Teaming up on metastatic prostate cancer

Angela Page, May 21st, 2015

“The pervading wisdom is that there’s no clear role for doing clinical genomics in prostate cancer,” said Eliezer Van Allen, a research associate at the Broad Institute, instructor of medicine at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. “That’s because when we look at the data, we just don’t see much to target.” But that wisdom is based on investigations of primary prostate cancer.

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GTEx: Useful expression for cancer research

Veronica Meade-Kelly, May 20th, 2015

This month, the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) Project, which set out five years ago to create a comprehensive atlas and open database of gene expression and gene regulation across human tissues, published several papers reporting on findings from its two-year pilot phase.

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Broad researchers receive HHMI honors

Amanda Dykstra Esposito, May 19th, 2015

Four faculty members of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard are among 26 top biomedical researchers nationwide who will become Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigators this fall. Levi Garraway, Pardis Sabeti, Michael Laub, and Tobias Walther will receive long-term, flexible funding from HHMI, providing them the freedom to explore and follow their research ideas through to fruition.

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Five Questions for Kristin Ardlie

Veronica Meade-Kelly, May 7th, 2015

The Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project started five years ago with the goal of creating a comprehensive atlas and open database of gene expression and gene regulation across human tissues. This week, the researchers spearheading the NIH-funded effort released five papers reporting on the pilot phase of the project.

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A Sirt-ain role for cellular differentiation

Angela Page, April 30th, 2015

The epigenome is a collection of physical “amendments” to DNA—things like proteins around which the double helix is wrapped like thread on a spool and chemical tags on the DNA of specific genes that can make them hard to access. This collection of epigenetic factors works together to help give each cell in the body its specific identity by regulating which genes are expressed—it’s a big reason why skin cells don’t get confused with blood cells and why bone cells are full of calcium instead of fat.

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Broad In Focus: Tom Green, Software Engineering Manager

Leah Eisenstadt, April 30th, 2015

For the past seven years, software engineering manager Tom Green has guided the development and maintenance of software tools that support the Genetic Perturbation Platform at the Broad Institute, where he can be found working with a team of software engineers or consulting with scientists conducting experimental screens. Two decades ago, however, Green was living without electricity or running water in the jungles of Nicaragua, a houseguest of locals in the remote village of Karawala on the Caribbean coast, doing a very different kind of research.

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Fanning the flames of lupus

Paul Goldsmith, April 23rd, 2015

What: A team of researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and the University of North Carolina has identified an inflammatory molecule that may play an essential role in the development of lupus—a chronic, painful autoimmune disease affecting more than 1.5 million Americans.

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From mice to men: Broad researchers develop a human model for studying DNA methylation

Angela Page, April 3rd, 2015

It’s not every day that scientists get to offer their colleagues a model system that will enable a wave of future research. “Often you make a discovery, you describe it, and that’s the end of the story,” said Alexander Meissner, a Senior Associate Member at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. “Here it’s not the end of something, it’s just the beginning.”

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Broad Summer Scholar wins prestigious Intel science prize

Veronica Meade-Kelly, March 27th, 2015

Each year, well over a thousand promising high school science students enter the Intel Science Talent Search, long considered the nation’s most prestigious science competition. When all is said and done, only three take home top honors and the accompanying $150,000 prize.

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Cancer drug resistance-from laundry list to paradigms

Lisa Girard, March 20th, 2015

Drug resistance is one of the greatest obstacles to effective cancer therapy. Research has shown that cancer cells can use any number of genes and strategies to achieve or acquire resistance to particular therapies. Until recently, scientists have taken a piecemeal approach to understanding the problem of resistance—unraveling individual mechanisms without reaching any kind of overarching theme.

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