News from the Broad

The Broad Institute is committed to open sharing not only of its scientific data and tools, but also information and news about our progress towards achieving our mission. Below are just a few highlights from the Broad scientific community.
  • New in vivo method overcomes obstacles to studying CD8+ T cell differentiation

    January 22nd, 2015

    CD8+ T cell differentiation into effector and memory T cells is critical for tumor immunity, pathogen response, and vaccine effectiveness, but to date researchers have not been able to use standard methods to study the factors involved in the process without first extensively manipulating naive T cells ex vivo, making the biology difficult to understand. Broad researchers Nick Haining, Glenn Cowley, David Root, Arlene Sharpe, and colleagues, including first author Jernej Godec of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, describe overcoming this obstacle in a recent PNAS paper.

  • Researchers find that certain RNA-binding proteins play regulatory role in cancer

    January 20th, 2015

    Christopher Burge and Yarden Katz of the Broad and MIT were co-senior author and co-first author respectively of a recent eLife paper that was featured in Science magazine’s “Science in Other Journals” section. Their team found that Musashi proteins, a family of RNA-binding proteins, play a role in regulating cell state transitions in cancer – particularly in an aggressive form of breast cancer. The study was also covered in MIT News.

  • Study identifies biological mechanisms for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression

    January 20th, 2015
    New research has found that common psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression share genetic risk factors related to immune function and DNA regulation
    Read Full Story
  • Study finds no evidence that natural selection has been less effective removing deleterious mutations in Europeans than in West Africans

    January 17th, 2015

    In a recent study published online by Nature Genetics, Broad-affiliated researchers Ron Do, Daniel Balick, Heng Li, Shamil Sunyaev, and David Reich challenged the theory that natural selection has been less effective removing deleterious genetic mutations in non-Africans versus West Africans over the course of human evolution. The team used simulations to show that observed mutation patterns that have been interpreted as evidence supporting the theory are not likely to reflect changes in the effectiveness of selection after the populations diverged, but are instead likely to be driven by other factors of population genetics.

  • Survey shows how tumor types induce and adapt to immune responses

    January 16th, 2015

    Contrary to popular belief, tumors don’t develop undisturbed. They undergo almost constant immune attack — which, as a result, changes their mutational composition. But just how this immune response is initiated and its effect on different tumor types has remained largely unexplored…until now. For the first time, a team of researchers from the Broad — including Mike Rooney, Sachet Shukla, Cathy Wu, Gad Getz, and Nir Hacohen — has performed a systematic survey of how 18 different tumor types induce and adapt to immune responses. Read all about it in Cell.