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2020 Media Boot Camp: Applications Closed

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard has closed applications for its 2020 Media Boot Camp, Biomedicine in the 21st Century: Where are we headed and how will we get there?

This program will bring science/health journalists together with faculty from the Broad Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, and Harvard’s teaching hospitals for a two-day event exploring how the latest advances in genomics are transforming biomedicine in ways that were unimaginable less than a decade ago. Journalists will explore possible future storylines, gain fundamental background knowledge, and build relationships with researchers. The program format will include presentations, discussions, and lab tours.

The 2020 Media Boot Camp will take place at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, MA on Monday April 6 and Tuesday April 7 (with an evening welcome reception on Sunday April 5). 


Boot Camp Topics:

  • New session: infectious disease. Researchers will discuss how genomic surveillance of pathogens can inform outbreak response and advance diagnostics.
  • 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.
  • As the sheer volume of biomedical data amasses at a staggering rate, new data-science tools such as artificial intelligence and machine learning are reshaping how biologists and computer scientists collaborate. Researchers will describe the new intellectual approaches, experimental strategies, and emerging platforms that are transforming biology into an information science. 
  • Clinical genomics and how variations in our DNA contribute to disease. Researchers will describe how data-sharing initiatives and the latest advances in sequencing technology are improving disease prediction and diagnosis, boosting precision medicine, and enabling patient-partnership initiatives such as All of Us
  • Early diagnosis and therapeutic development for rare diseases. Understanding the genetics and 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. Researchers are systematically pulling apart the molecular programs and weaknesses of cancer cells to help develop new therapies. Scientists will also describe the development of blood biopsy technologies rapidly advancing the pace of research. 
  • Mechanisms of psychiatric disease. The ability to study genetic associations is transforming our understanding of these debilitating conditions. Researchers will also describe progress in developing brain organoids, a key tool and model in the analysis of brain disorders.

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 Monday, March 2 (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 recent news clips, to Karen Zusi at

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


Viktor Adalsteinsson
Paola Arlotta
Puneet Batra
Jesse Boehm
Danielle Ciofani
Anna Greka
Eric Lander
David Liu
Aviv Regev
Heidi Rehm
Morgan Sheng
Feng Zhang

Aspects of this program are subject to change.


Karen Zusi, Media Relations Manager