The human heart requires a complex ensemble of specialized cell types to perform its essential function. A greater knowledge of the intricate cellular milieu of the heart is critical to increase our understanding of cardiac homeostasis and pathology. As recent advances in low input RNA-sequencing have allowed definitions of cellular transcriptomes at single cell resolution at scale, here we have…
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For the last eight years, the Genome Aggregation Database (gnomAD) Consortium (and its predecessor, the Exome Aggregation Consortium, or ExAC), has been working with geneticists around the world to compile and study more than 125,000 exomes and 15,000 whole genomes from populations around the world. Now, in seven papers published in Nature, Nature Communications, and Nature Medicine, gnomAD Consortium scientists describe their first set of discoveries from…
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One of the perks of an academic’s pre-pandemic life was the chance, at least once a week, to take a break from problem sets and proofs, and walk down the hall or across campus to sit in on cutting-edge research presented by invited experts from around the world. Offered through a department’s regular seminar series, these talks were also opportunities…
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Two of the most common forms of heart disease are heart failure, in which the organ, often fatally, becomes too weak to pump enough blood throughout the body, and arrhythmias, where the heart beats abnormally. Identifying genetic factors underlying these disorders has been challenging, but two large genetic studies have taken a new approach and found hundreds of regions in…
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MGH Research Scholars Stand Tall against COVID-19

With the speed and flexibility of elite athletes, scientists in the MGH Research Scholars program are moving quickly to create solutions for the most pressing problems of the COVID-19 crisis. Thanks to the unrestricted support from the MGH Research Scholars program, more than a dozen researchers pivoted in recent weeks to work on scientific solutions to help control the pandemic. Launched…
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Scientific publishers, universities, librarians, and open-access (OA) advocates are waiting anxiously to see whether the Trump administration will end a long-standing policy and require that every scholarly article produced with U.S. funding be made immediately free to all. Such a mandate has long been fiercely opposed by some publishers and scientific societies that depend on subscription revenues from journals. But…
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Just three months ago, Alex K. Shalek and Jose Ordovas-Montanes were broadly studying single cell responses to inflammation, cancer, and various infections. Then COVID-19 arrived. Institute member Shalek and associate member Ordovas-Montanes of the Klarman Cell Observatory at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard quickly pivoted their research. Now, they are using their single-cell tools to learn which cell types SARS-CoV-2 attacks,…
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MIT scientists have identified a potential new strategy for treating Fragile X syndrome, a disorder that is the leading heritable cause of intellectual disability and autism. In a study of mice, the researchers showed that inhibiting an enzyme called GSK3 alpha reversed many of the behavioral and cellular features of Fragile X. The small-molecule compound has been licensed for further…
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Lawreen Connors, PhD, Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, has been named the Charles J. Brown Research Professor in Amyloidosis, effective July 1, and established by the estate of Charles J. Brown. Dr. Connors received dual undergraduate degrees in Chemistry and Mathematics from Boston College, a master’s degree in Chemistry from Tufts University, and doctoral degree in Biochemistry from Boston…
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Results from a study led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital may help to improve the diagnosis and treatment of allergies, pointing to a potential marker of these conditions and a new therapeutic strategy. The research is published in Nature. Nearly one third of the world’s population suffers from allergies. These conditions are caused by certain antibodies—called IgE antibodies—that bind to…
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