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2021 Media Boot Camp: Applications Closed

Applications are now closed for the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard's 2021 Media Boot Camp, The science of SARS-CoV-2.

This program will connect health/science journalists with faculty from the Broad Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, and Harvard’s teaching hospitals for a virtual three-day event exploring all that the biomedical community has learned about COVID-19 as the pandemic crosses the one-year mark, the pressing biological and public health questions we continue to grapple with, and future directions for research into this devastating disease.

Journalists will gain fundamental background knowledge about SARS-CoV-2 and discuss cutting-edge research and surveillance of the deadly virus, with experts including the Broad Institute’s new director, Todd Golub.

The program will occur Wednesday, May 5 – Friday, May 7. Each day, the program will begin around 11am Eastern time and run for approximately three hours on Zoom. We ask that, if possible, participants plan to tune into all sessions.


Boot Camp Topics

  • COVID-19 surveillance testing. In late March 2020, Broad Institute rapidly converted our large-scale genomics facility into a center that can process SARS-CoV-2 tests. We have processed more than 15 million tests so far, in service of the public health needs of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and surrounding areas.
  • Tracking known and emerging viral variants. In partnership with the CDC, Broad scientists are analyzing SARS-CoV-2 genomes to look for known variants of concern, to detect emerging variants, and to support public health needs.
  • SARS-CoV-2’s effects on the body. By studying antibodies, immune cells, and protein signatures in blood samples, researchers are learning more about the virus’s unpredictable effects on the body.
  • The influence of variations in our DNA on COVID-19. The international COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative is studying how our DNA affects COVID-19 susceptibility, severity, and outcomes to help inform drug development and identify why some individuals are at high or low risk for severe disease.
  • What we know, and what we’re still learning, about vaccines.

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

Application Process

By Friday, April 23 (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 recent news clips, to Senior Media Relations Manager Karen Zusi at

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

Aspects of this program are subject to change.


Karen Zusi, Senior Media Relations Manager