A good environment for sustainability research

Whitehead Institute scientists work to combat climate change.

Plant growing through cracked earth


From floods to forest fires to droughts, the consequences of climate change are affecting people and ecosystems around the globe, and these events will only grow more abundant in the coming decades. Researchers in many scientific fields are studying this complex problem from different angles. Whitehead Institute primarily focuses on biomedical research, and yet in recent years researchers in several labs here have discovered ways in which their work might contribute to climate resilience and sustainability. Scientists here are applying their skills to problems of climate change and sustainability in medicine, agriculture, and beyond. Learn more about their work in the stories below.



Maintaining food security in the face of climate change is a complex, multifaceted problem of global importance, and so researchers are tackling it from many different angles. Whitehead Institute Member Mary Gehring is starting to work on ways to engineer crops that can better survive the effects of climate change and continue to produce high yields with high nutritional value.

The Whitehead Initiative on Biology, Health, and Climate Change (WIBHC), launched in 2021. It is a multidisciplinary program that explores the biological and health effects of climate change and that builds the foundations for biomedical and biotech interventions that could help prevent, mitigate, or treat detrimental impacts on human health.