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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.


The Human Genomic Revolution: Past, Present, and Future
Eric Lander 
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
Todd Golub
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.


What Genetics And Biology Are Teaching Us About Mental Illness
Benjamin Neale and Beth Stevens
October 7, 2019

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.


From Genes to Mechanisms to Medicines: Reflections on the past, present and future of drug discovery
Anna Greka and Florence Wagner
Thursday, November 14, 2019

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.


Genome Editing
David Liu and Feng Zhang
January 21, 2020


Infectious Disease
Deborah Hung and Pardis Sabeti
Thursday, February 13, 2020


Sequencing and Data Sciences
Jonathan Bloom and Stacey Gabriel
Wednesday, March 4, 2020


Single-cell Biology
Aviv Regev
May 5, 2020