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Gene Regulation Observatory (GRO)

A mere 1% of the human genome encodes protein-coding genes. The remaining non-coding regions are replete with regulatory elements that control gene activity, determine cellular states, and underlie most human diseases.

There has been significant progress towards cataloging these regulatory regions and thereby identifying the working parts of the non-coding genome. These efforts to define a non-coding atlas have made apparent the need to further our understanding of the context-specific functions, mechanisms, and regulatory interactions of each element.

The Broad Institute established the Gene Regulation Observatory (GRO) in 2020 with the goal of moving towards a functional, base-resolved map of the non-coding genome and its regulatory functions. The GRO community will generate foundational data and predictive models with the long-term goal to predict the regulatory role of each base in the human genome across cellular states.

The GRO will support integrated flagship projects focused on discovering and resolving functional elements, charting their interacting transcription factors (TFs), physical organization, and assembly of gene regulatory circuits.Towards this goal, the center will integrate a comprehensive atlas of non-coding regulatory elements and refine models of gene regulation in partnership with computational biologists in the machine learning and AI space. The GRO also aims to partner with other programs and colleagues in the Broad community to investigate the functions of elements and genetic variants in specific biological contexts and diseases.

The GRO is led by Broad Institute Member Brad Bernstein, who is also professor of pathology and the Bernard and Mildred Kayden RI chair at MGH and Harvard Medical School, together with a dedicated team who collaborate with scientists across the Broad community.

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