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2019 Media Boot Camp: Applications Closed

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard is hosting its second annual Media Boot Camp, Biomedicine in the 21st Century: Where are we headed and how will we get there?

This program will bring health/science journalists together with faculty from the Broad Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard’s teaching hospitals for a two-day event exploring how the latest advances in genomics are currently transforming biomedicine in ways that were unimaginable as recently as five years ago. Ahead-of-the-curve journalists will engage with ahead-of-the-curve scientists to imagine possible future storylines and build relationships. The program format will include presentations, discussions, and lab tours. 

The Media Boot Camp will take place at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, MA on Thursday April 4 and Friday April 5 (with an evening welcome reception on Wednesday April 3). 


Boot Camp Topics:

  • Advances in gene editing technologies. The CRISPR toolbox continues to expand as new techniques are developed to edit genes, detect emerging diseases and pathogens, and more. Researchers will describe how the rapid development of gene editing has accelerated research and created opportunities to develop precision therapies for many diseases. They will also discuss emerging ethical issues surrounding the technology.
  • The Human Cell Atlas, a global consortium utilizing cutting-edge sequencing and data-analysis technologies to characterize every single cell type in the human body. Researchers will explain how the scope and ambition of this endeavor surpasses that of the Human Genome Project.
  • Population genetics and how variation in our DNA can contribute to disease development. By systematically cataloging the patterns of genetic variation in the human population, researchers can study the genetic factors underlying common diseases, and learn to predict disease risk for individual patients.
  • Early therapeutic development for rare diseases. Understanding the biology behind rare genetic diseases can not only make an immediate impact on the lives of patients, but also shed light on new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for other related diseases.
  • Cancer genetics and precision medicine. Scientists will describe the progress of drug discovery efforts, the development of blood biopsy technologies rapidly advancing the pace of research, and new programs that engage patients as partners in the research enterprise.
  • Genetics of psychiatric disease. The ability to study genetic associations is transforming our understanding of these debilitating conditions. Researchers will also discuss the emerging understanding of how immunology affects the brain.

This Media Boot Camp is an educational offering. All presentations are on background.

Hotel accommodations, meals, and ground transportation within Boston/Cambridge will be provided by the Broad Institute. Attendees must cover travel costs to and from Boston.

Application Process:

Space is limited. By Friday March 1, 5:00 PM Eastern time, please send at least one paragraph describing your interest in the program and how you hope it will benefit your reporting, as well as three to five relevant news clips, to Karen Zusi at

Please contact Karen at or 617-714-8011 with any questions. 


Eric Lander
Aviv Regev

Viktor Adalsteinsson
Steven Corsello
Todd Golub
Nir Hacohen
Steven Hyman
Sekar Kathiresan
Daniel MacArthur
Alicia Martin
Steve McCarroll
Eric Minikel
Corrie Painter
Beth Stevens
Sonia Vallabh
Nikhil Wagle
Feng Zhang

Aspects of this program are subject to change.


Karen Zusi, Media Relations Manager