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Pardis Sabeti, M.D., D.Phil.

Pardis Sabeti is an institute member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and a leader in the Broad’s Infectious Disease and Microbiome Program. She is a professor at the Center for Systems Biology and the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, a professor in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Disease at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

Sabeti is a computational geneticist whose lab develops powerful methods and tools for advancing genome biology and medicine. She has created some of the most widely used algorithms and powerful molecular tools to mine the human genome for beneficial genetic elements as well as transformative methods for gene delivery of new biomedicines. She has contributed to widely varying fields — such as viral sequencing and diagnostic technology, information theory, rural disease surveillance, and education — to create comprehensive approaches for detecting, containing, and treating deadly infectious diseases. The microbes she studies include Lassa virus, Ebola virus, Zika virus, SARS-CoV-2, influenza, Plasmodium falciparum malaria, and Borrelia. She has invested in capacity building and education, enabling the first diagnosis of Ebola in Sierra Leone and Nigeria, helping to train more than 1,500 African scientists, and establishing genome centers in West Africa. Sabeti also leads a team of international colleagues in piloting a pandemic preemption system called Sentinel — that was designated as an Audacious Project by TED and its nonprofit partners in 2020 — in West Africa. The project, which is the culmination of a decade-long collaboration named the African Center of Excellence in Genomics of Infectious Disease (ACEGID), was deeply impactful on the ground in the battle against Covid-19.

In 2014, Sabeti was named a TIME magazine “Person of the Year” as one of the Ebola fighters and in 2015 as one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People, and in 2022 she received a TIME Impact award. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine. Her recognition and awards also include World Economic Forum (WEF) Young Global Leader, National Geographic Emerging Explorer, the 2012 Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award for Natural Science, and the NIH Innovator Award. She has served on the MIT Board of Trustees and the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Women in Science, Medicine, and Engineering.

Born in Tehran, Sabeti immigrated to the United States at the age of two. She completed her undergraduate degree in biology at MIT and her master’s and doctorate at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. After that, she obtained her medical degree from Harvard Medical School summa cum laude as a Soros Fellow.

April 2024