Broad Institute

Last updated
Broad Institute
Broad Institute logo.png
Established2004;15 years ago (2004)
Research type Basic (non-clinical) and translational research
Field of research
Genomics, Bioinformatics, Biomedicine
Director Eric Lander
Affiliations Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Harvard University
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Boston Children's Hospital
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Dana–Farber Cancer Institute
Massachusetts General Hospital
MIT Broad Institute.jpg

The Eli and Edythe L. Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard ( /ˈbrd/ ), often referred to as the Broad Institute, is a biomedical and genomic research center located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. The institute is independently governed and supported as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit research organization under the name Broad Institute Inc., [1] [2] and is partners with Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, and the five Harvard teaching hospitals.


Broad Institute, 415 Main St. BroadInstitute.jpg
Broad Institute, 415 Main St.


The Broad Institute evolved from a decade of research collaborations among MIT and Harvard scientists. [3] One cornerstone was the Center for Genome Research of Whitehead Institute at MIT. Founded in 1982, the Whitehead became a major center for genomics and the Human Genome Project. As early as 1995, scientists at the Whitehead started pilot projects in genomic medicine, forming an unofficial collaborative network among young scientists interested in genomic approaches to cancer and human genetics. Another cornerstone was the Institute of Chemistry and Cell Biology established by Harvard Medical School in 1998 to pursue chemical genetics as an academic discipline. [4] Its screening facility was one of the first high-throughput resources opened in an academic setting. It facilitated small molecule screening projects for more than 80 research groups worldwide.

To create a new organization that was open, collaborative, cross-disciplinary and able to organize projects at any scale, planning took place in 2002–2003 among philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad, MIT, the Whitehead Institute, Harvard and the Harvard-affiliated hospitals (in particular, the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Children's Hospital Boston, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Massachusetts General Hospital).

The Broads made a founding gift of $100 million and the Broad Institute was formally launched in May 2004. In November 2005, the Broads announced an additional $100 million gift to the Institute. [5] On September 4, 2008, the Broads announced an endowment of $400 million to make the Broad Institute a permanent establishment. [6] In November 2013, they invested an additional $100 million to fund a second decade of research at the institute. [7]

Organizational structure

The Broad Institute has 11 core faculty [8] and 195 associate members from Harvard, MIT, and the Harvard-affiliated hospitals. [9]

The Broad Institute is made up of three types of organizational units: core member laboratories, research programs, and platforms. The institute's scientific research programs include: [10]

The Broad Institute's platforms are teams of professional scientists who focus on the discovery, development, and optimization of the technological tools that Broad and other researchers use to conduct research. The platforms include: [11]

The Broad Institute also supports the Data Visualization Initiative led by the Institute creative director Bang Wong, which is aimed at developing data visualizations to explore and communicate research findings. [12]

Core members

The faculty and staff of the Broad Institute include physicians, geneticists, and molecular, chemical, and computational biologists. The faculty currently includes 11 Core Members, whose labs are primarily located within the Broad Institute, and 195 Associate Members, whose primary labs are located at one of the universities or hospitals. [13]

The Core Members of the Broad Institute include: [14]


The Broad Institute's facilities at 320 Charles Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, house one of the largest genome sequencing centers in the world. As WICGR (Whitehead Institute/MIT Center for Genome Research), this facility was the largest contributor of sequence information to the Human Genome Project.

In February 2006, The Broad Institute expanded to a new building at 415 Main Street, adjacent to the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. [16] This seven-story 231,000-square-foot (21,500 m2) building contains office, research laboratory, retail and museum space. In 2011, the institute announced plans to construct an additional tower adjacent to the 415 Main Street site at 75 Ames Street. [17] On May 21, 2014, the Broad officially inaugurated a 375,000-square-foot research building at 75 Ames Street in Cambridge’s Kendall Square. [18] The new facility has 15 floors, 11 of which are occupied, and has LEED gold certification. As of July 2014, it has around 800 occupants.


Between 2009 and 2012, the operating revenue of the institute was approximately $200 million, with 55% of that coming from federal grants. [19] The Broad Foundation (Eli and Edythe Broad) has provided $700 million in funding to the Broad Institute as of February 2014. [20]

The Klarman Family Foundation provided a $32.5 million grant to Broad to study cellular processes in 2012. [21] In October 2013, Fundación Carlos Slim (the Carlos Slim Foundation) of Mexico announced a $74 million grant to Broad Institute for the SIGMA2 consortium. [22]

In July 2014, coinciding with the publication of a new study on the genetics of schizophrenia, [23] the Broad Institute received a $650 million gift from the Stanley Family Foundation, one of the largest private gifts ever for scientific research. [24] [25] [26]

On October 10, 2017, it was reported that Deerfield Management Co. was giving $50 million to the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard to support biology research. [27]


Since 2010, the Broad Institute has been listed on the Boston Globe's Top Places to Work. The 2014 report from Thomson Reuters' ScienceWatch entitled "The World's Most Influential Scientific Minds" recognized that 12 out of the 17 "hottest" researchers in science belonged to genomics, and 4 out of the top 5 were affiliated with the Broad Institute. [28] Additionally, Stacey B. Gabriel of the Broad Institute topped this entire list. Twenty-eight researchers from Broad Institute have been recognized on ISI's Highly Cited, a database that recognizes the top 250 researchers in multiple areas of science. [29]

Eric S. Lander, Stuart L. Schreiber and Edward M. Scolnick are members of the National Academy of Sciences [30] and the Institute of Medicine. David Altshuler is a member of the Institute of Medicine. [31] Feng Zhang received the 2014 Alan T. Waterman Award from the National Science Foundation, its highest honor that annually recognizes an outstanding researcher under the age of 35, for contributions to both optogenetics and CRISPR technology. [32]

In biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology areas, the institute was ranked #1 in the "Mapping Excellence" report, a survey that assessed high-impact publications. [33]

For its architecture, Broad's 415 Main Street building architects Elkus Manfredi Architects of Boston and AHSC McLellan Copenhagen of San Francisco received high honors in the 2007 Laboratory of the Year competition of the R&D Magazine. [34]

Related Research Articles

Susan Lindquist American geneticist

Susan Lee Lindquist, ForMemRS was an American professor of biology at MIT specializing in molecular biology, particularly the protein folding problem within a family of molecules known as heat-shock proteins, and prions. Lindquist was a member and former director of the Whitehead Institute and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2010.

David Baltimore Nobel Prize winner

David Baltimore is an American biologist, university administrator, and 1975 Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine, he is a Professor of Biology at the California Institute of Technology, where he served as president from 1997 to 2006. He also serves as the director of the Joint Center for Translational Medicine, which joins Caltech and UCLA in a program to translate basic science discoveries into clinical realities. He served as president of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) from 1997 to 2006, and is currently the President Emeritus and Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Biology at Caltech. He also served as president of Rockefeller University from 1990 to 1991, and was president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2007. Baltimore has profoundly influenced international science, including key contributions to immunology, virology, cancer research, biotechnology, and recombinant DNA research, through his accomplishments as a researcher, administrator, educator, and public advocate for science and engineering. He has trained many doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows, several of whom have gone on to notable and distinguished research careers. In addition to the Nobel Prize, he has received a number of awards, including the U.S. National Medal of Science in 1999. Baltimore currently sits on the Board of Sponsors for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and is a consultant to the Science Philanthropy Alliance.

Whitehead Institute research institute affiliated with MIT

Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research is a non-profit research institute located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States that is dedicated to improving human health through basic biomedical research. It was founded as a fiscally independent entity from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where its 17 members all hold faculty appointments in the MIT Department of Biology or the MIT Department of Bioengineering. Two members are National Medal of Science recipients; ten have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences; and four have been elected to the National Academy of Medicine; four are Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators.

Eric Lander American academic

Eric Steven Lander, a mathematician and geneticist, is a Professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Professor of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School, former member of the Whitehead Institute, and founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. He was co-chair of U.S. President Barack Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. He is a 1987 MacArthur Fellow.

Eli Broad is an American entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is the only individual to have created two Fortune 500 companies in different industries. As of June 2019, Forbes ranked Broad as the 233rd wealthiest person in the world and the 78th wealthiest person in the United States, with an estimated net worth of $6.7 billion. Broad is well known for his philanthropic commitment to public K-12 education, scientific and medical research and the visual and performing arts.

George Church (geneticist) American geneticist

George McDonald Church is an American geneticist, molecular engineer, and chemist. As of 2015, he is also known as Robert Winthrop Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at Harvard and MIT, and was a founding member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard. As of March 2017, Church serves as a member of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' Board of Sponsors.

Vamsi K Mootha is an American physician-scientist and computational biologist of Indian descent. He is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Professor of Systems Biology and Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and is based in the Department of Molecular Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also a Senior Associate Member of the Broad Institute.

Gerald Mayer Rubin is an American biologist, notable for pioneering the use of transposable P elements in genetics, and for leading the public project to sequence the Drosophila melanogaster genome. Related to his genomics work, Rubin's lab is notable for development of genetic and genomics tools and studies of signal transduction and gene regulation. Rubin also serves as a Vice President of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Executive Director of the Janelia Research Campus.

Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research

The Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT is a cancer research center affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. The Institute is one of eight National Cancer Institute-designated basic research centers in the United States.

John Quackenbush American bioinformatician

John Quackenbush is an American computational biologist and genome scientist. He is a professor of biostatistics and computational biology and a professor of cancer biology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), as well as the director of its Center for Cancer Computational Biology (CCCB). Quackenbush also holds an appointment as a professor of computational biology and bioinformatics in the Department of Biostatistics at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH).

Ting Wu American geneticist

Chao-ting Wu is an American molecular biologist. After training at Harvard Medical School in genetics with William Gelbart, at Stanford Medical School with David Hogness, and in a fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital in molecular biology, Wu began her independent academic career as an assistant professor in Anatomy and Cellular Biology and then Genetics at Harvard Medical School in 1993. After a period as Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Molecular Medicine at the Boston Children's Hospital, she returned to the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School as a full professor in 2007.

Julia Bailey-Serres is professor of genetics, director of the Center for Plant Cell Biology, and a member of the Institute for Integrative Genome Biology at the University of California, Riverside. Her accomplishments include the pioneering of methods for profiling the "translatomes" of discrete cell-types of plants and identification of a homeostatic sensor of oxygen deprivation in plants.

Jill P. Mesirov is an American mathematician, computer scientist, and computational biologist who was the associate director and chief informatics officer at the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. She also holds an adjunct faculty position at Boston University.

The Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard is a multi-disciplinary biomedical research program located in Cambridge, Massachusetts that studies the biological basis of psychiatric disease.

Shaun M. Purcell is a British genetic epidemiologist and statistical geneticist.

Joel Naom Hirschhorn is an American human geneticist, pediatrician, and endocrinologist. He is an institute member of the Broad Institute, as well as the Concordia Professor of Pediatrics and Professor of Genetics at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He has had his own laboratory at Boston Children's Hospital since 2001. He became the Chief of the Division of Endocrinology at Boston Children's Hospital in 2018. He is known for his research on the genetics of complex human traits, such as height.

Jordan Wassertheil Smoller is an American psychiatric geneticist. He is Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. He also serves as Trustees Endowed Chair in Psychiatric Neuroscience and Director of the Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital. His other positions include being an associate member of the Broad Institute and vice president of the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics. His laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital, a division of the Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit, aims to determine the genetic basis of psychiatric disorders in both children and adults. In 2013, he was the lead author of a study examining genetic loci associated with an increased risk of five psychiatric disorders. Smoller is the son of Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller.

Kira S. Makarova is an Estonian, Russian-educated, and American evolutionary biologist known for her research on the biology of CRISPR and Cas9. She is a staff scientist at the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Edythe Broad is an American art collector and philanthropist. With her husband Eli, she has collected "about 2000 pieces of art valued at more than $2 billion" and supported arts initiatives such as the Los Angeles Opera and The Broad.


  1. "Nonprofit Report for BROAD INSTITUTE INC". Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  2. "Broad Institute-MIT & Harvard". Manta Media Inc.
  3. "Broad Institute created: Links Harvard, M.I.T., and others in interdisciplinary initiative in genomics and medicine". Harvard Gazette. 2003-07-17. Retrieved 2007-12-25.
  4. "A Brief History of the ICCB-Longwood Screening Facility". Harvard Medical School. Archived from the original on 2007-12-19. Retrieved 2007-12-25.
  5. "Broads' Dollars Doubled". Broad Institute. 2005-11-30.
  6. "Philanthropists Eli and Edythe L. Broad make unprecedented gift to endow the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT".
  7. "Broad Institute launches next decade with new $100M gift".
  8. "Core Faculty Labs" . Retrieved 2014-05-21.
  9. "195 faculty members from Harvard, MIT and the Harvard teaching hospitals appointed as Broad associate members". Broad Communications. Retrieved 2014-05-21.
  10. Broad Programs, Broad Institute official website (retrieved October 30, 2012).
  11. Broad Platforms, Broad Institute official site (retrieved October 24, 2013).
  12. "Data Visualization Initiative". Broad Institute. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
  13. "Broad Institute welcomes 135 associate members", Broad Institute (November 4, 2011).
  14. Broad Institute official website, Retrieved 10-30-2012.
  15. "Steven E. Hyman, M.D.", Broad Institute. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
  16. "Contact - Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard".
  17. Lipinski, Pearle. "Broad plans extension in Cambridge Center" . Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  18. "Broad Institute celebrates opening of new building" . Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  19. "Broad Institute Annual Report 2012" (PDF). Broad Institute. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  20. "PHILANTHROPY 50 - No. 15: Eli and Edythe Broad". The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  21. "Broad Institute Receives $32.5 Million From Klarman Family Foundation". Philanthropy News Digest. Foundation Center. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  22. "Carlos Slim Foundation Awards $74 Million to Broad Institute Genomics Center". Philanthropy News Digest. Foundation Center. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  23. Weintraub, Karen. "Schizophrenia has clear genetic ties, new study finds". USA Today. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  24. "Spark for a Stagnant Search: A $650 Million Donation for Psychiatric Research". New York Times. New York Times. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  25. Fidler, Ben. "Stanley Gives Broad Institute $650M Gift For Psych Research". Xconomy. Xconomy. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  26. Nickisch, Curt. "Inspired By Family Illness, Philanthropist Gives $650 Million For Psychiatric Research". WBUR's Common Health. WBUR. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  27. Rockoff, Jonathan D. (October 10, 2017). "Deerfield Management to Fund Biology Research at Broad Institute". Wall Street Journal . New York City, New York, United States. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
  28. "THE WORLD'S MOST INFLUENTIAL SCIENTIFIC MINDS 2014" (PDF). Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  29. "ISI Highly Cited". Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  30. "NAS Members". National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  31. "IOM Members". IOM Members. Institute of Medicine. Retrieved 30 June 2014.[ permanent dead link ]
  32. "The National Science Foundation names Feng Zhang its Alan T. Waterman Awardee for 2014". NSF. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  33. "The World's Best (And Worst) Scientific Institutions Ranked By Discipline". Technology Review. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  34. "R&D Magazine Lab of the Year Winners". Retrieved 30 June 2014.

Further reading

Coordinates: 42°22′04″N71°05′13″W / 42.36789°N 71.08703°W / 42.36789; -71.08703