 4, 2011).
  9. ^ Broad Institute official website, Retrieved 10-30-2012.
  10. ^ "Steven E. Hyman, M.D.", Broad Institute. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
  11. ^ Map of 320 Charles Street and 7 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA
  12. ^ Lipinski, Pearle. "Broad plans extension in Cambridge Center". Retrieved 3 March 2011. 
  13. ^ Levy, Marc. "More mixed emotions than mixed-use in proposal for Kendall Square". Retrieved 3 March 2011. 
  14. ^ "Broad Institute celebrates groundbreaking of new Kendall Square building", Broad Institute (October 19, 2011).
  15. ^ Philippidis, Alex. "Broad Institute Gets City Council Approval for New Building". Retrieved 3 March 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

  • commentary on the Broad Institute's website, receiving a 4-star excellent rating
    Kevin Ahern, Ph.D. (2009). "GEN Best of the Web". Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News 29 (8): 66. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°22′04″N 71°05′13″W / 42.36789°N 71.08703°W / 42.36789; -71.08703