Meet Our Researchers


Institute Scientist, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Senior Director, Imaging Platform, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
The Question

It can take years for a drug for psychiatric disorders to reach clinical trials, let alone pass the trials with flying colors. My team wondered: Could we invent a more efficient method to test potential treatments, thereby de-risking the lengthy (and often pricey) drug-development process for industry?

The Approach

Collaborating with McLean Hospital, my team will use BroadIgnite funding to study skin cells from patients with four different psychiatric diseases: schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, and major depression. We will then use our CellProfiler software to learn how the cells of patients differ from those of unaffected individuals—and also how the cells differ among the four disease groups. This study could lead to the development of new therapeutics, since drug makers could efficiently test their potential drugs on cell lines derived from patient skin cells—well before clinical trials come into play.