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.
  • Broad Institute awarded grants to propel studies of common, rare diseases

    January 14th, 2016
    NGHRI grants will fund two centers at the Broad that harness genome sequencing to tackle human disease
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  • New method applies artificial intelligence to images to identify cell types

    January 13th, 2016

    Conventional flow cytometry is a powerful technique for measuring cell phenotype and function, but it relies on fluorescent stains, or labels, to identify particular cell subpopulations. At times, those labels can be incompatible with live cells, or unavailable to researchers. Now, researchers from the Broad Institute’s Imaging Platform, Swansea University’s College of Engineering, and fellow international collaborators have found a new way to detect these cellular subpopulations, by applying machine learning to the hidden information in images of unlabeled cells generated from image flow cytometry. Their method is described in Nature Communications and a Swansea University press release, and their open-source workflow is available online.

  • New year, new hope for type 2 diabetes

    January 12th, 2016

    Studies have shown that obese mice and humans have increased serum levels of the fatty acid binding protein aP2, and that elevated aP2 levels correlate with metabolic complications. Since genetic loss of aP2 in mouse models and in humans results in lowered risk of cardiometabolic disease, the molecule offers an exciting opportunity for new intervention strategies.

    Now, in a proof-of-principle study led by Broad associate member Gökhan S. Hotamisligil of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health's Sabri Ülker Center, researchers have shown that the protein may be a viable therapeutic target for type 2 diabetes. In the study, the authors identified a monoclonal antibody to aP2 that lowered fasting blood glucose, increased insulin sensitivity, and lowered both fat mass and incidence of fatty liver in obese mouse models. Their paper is published online in Science Translational Medicine.

  • Remembering Ted Stanley

    January 11th, 2016
    His commitment has changed the study of psychiatric disease into a molecular field based on rigorous analysis of the action of specific genes and proteins
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  • Team builds hallmark gene set collection from Molecular Signatures Database

    January 11th, 2016

    A team led by Pablo Tamayo and Jill Mesirov of the Broad Institute and University of California, San Diego, and Broad bioinformatician Arthur Liberzon, has generated “hallmark” gene sets from the Molecular Signatures Database (MSigDB), one of the most comprehensive and widely used databases for gene set enrichment analysis. Through both automated and manual approaches, the team curated a refined collection of MSigDB gene sets that reduce redundancy and produce more robust analyses. Their paper is published in Cell Systems.