Ramnik Xavier named as a core member of Broad Institute

A distinguished physician-scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital, Broad’s newest core institute member will help expand Broad’s research efforts in immunology

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard has named Ramnik Xavier as a core institute member.

Xavier, a distinguished physician-scientist, is a faculty member in the Department of Molecular Biology and the Department of Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS), and directs MGH’s Center for Computational and Integrative Biology. He has been deeply involved with the Broad over the past decade — as an associate member, a non-core institute member, and a co-director of Broad’s Infectious Disease and Microbiome Program. Xavier studies the specific molecular mechanisms involved in innate and adaptive immunity, including the biological basis of Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and autoimmunity.

“Ramnik is an extraordinary scientist and clinician who has made pioneering contributions in understanding the biological mechanisms underlying inflammatory bowel disease,” said Eric Lander, president and founding director of the Broad Institute. “We are thrilled that he will have an even greater role at the Broad, while also expanding his contributions at MGH. His work in both basic and translational research makes him an invaluable member of our community.”

Core institute members have their primary laboratories at the Broad Institute and have academic appointments at MIT, Harvard University, or one of Harvard’s primary teaching hospitals. They are deeply engaged in the intellectual life of the Broad and help set the institute’s scientific direction.

Xavier has been chief of the Division of Gastroenterology at MGH since 2010, and will transition out of this role later this year. He is also the Kurt J. Isselbacher Professor in Medicine at HMS, and at MIT he co-directs the Center for Microbiome Informatics and Therapeutics.

Xavier will continue his research aimed at a better understanding of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, based on the soaring number of genes now known to be implicated in the two immune-related disorders. His lab has helped uncover the functional roles of an unprecedented number of genes, and he has published more than 300 peer-reviewed papers over the course of his career. Through a collaboration with the Broad’s Chemical Biology and Therapeutic Sciences Platform, the Xavier laboratory aims to discover small molecules that can correct pathways defective in Crohn’s and autoimmunity.

In his new role as a core institute member, Xavier will help expand immunological research at Broad. He will help bring together scientists across the Broad community — including those working on cancer, psychiatric illnesses, and infectious diseases — interested in the immune processes that play key roles in both healthy and disease states.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to deepen my involvement with the Broad as a core institute member,” Xavier said. “I’m looking forward to collaborating more deeply with the Broad’s scientific community, and continuing to merge efforts across the fields of biology, chemistry, computational biology, and therapeutic science with the goal of making transformative discoveries in immunology.”

Xavier’s appointment as a Broad core institute member begins on July 1.

To learn more about Ramnik Xavier and his research, visit his lab page.