The Broad Institute has >25 years of experience in executing large-scale genomics projects to accelerate discovery in biomedical research. From the first human genome project to annually sequencing >100,000 human genomes, our commitment to, and track-record of, high quality data generation, data analysis, and collaborative science has been unwavering.
Yet in all that time, we as a genomics team, have never had a blog! In the interest of early adoption of burgeoning means of communicating science, we’re happy to get into this blogging thing 😉
Kidding aside, a refresh in our website design and management means we have an opportunity now to share news in a different way. With all the exciting things happening in genomics right now (new technologies, new applications) we thought a more real time means to share our observations and early data would be of interest to some in this community.
All that said, we don’t have a fancy social media team (no TSA level instagram presence for us) nor a staff of dedicated writers (though we hold out hope that Chat GPT may eventually do a lot of the heavy lifting (jk)) to commit to keeping this content fresh. If it seems like no-one is really interested in what we say here, maybe it won’t persist. If it does become a useful medium to share lessons learned and insights we will do our best to keep it going.
So, our commitment for the next few months is to post something every few weeks (or more frequently if there is something to say). After that time we will review engagement using whatever analytics this new platform affords and make a data-informed decision.
What group does this blog represent? As you may or may not know, the Broad Institute is a large biomedical research institution that is independent of, but affiliated with, MIT, Harvard, and affiliated hospitals. The Institution is structured as a set of scientific programs (e.g. Cancer program, Medical and Population Genetics Program, Infectious Disease Program, etc) and technology platforms (e.g. Genomics Platform, Genetic Perturbation Platform, Proteomics Platform, etc). The Genomics Platform is the largest of the technology platforms, with about 250 people. Our mission is to accelerate biological research and improve human health. We apply technologies (mostly but not exclusively genomic technologies) to a range of application areas to serve our scientific community who are making insights into the mechanisms of human disease and identifying paths toward therapeutics.
Our group also encompasses a clinical lab, currently named Clinical Research Sequencing Platform (CRSP) – which is not a super useful name and will change soon (more on that in future posts). CRSP is a CLIA-licensed, CAP-accredited clinical laboratory that supports clinical research, clinical trials, and clinical diagnostics. CRSP is a separate entity but is wholly-owned by the Broad Institute. The clinical lab also sits within our larger genomics platform group so it is staffed by the same people, uses the same instruments, etc. It is through this clinical lab that we processed the 37+M SARS-CoV2 diagnostic RT-PCR tests and that we continue to process thousands of whole genome sequencing for the All of Us project, and clinical global diversity arrays for the eMERGE IV project.
Important note for this blog: Posts do not equal endorsements. Broad has a strict policy against endorsement of for profit companies. Having said that, we do feel it is part of our duty to share what we can about our experiences with new technologies (particularly new sequencing technologies) with the community as we are often fortunate to have these new platforms first. Sometimes we may be restricted as part of early-access agreements or confidentiality agreements, but when we can we hope to share some early data on what we are seeing so you don’t just have to take the company’s word for how their box performs.