The Merkin Institute for Transformative Technologies seeks to stimulate the next generation of breakthrough life sciences technologies. Broad Institute Members and Affiliate Investigators with innovative project proposals are encouraged to apply for funding support. An ideal Merkin Institute project proposal is innovative, truly transformative, and led by an investigator with a passion for changing the world with their vision for the proposed technology.
Examples of transformative technologies include (but are not limited to): Delivery of macromolecules into cells in vivo, next-generation genome editing methods, novel encoded chemical library technologies, new screening capabilities, innovative imaging technologies, new approaches to target identification and mechanism-of-action elucidation, and creative ways to manipulate cell states in a durable, non-genetic manner.
Proposed Merkin Institute projects cannot already be supported by current or anticipated funding.
The Shark Tank is designed for trainees to develop and communicate innovative research proposals. The Shark Tank funds collaborative research proposals by teams of trainees (graduate students and postdocs), staff scientists, and faculty members, ideally spanning multiple research groups within the Broad Institute community, broadly defined. Only trainees can serve as principal investigators on a proposal, but staff scientists and faculty are welcome to participate in projects. Selected proposals will receive up to $200,000 in total costs for one year. As part of the selection process, the teams will pitch their ideas to a panel of CBTS leaders during a CBTS Shark Tank meeting. See previous request for proposals (RFP) here.
In its first year, the CBTS Shark Tank received 19 complete proposals from teams spanning four institutions (Broad, Harvard, MIT, MGH) and five Broad programs. Nine proposals, ranging from basic research to developing novel technologies and therapeutic applications, were selected by a review committee representing all four institutions.
Cameron Myhrvold, Kayla Barnes
Improved Cas13a/C2c2 diagnostics for viral diarrheal illness
Cytosolic Delivery of Antibodies
Deep-Learning Guided Directed Evolution of Proteins
Suppression of pain transmission using genome editing agents
Engineering TASyR to Interrogate the Neuronal Connectome
XOR-seq: Target-Enrichment Strategy for Whole Genome Sequencing
Exploiting lipid metabolism dependency to target brain metastasis
Marked for encapsulation: investigating RNautophagy/DNautophagy for target-specific degradation
Membrane anchoring of the native human prion protein
Published Papers & News Coverage of Awarded Shark Tank Projects