Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }

Scientists at the Broad Institute, in Cambridge, MA, must have done a dance of joy this morning, having won some respite from the serious dearth of funding for biomedical research. Eli and Edythe L. Broad, philanthropists who launched the institute in 2003 with $100 million in funding, announced a $400 million endowment this morning, bringing their total contribution to $600 million. (They contributed another $100 million in 2005.)

In the past few years, the Broad has spearheaded major genetic studies, identifying genes involved in diseases like diabetes, Crohn’s, and irritable bowel syndrome. Broad scientists have successfully isolated genetic links to diseases that have been resistant to genetic analysis, including schizophrenia, bipolar disease, and autism.

“Of all of our philanthropy, the Broad Institute has been the investment that has yielded the greatest returns,” said Eli Broad, founder of The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, in a press release from the Broad Institute. “This truly is a new way of doing science, and the Institute’s unique collaborative model for scientific research has resulted in remarkable accomplishments in a very short period of time. Although this is a large gift–the largest that we have ever made–it is only a fraction of what will be needed to unlock the enormous promise of biomedical research at MIT and Harvard. We are counting on others to step forward as partners in the next phase of this grand experiment. We are convinced that the genomics and biomedical work being conducted here by the world’s best and brightest scientists will ultimately lead to the cure and even the prevention of diseases.”

An article in the New York Times reflects on the unique joint nature of the institute:

The Broad Institute is a rare joint effort between two fiercely competitive institutions, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While Broad has its own scientists, most of the researchers working there are linked to other institutions around the world.

Broad offers them a place to collaborate while maintaining their positions elsewhere and draws together teams of mathematicians, engineers, physicists and scientists from other disciplines to work toward common goals.

“This idea of breaking down the barriers so that scientists view Broad as a sort of free-trade zone for research has been fantastic,’ said Eric S. Lander, the founding director of the institute and a leader of the Human Genome Project, which sequenced the human genome.

A selection of Technology Review articles on research from the Broad Institute:

A New Genetic Globe

DNA Deletion Linked to Autism

Wired to Eat

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Tagged: Business, genetics, diseases, genetic analysis, biomedical research, Broad Institute

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me