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.
April 11, 2013
In a surprising finding that helps explain fundamental behaviors of normal and diseased cells, Whitehead Institute scientists have discovered a set of powerful gene regulators dubbed “super-enhancers” that control cell state and identity.
Genetics + Genomics
May 2, 2013
Using a bacteria-based technique, Whitehead Institute Founding Member Rudolf Jaenisch has efficiently created mouse models with multiple gene mutations in a matter of weeks.
January 7, 2013
In an approach with the potential to aid therapeutic vaccine development, Whitehead Institute scientists have shown that enzymatically modified antibodies can be used to generate highly targeted, potent responses from cells of the immune system.
Development + Function
June 19, 2012
A team of Whitehead Institute and MIT scientists has shown that zebrafish can be a useful tool for studying the genes that contribute to such disorders.
May 30, 2013
Whitehead Institute researchers have identified a protein complex that, when mutated, sends the master growth regulatory pathway known as mTORC1 into overdrive. Researchers believe that mutations in this complex could serve as biomarkers to predict response to rapamycin treatment in cancer patients.
Stem Cells +
September 13, 2012
New genetic markers identified by researchers at Whitehead Institute and MIT could help make the process for reprogramming regular body cells into pluripotent stem cells more efficient, allowing scientists to predict which treated cells will successfully become pluripotent.