The Genomics Platform at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard has been one of the world’s leading academic genome sequencing centers since the days of the Human Genome Project. For the last decade, these services have included clinical sequencing and other molecular assays through its wholly-owned subsidiary, the Clinical Research Sequencing Platform.
Now renamed Broad Clinical Labs (BCL), the lab is poised to further accelerate the power of ’omics technologies in clinical research, screening, and diagnostics.
BCL supports large-scale projects for which results need to be generated under a clinical quality system, such as analyses for clinical trials, biobank profiling, and other projects where results may be returned to participants or integrated into health records. The team’s focus includes biomarker discovery, population genomics, genetic risk screening for newborns and adults, direct-to-patient research studies, and clinical diagnostics.
The ability to scale up these services enables BCL to make them accessible and cost-effective for clients in the scientific and medical communities, while encouraging data-sharing throughout industry and academia.
“We are excited to introduce the newly-named Broad Clinical Labs as a significant milestone in our mission to transform human health,” said Todd Golub, director of the Broad Institute and member of BCL’s board. “BCL is well-positioned to provide molecular assays that will have a profound impact in the clinical realm.”
During the pandemic, the lab’s high-throughput system for COVID-19 testing enabled it to process more than 37.5 million tests throughout Massachusetts and the northeastern US, in service of public health needs. The lab also recently demonstrated its ability to operate at scale by sequencing more than 240,000 human genomes for the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us program, which aims to collect genetic and medical information from one million people in the US to build a diverse health database.
"We knew that the team at Broad Clinical Labs offered unrivaled expertise in genomic sequencing and a steadfast commitment to driving innovations in the field. By partnering with Broad, we are able to deliver sequencing of the highest caliber as part of our groundbreaking newborn screening service,” said Hans Keil, co-founder and CEO of Nurture Genomics.
BCL further functions as a “learning laboratory,” developing and translating new technologies and novel molecular assays. The lab validates these high-complexity ’omics technologies, enabling broader access to them for both the research and clinical communities.
“Our experience in rapidly scaling up COVID-19 diagnostics and other services has demonstrated that we can play a valuable role in this space, leveraging our unique resources to create access where there may have been little to none,” said Niall Lennon, chief scientific officer and chair of the board of BCL. “We’ve grown our capabilities to a point where we can significantly contribute to clinical research, clinical trials, population screening, and high-complexity diagnostics.”