Infectious disease

Infectious diseases are the leading killers in the developing world—and, as the Covid-19 pandemic made painfully clear, no one is immune. The Broad Institute is deeply committed to using the most advanced tools in genomics, the data sciences, and other fields to better understand the mechanisms driving infectious diseases, antibiotic resistance, and the function of the human microbiome. And, we are taking the same comprehensive, systematic approach as we do in other areas to improve diagnosis and treatment for individual patients and combat outbreaks.

Scientists within our Infectious Disease and Microbiome Program have been at the forefront of using viral genomics to detect and track emerging pathogens to guide public health interventions. During the Covid-19 pandemic, our viral genomics team developed new methods to detect emerging variants and collaborated closely with partners across the U.S. and Africa to share data, tools, and ideas, and empower public health decision-makers.

In parallel, Broad scientists are investigating the complex interactions between pathogens and the human hosts that determine whether the disease develops, how it progresses, and patient outcomes. Our recently launched Center for Integrated Solutions to Infectious Diseases is devoted to unraveling pathogen-host interactions with unprecedented molecular detail and developing powerful new weapons—laboratory tools, rapid diagnostics, and promising drug leads—to ensure that these research efforts have an immediate impact on patients.

We are seeking philanthropic partners in the following ongoing areas:

  • Creating scalable surveillance tools for monitoring the evolution and spread of infectious diseases.

  • Understanding the genetic and environmental factors that influence outcomes of individual patients.

  • Investigating the adaptations that occur as part of the complex host-pathogen dynamic, such as pathogen genetic evolution and host immune response.

  • Developing the technologies and tools that drive towards functional and mechanistic insight into infection and enable translation to patient interventions.

  • Developing more sensitive and rapid methods for diagnosing disease and characterizing infection to guide treatment and public health decision-making.

  • Creating new approaches to developing therapeutics, with a focus on emerging drug resistant strains of tuberculosis and other bacterial infections.

News coverage on our infectious disease research