News from the Broad

The Broad Institute is committed to open sharing not only of its scientific data and tools, but also information and news about our progress towards achieving our mission. Below are just a few highlights from the Broad scientific community.
  • Study identifies small-molecule compound that protects cells against ER stress

    June 23rd, 2015

    The cellular organelle known as the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is critical for metabolism, and a stressed ER, as occurs during obesity, can lead to type 2 diabetes. A team led by Gökhan Hotamisligil, of the Broad Institute and Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, developed novel high-throughput assay systems to monitor ER function in cells in culture, and used it to identify a novel compound, azoramide, that improves ER function and protects cells during ER stress. In addition, azoramide improved insulin action and reduced blood glucose levels in animals, suggesting potential translational possibilities and warranting testing in human clinical trials. Read more in Science Translational Medicine or this Harvard press release.

  • TCGA papers chart genomic landscape of melanoma, low grade glioma

    June 22nd, 2015

    Researchers from the The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), including scientists from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, recently published two papers documenting the genomic landscapes of two cancers: melanoma and low grade glioma. The papers establish a framework for genomic classification for the two forms of cancer, dividing them into genetic subcategories and providing a more accurate diagnostic strategy than traditional approaches, which rely on subjective examinations of tissue under a microscope. The glioma study (published in the New England Journal of Medicine and covered in the New York Times) reveals a pattern of molecular alterations that is associated with better clinical outcomes. The melanoma study (which appeared in Cell and was covered by GenomeWeb) is the largest of its kind to date, with data from 331 patient tumor samples.

  • Philanthropists unite to accelerate global fight against tuberculosis with combined $20 million gift to Broad Institute

    June 22nd, 2015
    Philanthropists Seth Klarman, Bill Ackman lead other investors in New York and Boston with pioneering shared contribution
    Read Full Story
  • Sequencing Ebola's secrets

    June 18th, 2015
    Study reveals new insights into long-term outbreaks
    Read Full Story
  • Microbe L. lactis shows promise for ameliorating colitis

    June 17th, 2015

    In a recent paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researcher Wendy Garrett, of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Broad Institute, and colleagues identified a strain of bacteria with the potential to abate gut inflammation. They found that Lactococcus lactis, used in the manufacture of dairy products, naturally releases an antioxidant known as superoxide dismutase A (SodA) — but only if ruptured by a specific, bacteria-attacking enzyme. This chain of events helps to correct an imbalance of chemically reactive molecules within the body associated with gut inflammation. These findings suggest a possible treatment avenue for inflammatory bowel disease and other colon-related ailments.