Whitehead Institute Mission and Values
Since its founding in 1982, Whitehead Institute has been renowned for pioneering discoveries in fundamental biomedical science. In 2022, looking forward, Institute director Ruth Lehmann asked the Institute community to consider the overarching objectives and culture that would best empower bold, creative scientists to address the biology-based challenges humanity will face in coming decades.
The process of developing our mission and values—which engaged primary investigators, staff scientists, trainees, administrative staff and the board of directors—resulted in a contemporary restatement of our long-standing mission: It specifically articulates our purpose, who we are, what we do, and how we do it. We are excited to present this restatement of Whitehead Institute’s mission and of the values we deem essential to our success.
Whitehead Institute’s mission is to forge new frontiers in science, uncovering insights today that unlock the potential of tomorrow.
We are a biological research institute dedicated to making paradigm-shifting insights into the fundamental principles of life. Our advances in genetics and genomics are now enabling us to tackle the complexities of life with unprecedented depth and breadth. We do this work to benefit society—addressing challenges of global scope from disease to climate change. We cultivate a diverse, open community and foster a deeply curious and collaborative culture in which high-potential ideas are given the space to take shape.
These are the values guiding our work and the community we seek to sustain—
We seek to identify novel approaches and inventive solutions. We are proactive and nimble, unafraid to shift priorities and resources to face new challenges.
We strive to create a welcoming and familial environment, believing in reciprocity over competition. We treat others with dignity and respect—taking ownership over our individual actions and their impact. We embrace a diversity of people and ideas and encourage everyone’s voice to be heard.
We believe in breaking boundaries. We approach every challenge with boldness, rigor, and integrity. We don’t give up, learning from our mistakes and retooling when necessary.
We value a training environment that fosters curiosity, innovation, and open-mindedness. We believe that a collaborative training environment emboldens our community to make a meaningful impact on science and society.