In 2004, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard launched with a mission to improve human health.
This year marks our 15th anniversary. During that time, biology and medicine have evolved in astonishing ways, and so have we. Our community now includes more than four thousand scientists, software engineers, and more, with collaborations in more than three dozen countries.
We think the amazing pace of scientific progress is a story worth sharing. Beginning in the summer of 2019 and continuing through spring of 2020, we’ll host a series of public talks to trace the evolution of key fields of science and medicine over the last 15 years, and look ahead to how they might continue to evolve in the future.
These engaging discussions will be in place of our regular Midsummer Nights’ Science and Science for All Seasons series, which will return later in 2020.
We hope you’ll join us in person or online! Sign up here to stay up to date!
All of the talks will take place from 6:00pm to 7:00pm, followed by a reception, unless otherwise noted.
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
The Human Genomic Revolution: Past, Present, and Future
Thursday, August 1, 2019
Over 15 years ago, the scientific community celebrated the sequencing of the first human genome. It’s time to ask how this monumental effort has transformed biomedical science, from basic research to the understanding and treatment of disease. Eric Lander, Broad Institute president and founding director and one of the principal leaders of the Human Genome Project, will survey the impact — what we’ve learned, and what lies ahead.
This lecture is presented in memory of Eliana Hechter and is supported by the Eliana Hechter Memorial Fund.
The March Toward Cancer Precision Medicine
September 19, 2019
The idea that you could take a piece of a patient's tumor, sequence it, and use that knowledge to guide treatment used to sound like science fiction. Today, says Broad chief scientific officer and Cancer Program director Todd Golub, that idea is starting to become reality. Golub will trace the science of cancer precision medicine, how it's evolved over the last 15 years, and where that path could take us.
The genomic revolution gave scientists a new foothold for understanding the origins of psychiatric disorders. Geneticist Benjamin Neale and neuroscientist Beth Stevens, both members of the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute, will follow modern psychiatry's development over the decades, and discuss how science at the intersection of genetics and biology is opening new directions and giving new hope.
Since the Human Genome Project, our understanding of the genetic basis of human diseases has grown by leaps and bounds. But how close are we to translating these genetic insights into much-needed therapies? Physician-scientist Anna Greka and chemist Florence Wagner will reflect on how new tools and approaches in biology and chemistry have helped unlock new paradigms for the development of medicines in the genomic era, and look ahead to what the future might hold.
In less than a decade, CRISPR has transformed biology and galvanized public debate. But the history of scientists' efforts to edit the DNA of living cells goes back much further. Chemist David Liu and molecular biologist Feng Zhang will explore the ways scientists have turned bacteria's natural immune systems into technologies that allow them to explore and edit the genome with unprecedented power and precision, and the questions these technologies raise.
Infectious diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, Ebola, and Lassa fever impact hundreds of millions of people every year. Patients around the world continue to face challenges with antibiotic resistance. Physician scientist Deb Hung and computational geneticist Pardis Sabeti will tell the story of how researchers are using advanced chemical and genomic tools to tackle drug resistance and infectious diseases by working with individual patients and global communities.
Genome sequencing technologies are getting faster while costing less, fueling a surge in the volume of data produced worldwide and sending engineers and data scientists scrambling to create the infrastructure that can store, share, and analyze it all at an unprecedented scale. Sequencing leader Stacey Gabriel, data strategist Danielle Ciofani, and machine learning scientist Puneet Batra will discuss the beginnings of this new era in biomedicine, one where sequencing and data sciences hold the potential to push our understanding of human disease in unforeseen directions.