Illuminating human biology
Genomics is laying the groundwork for a new generation of diagnostics and therapeutics, built on our growing understanding of the biological mechanisms of disease. At the Broad Institute, biologists, chemists, physicians, mathematicians, computational biologists, and software engineers are exploring human disease at the genetic, molecular, and cellular levels.
Cancer Dependency Map
Cataloguing the genetic adaptations that cancer cells rely on and leveraging them to develop new treatments
Cancer cells mutate in many ways, often ending up with genetic defects that should be fatal. The cells adapt to these flaws, however, by adjusting other genes' activity. These adjustments create new vulnerabilities — "genetic dependencies" that the cells need to survive. Researchers can potentially exploit these dependencies as treatment targets.
Scientists at the Broad Institute and elsewhere are using powerful molecular tools to systematically catalog genetic dependencies in hundreds of cancers, and are also testing thousands of compounds on cancer cells to find genetic patterns and biomarkers related to drug sensitivity. By doing so, researchers aim to find promising avenues for developing new therapeutics or repurposing existing ones, and guide cancer precision medicine.