Harvard University/Broad Institute

Harvard University provides the Consortium with expertise on methods of evolutionary adaptation in humans and pathogens. At the FAS Center for Systems Biology as well as the Broad Institute, both located in Cambridge MA, the Sabeti lab pursue signals of natural selection to identify their underlying functional trait and the mechanism of evolution (e.g. resistance to Lassa fever virus). They aim to understand how pathogens rapidly evolve, while studying the genetic diversity of pathogens guides long term intervention strategies.

The overarching goal of the FAS Center for Systems Biology is to combine a variety of experimental and theoretical approaches to find general principles that help to explain the structure, behavior and evolution of cells and organisms. Their faculty and Fellows span a wide range of disciplines, including biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, and engineering. The Center maintains extensive laboratory and computer resources in its core facilities, and a core staff to train, assist and collaborate with Harvard researchers wishing to use these resources.

The Broad Institute enables the sequencing of the Lassa virus genome. Scientists at the Broad engage in a wide variety of projects that cut across scientific disciplines and institutions. Among other things they aims to identify the molecular basis of major infectious diseases. Broad researchers are systematically defining the components in both pathogens and their hosts that enable pathogens to cause disease, knowledge that will bolster efforts to develop effective vaccines, rapid diagnostics, and new kinds of therapeutics. They apply next generation, high-throughput sequencing technologies to the creation of tailored sequencing pipelines for some of the world’s most deadly viruses, including Lassa fever.

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