Research Achievements

Whitehead Institute research has delivered new understandings to fundamental problems in biomedicine and transformed the landscape of contemporary biology.

Over the years, Institute scientists have focused on human genetics, cancer, heart disease, immunology, and developmental biology. Whitehead was the core institution for one of the six original National Cooperative Vaccine Development Groups for AIDS (established by the National Institutes of Health to speed the development of an AIDS vaccine).

By the mid-1990s, the Whitehead/MIT Center for Genome Research emerged as the leading center for the newly organized U.S. Human Genome Project. The Center made the single largest contribution to the completion of the project by sequencing one-third of the reference human genome.

In recent years, Institute scientists have been recognized for their advances in stem cell research, protein folding, cancer stem cells, regenerative biology, disease modeling, non-coding RNAs and more.

For a glimpse at Whitehead contributions to these and other fields, click on the topical tabs above.


Cancer

Illustration of woman shooting at a cancer monster

JULY 11, 2018

SHARPENING THE EDGES OF CANCER CHEMOTHERAPY

Whitehead team deploys CRISPR tools to better understand and uncover ways of improving methotrexate, a popular chemotherapy drug.


 


Genetics + Genomics

Illustration of person pulling down a segment of DNA

JANUARY 16, 2019

REVISING THE TEXTBOOK ON INTRONS

Whitehead Institute researchers uncover a group of introns in yeast with surprising stability and function


Immune System

Astrocytes infected with Zika virus

JUNE 19, 2018

STEM CELL-DERIVED ZIKA MODEL SUGGESTS MECHANISMS UNDERLYING MICROCEPHALY

Infected microglia cells can ferry Zika virus to developing brain

Nervous System
Development + Function

Illustration of a hand assembling a brain jigsaw puzzle

OCTOBER 9, 2018

ONLY IN YOUR HEAD

Researchers uncover how a ubiquitously expressed mutation causes a brain-specific disorder.


Protein Function

Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) cells lose form and fail to replicate after degradation of GAPM proteins.

January 23, 2019

How one parasite stays in shape

Researchers in Whitehead Institute Member Sebastian Lourido’s lab identify the linchpin proteins of parasite Toxoplasma gondii’s cytoskeleton.

Stem Cells +
Therapeutic Cloning

Regenerating planarians

NOVEMBER 27, 2018

UNCOVERING THE “MUST-HAVES” OF TISSUE REGENERATION

Biological program triggered by large injuries not required for regeneration, Whitehead Institute team finds.

© Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research              455 Main Street          Cambridge, MA 02142