The institute was founded to seize the opportunity that arose from the Human Genome Project -- the international effort that successfully deciphered the entire human genetic code. Despite that accomplishment, scientists knew they still lacked a clear understanding of the genetic basis of disease, and how to translate that understanding into more effective prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
To reach these goals, it was clear that a new type of research institution had to be created. The traditional academic model of individual laboratories working within their specific disciplines was not designed to meet the emerging challenges of biomedicine. To gain a comprehensive view of the human genome and biological systems, they instead had to work in a highly integrated fashion.
That meant working in nimble teams that combined biology, chemistry, mathematics, computation, and engineering with medical science and clinical research. It also meant working at a scale usually seen in industry, with access to world-class infrastructure. At the same time, this institution had to foster an atmosphere of creativity, risk-taking, and open sharing of data and research. Finally, this new model needed to seek collaborations beyond its borders.
Broad Institute is an “experiment” in this new way of doing science. It spans some of Boston’s leading institutions (Harvard, MIT, and Harvard-affiliated hospitals) and scientific disciplines (biology, chemistry, medicine, computer science, and engineering). Today, the Broad community includes more than three thousand scientists, committed to advancing research in areas including infectious disease, cancer, psychiatric research, and cardiovascular disease.
Embedded in this new approach to doing science, are our values including: