Broad Institute names first cohort of Institute Scientists

New position recognizes essential role of professional scientists in stewarding the Broad community

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard has announced a newly-created role of Institute Scientists and the first cohort of 27 members. The new role reflects the important role that professional scientists play within the Broad community.

“The close collaboration between faculty and professional scientists -- who span bench scientists, computational scientists, and software engineers -- has been a distinguishing characteristic of the Broad since its inception,” said Eric Lander, president and founding director of the Broad Institute. “The initial group of Institute Scientists was selected because they are superb scientists who also have an extensive track record of stewarding the Broad community.”

Institute Scientists are drawn from the nearly 500 professional scientists at the Broad Institute. During their four-year terms, Institute Scientists will:

  • Catalyze scientific connections across all parts of the Broad community and beyond;
  • Engage in key institutional issues, developments and decisions, including shaping scientific priorities;
  • Foster the continual renewal of the Broad community by recruiting, mentoring and supporting a new generation of young scientists; and
  • Fulfill key citizenship and service roles that strengthen the Broad community.

“One of our founding principles at the Broad Institute was that we would create a different model for accelerating science beyond what traditional academic research alone could provide,” said Stacey Gabriel, director of the Broad Institute Genomics Platform. “In addition to propelling scientific discovery, this model provides a place for professional scientists to have a rewarding career path. This has made a tremendous difference for me. What's so exciting about the Institute Scientist role is that it demonstrates how successful our model has become, and how much groundbreaking work is still ahead.”

“Our Institute Scientists will enhance our scientific culture and deepen the connection between our communities of academic and professional researchers,” said Orit Rozenblatt-Rosen, Scientific Director of the Klarman Cell Observatory at the Broad Institute. “Not only does this approach demonstrate critical importance of our professional scientists, but it ensures they will be deeply involved in the life and work of our Institute well into the future.”

“Staff scientists tend to be dedicated to team-based science, which requires multidisciplinary expertise,” said John Doench, associate director of the Genetic Perturbation Platform at the Broad Institute. “Our Institute Scientists will continue to make the Broad stronger by emphasizing our dedication to collaboration, and through our shared focus on solving big scientific problems.”

“The Broad Institute is redoubling its commitment and barrier-breaking vision to enhance opportunities for all of our professional scientists -- including attracting, developing, and retaining top talent,” said Florence Wagner, director of the medicinal chemistry group in the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at Broad Institute. “This builds on our existing Staff Scientists Initiative and our Staff Scientist Development Committee, which were created in 2010, and continues to ensure the Broad Institute will always be a place that enables scientists of all backgrounds to greatly impact our understanding of human health and to accelerate progress against disease.”

Click here for a list of Institute Scientists.

About the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard was launched in 2004 to empower this generation of creative scientists to transform medicine. The Broad Institute seeks to describe all the molecular components of life and their connections; discover the molecular basis of major human diseases; develop effective new approaches to diagnostics and therapeutics; and disseminate discoveries, tools, methods, and data openly to the entire scientific community.

Founded by MIT, Harvard, Harvard-affiliated hospitals, and the visionary Los Angeles philanthropists Eli and Edythe L. Broad, the Broad Institute includes faculty, professional staff, and students from throughout the MIT and Harvard biomedical research communities and beyond, with collaborations spanning over a hundred private and public institutions in more than 40 countries worldwide. For further information about the Broad Institute, go to