Update June 12, 2023: COVID-19 is still with us, but the once-urgent need for PCR testing has subsided and can be addressed by other providers focused on diagnostics. So the Broad Institute is winding down its COVID-19 diagnostic testing program, with June 30, 2023 as the last day of operations. The Broad continues to conduct research and develop technologies to better understand, diagnose, and treat infectious diseases.
As the COVID-19 pandemic presents increasing public health challenges, scientists from around the world have responded with openness and unprecedented speed, studying the SARS-CoV-2 virus and working to develop new diagnostic technologies, treatments, and tools for researchers. Scientists at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard are contributing to this global effort in a variety of ways.
Learn more about how the Broad community is partnering with local and state governments and health care providers to support testing efforts.
Broad Institute has created a novel automation system for COVID-19 test processing that is scalable, modular, and high-throughput, in service of the public health needs of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and surrounding areas. We have organized our support around hospitals and clinics; nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and homeless shelters; residents in high-impact communities; colleges and universities; and Massachusetts K-12 schools.
February 25, 2021
The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, in partnership with Tufts University, CIC Health and Project Beacon, has begun processing pooled COVID-19 tests from students and staff at Massachusetts K-12 schools. Pooled testing provides a more cost-effective way of testing large groups of people, such as an entire school.
May 5, 2021: Read this preprint describing the implementation and feasibility of K-12 screening testing for schools.
September 14, 2021: The Broad Institute is continuing to process pooled COVID-19 tests for Massachusetts K-12 schools for the 2021-2022 school year. Learn more.
September 2, 2020
Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard is partnering with 108 public and private colleges and universities in Massachusetts and the surrounding region to provide regular COVID-19 testing for students, faculty, and staff, as part of back-to-school plans. The program to support higher education was conceived in May, when the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM) reached out to the Broad Institute to ask it to support its member organizations’ desire for regular testing in the Fall 2020 semester. Broad’s high-throughput COVID-19 testing facility has processed more than 1.1 million COVID-19 tests since March.
July 13, 2020
In partnership with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard is supporting the state’s “Stop the Spread” testing initiative. The COVID-19 testing center at the Broad is providing testing, training, and supplies to health agencies in eight hard-hit communities in the state. Expanded testing in these communities will help identify new cases, including asymptomatic carriers, support contact tracing efforts, and help curb the spread of coronavirus.
April 16, 2020
The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard has launched a pilot program, in partnership with the Cambridge Public Health Department and ProEMS ambulance service, to conduct COVID-19 testing of all residents and staff members at Cambridge’s seven skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities. The results give the City of Cambridge the ability to more quickly respond to outbreaks.
Update, April 17, 2020: The Broad is now working with ProEMS to conduct COVID-19 testing for residents and staff at Cambridge’s homeless shelters, using the same rapid testing surveillance methods currently being used at the city’s nursing and assisted living facilities.
March 26, 2020
Working in partnership with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory, and area hospitals, the CLIA-certified lab of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard has begun processing COVID-19 test samples from patients across New England. The lab returned its first batch of results back to physicians within 24 hours of receiving samples. As teams at the testing center apply additional automation, tests will take approximately 12 hours to complete from receipt.
March 27, 2020
Facing a pandemic, scientific and administrative teams across the institute raced to enable coronavirus testing. Read how the Broad's COVID-19 testing facility rapidly came together.