Science for All Seasons 2021

Science for All Seasons gives you a chance to explore hot topics in genomics with leading experts from the Broad Institute. Find out what key advances, new technologies, and the latest findings mean for you in this free and open lecture series.

2021 Lectures

Monday, October 25, 5:00-6:00pm
More than just a powerhouse: Your mitochondria, oxygen, and you
Vamsi Mootha

We all heard it in our grade-school science classes: "The mitochondrion is the powerhouse of the cell." And yes, this little organelle — likely the remnant of a bacterium absorbed by early cells millions of years ago — has the crucial job of providing the energy the cell needs. Molecular biologist Vamsi Mootha, who for years has studied mitochondrial biology, will describe how his research has led him to a new understanding of your mitochondrias' fundamental purpose, and discuss what that means for human health.

A curriculum guide for educational use of this video is available here. Learn more about Broad's Classroom Discovery Guides and other classroom resources.



Thursday, July 29, 5:00-6:00pm
Genomics, COVID-19, and us: Understanding variants' spread, and our susceptibility to disease
Benjamin Neale and Bronwyn MacInnis

To understand and control COVID-19, we need to look at the genome of the virus that causes it, as well as our own. Human geneticist Benjamin Neale will discuss the emerging understanding of how our DNA influences our body's response to the virus, and viral geneticist Bronwyn MacInnis will talk about what the growing science of genomic epidemiology continues to teach us about the evolution and spread of viral variants.

This lecture is presented in memory of Eliana Hechter and is supported by the Eliana Hechter Memorial Fund.



Tuesday, April 6, 5:00-6:00pm
Proteomics: Translating the code of life
Namrata Udeshi and Michael Gillette

The genome encodes the basic blueprints and switches underlying everything a cell does, but it's the proteome — the cell's collection of proteins — that does the work of carrying signals, turning circuits on and off, processing energy, and more. How do researchers study the proteome, and how does that knowledge translate into new approaches to treating disease? Research scientist Namrata Udeshi and physician-scientist Michael Gillette will take us on a tour of the proteome and discuss some of the opportunities that the science of proteomics presents for advancing human health.



Tuesday, January 26, 5:00-6:00pm
Clarity from comparison: How other animals' genomes illuminate our own
Elinor Karlsson and Diane Genereux

The human genome is huge — more than three billion As, Cs, Ts, and Gs strung together and packaged into 23 chromosomes. But even with the biotech advances of the last 20 years, its workings remain mostly a mystery.

The Zoonomia Project is comparing hundreds of species' genomes to investigate genome function. We are finding that some parts of the genome are so important that they are identical among species separated by millions of years of evolution, while others are uniquely human. By discovering the genomic secrets of species that perform incredible feats of physiology — such as hibernating ground squirrels that go months without eating, and deep-diving seals that endure minutes without breathing — we are using evolutionary history to help inform the next generation of therapeutics.

Genome biologists Elinor Karlsson and Diane Genereux will describe how comparative genomics is shaping our understanding of human health and, in the process, supporting efforts to protect species at risk of extinction.