Skip to main content
Local News

Five Things to Know About the Ragon Institute

By July 31, 2020No Comments

The Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard is a leading institution in infectious disease and immunology research and has been a crucial partner of Massachusetts General Hospital since its inception.

The Ragon has long been recognized as a leader in HIV/AIDS research, but since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Ragon researchers have pivoted to apply their expertise to SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19.

Here are five things to know:

number 1

The Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard is named after Terry and Susan Ragon, whose foundation, the Phillip T. and Susan M. Ragon Foundation, provided for the founding of the Ragon Institute in 2009 with a donation of $100M and the endowment of the Institute with a donation of $200M in 2019.

Since then, the Ragon has built a unique infrastructure that supports cross-disciplinary research across Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard, MIT and other academic institutions and hospitals, attracted diverse scientific talent and has supported collaborative research across a spectrum of diseases of global importance

number 2

The director and founder of the Ragon is Bruce D. Walker, MD. Dr. Walker has spent his career studying HIV and founded the Ragon Institute to bring scientists, engineers, and clinicians together in interdisciplinary pursuit of better treatments and an effective vaccine for HIV.

number 3

The Ragon Institute has six priority research areas: HIV/AIDS, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Global Infectious Disease, Basic and Applied Immunology, Clinical Studies and Vaccine Development. Some of the center’s research takes place in Durban, South Africa, the center of the HIV epidemic.

number 4

The Ragon Institute has a promising HIV vaccine in a clinical efficacy trial in Africa, as well as a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine expected to start clinical trials in the fall of 2020.

The Ragon Institute helped lead a coordinated response to COVID-19 as part of the Massachusetts Consortium on Pathogen Readiness. Using their immunology and infectious disease expertise, they began to study SARS-CoV-2 when the genome was first released in January 2020. Ragon labs are leading COVID-19 immune response, clinical, and antibody studies, as well as engaging in broad collaborations, both locally and globally.