Midsummer Nights' Science 2018

Midsummer Nights' Science at the Broad Institute takes place at 415 Main Street, in Kendall Square in Cambridge. Each lecture runs from 6:30 - 7:30 pm and is immediately followed by a reception with light refreshments.

2018 Lectures

The Eliana Hechter Lecture: How do genes control our size and shape?
Joel Hirschhorn
People come in many shapes and sizes, and genes play a strong role in determining how short or tall we are, or whether we are lean or obese. Joel will discuss recent dramatic advances in genetics that have led to the discovery of hundreds or thousands of places in our genomes that influence height or obesity, what this tells us about the biology of human height and weight, and how these discoveries could lead to new treatments for obesity.

 August 8 Video
Who gets PTSD and what helps
Karestan Koenen
Media reports of traumatic events such as sexual assaults, terrorist attacks, and catastrophic disasters have become commonplace. While many people think of post traumatic stress disorder in relation to soldiers returning from war, the majority of people with PTSD are civilians. In this talk, Karestan will cover how people respond to such experiences, why some people develop PTSD, and what we know about what helps people recover from these common experiences.
July 18 Video
Pediatric brain tumors: The frontier of childhood cancers
Pratiti (Mimi) Bandopadhayay
Pediatric brain tumors are the most common ‘solid tumor’ of childhood, and some of the most challenging to treat. While the cure rates for many childhood cancers have improved, brain tumors remain the leading cause of cancer-related death in children, with some tumors completely lacking curative treatments. However, with the recent explosion of technologies for profiling cancer genomes, our knowledge of childhood cancers is growing by leaps and bounds, such that we are, for the first time, starting to understand how childhood brain tumors grow. In her talk, Mimi will discuss the challenges in treating children with brain tumors, and will highlight how the path to precision medicine is providing tremendous hope that improved treatments will come about for children diagnosed with brain tumors.
July 25 Video
Curing cancer: Where are we and what will it take to succeed?
Jesse Boehm
Cancers are comprised of millions of tumor cells with molecular changes that bestow upon them the ability to grow and spread. Prior to the genomic revolution of the mid 2000s, we knew little about the nature of these molecular changes, so winning the war on cancer was impossible. Jesse will discuss how technological revolutions of the past decade are now providing a roadmap to foster the success of cancer precision medicine, and how the Broad Institute aims to accelerate the pace of this revolution.
August 1 Video