Microorganisms (including fungi, bacteria, and viruses) and insect vectors are both key model systems for genomics and important organisms for clinical medicine. Scientists in the Broad community are sequencing and analyzing the genomes of a wide range of insects and microorganisms to understand their genetic regulation, population variation, and specialized genomic mechanisms.
The Broad Institute’s Genomic Center for Infectious Diseases (GCID) was established in 2014 by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to to apply innovative genomic technologies to address fundamental gaps in our knowledge of the basic biology that underlies the interactions between hosts and pathogens.
The mission of the Bacterial Genomics Group at Broad is to develop and implement 'omics methodologies to answer pressing questions related to bacteria and their role in human health. A major focus is the evolution and spread of bacterial pathogens (and antibiotic resistance) including the interactions that these pathogens have with their host and host-associated microbiota. In collaboration with clinical, academic, and industry researchers, we devise and carry out large-scale studies that employ genomic, metagenomic and transcriptomic data sets to understand human pathologies caused by bacteria such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, carbapenem resistant Enterobacteriaceae, and E. coli.
The Fungal Genomics group at the Broad Institute has sequenced and analyzed a wide range of fungal organisms that are important to medicine, agriculture, and industry. Over 100 fungi have been sequenced, including human and plant pathogens as well as fungi that serve as basic models for molecular and cellular biology. In partnership with the wider fungal research community, organisms have been targeted for sequencing as part of a cohesive strategy that considers both the value of sequencing data to research, health, agriculture, and industry, as well as its value in comparative genomics.
Viral diseases have an enormous impact on human health worldwide. Genomic technologies are providing infectious disease researchers an unprecedented capability to study at a genetic level the viruses that cause disease and their interactions with infected hosts. The goals of the Broad Viral Genomics Group are to pioneer the application of these technologies to address the crucial unanswered biological questions in viral disease, and to foster a community of research leaders focused on using genomics to advance preventative and therapeutic strategies for viral diseases.
Parasite and Vector Genomics
The Parasite and Vector Genomics group applies genomic and transcriptomic sequencing data to profile variation among individuals and divergence among species to understand the basic biology underlying vector-borne disease transmission, with a focus on malaria. Via collaborations with academic and industry partners, we explore the evolutionary basis of drug and insecticide resistance, develop new methods of generating and applying genomic data in parasite and vector systems, and identify the genetic determinants of vaccine efficacy.