Transcript of remarks announcing the establishment of The Broad Institute

Delivered by Charles M. Vest, President, MIT


Thank you, Sue, both for your hospitality this morning, and for your extraordinary leadership of the Whitehead Institute. We're all very, very grateful.

Today, we are here to announce the establishment of the Broad Institute. The agreements have been signed, the first check has been delivered, we're all here shaking hands and getting on to advancing medical science.

We're here today because of Eli and Edye Broad. Their philanthropic commitment to advancing science and medicine has enabled us to join forces to take the next great step in biomedicine. In the Broad Institute, we will create a comprehensive set of tools based on genomics, and we will make these tools widely available, so that they will drive advances in medical science, and, ultimately, in the practice of medicine.

The vision of this great scientific venture is first and foremost that of Eric Lander. And we are very grateful for the trust that the Broads have placed in Eric, and in our institutions. As Eric will explain, and as Sue has said, this is an extraordinary moment in the history of science, as we begin working to realize the promise of our newly acquired knowledge of the human genome.

But this scientific and medical adventure requires a new kind of academic organization, one of unusual intellectual breadth and scale and scope.

We need a new style of doing basic science, that is based on highly advanced technology and computation, and that is both informed by and contributes to the practice of medicine. This requires that science, engineering, computation, and medicine work hand in hand. We can do this; we will do this.

The Broads' magnificent financial support will unleash the collective intellectual firepower, technological capabilities, and medical expertise of our institutions. It will build a new level of collaboration and synergy among us. We will not only do the science, but in the process of doing the science, we will train the next generation of scientists and engineers and doctors, who will define the future of their fields. This is the beauty of having the Broad Institute as an integral part of our university communities.

I'm also pleased this morning to recognize that Senator Kennedy, Senator Kerry, and Congressman Michael Capuano have all sent representatives to be with us. This reminds us, of course, of the huge federal investment in biomedical research that has been absolutely essential to creating the environment in which entities like the Broad Institute can flourish. I'd also like to note the presence with us today of Bob Healy, the City Manager of Cambridge.

And finally, to say that the Broad Institute will be a critical element in assuring that Boston and Cambridge region will remain the epicenter of modern biomedical science and research. This will ultimately improve human health and it will also strengthen our regional and national economy.

Eli and Edye, thank you again for this wonderful opportunity, and for your extraordinary leadership as philanthropists. We are all committed to realizing your vision and your humanitarian goals.


Topics: Health sciences and technology, Administration

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