Nine Cambridge Center
The Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research is a non-profit, independent research and educational institution with pathfinding programs in cancer and AIDS research, structural biology, genetics, infectious disease research, developmental biology and transgenic science. Its mission is two-fold: improve human health and welfare and extend the boundaries of knowledge for future generations. The Whitehead is affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in its teaching activities but wholly independent in its governance, finances and research programs.
At groundbreaking ceremonies for the Institute in 1984, Lewis Thomas offered this description at Whitehead: "What we are observing is basic science at its best, moving along from one surprise to the next, capitalizing on surprise, following the new facts wherever the facts seem to lead, taking chances and making guesses all the way......The whole field of biomedical science is on the move, as never before in the long history of medicine."
Leading the way at the Institute is a world-renowned scientific faculty of twelve Members and three Associate Members. Six Whitehead Fellows, recent graduates of PhD or MD programs who are chosen for their outstanding research accomplishments, join them in conducting pioneering research programs. Each year, the Whitehead provides advanced scientific training to more than 300 visiting scientists, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and undergraduates from universities and research institutions around the world. Whitehead's growing alumni have gone on to become scientific leaders at prestigious institutions around the country.
The Whitehead Institute is an international leader in the Human Genome Project, the effort to identify all of the DNA letters that make up instructions for a human being. The Whitehead Institute's Center for Genomic Research is the largest federally funded center for genome mapping and sequencing and contributed one-third of the human genome sequence announced in June 2000. The Center offers worldwide access to its comprehensive genome data through its website.
The Institute also serves as a major resource for the biotechnology industry by licensing development rights on patents awarded for Whitehead discoveries. The Institute has more than fifty licensing agreements -- on products ranging from AIDS vaccine candidates to new robotics technologies -- with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies throughout the United States.
Another unique feature of the Whitehead Institute is the research facility itself. When the building was completed in July 1984, it represented state-of-the-art in science infrastructure. In 1996, a new wing increased research space by 45 percent, ensuring that Whitehead scientists continue to have the space and facilities they need to break new ground in the biomedical sciences.
In addition to its main building located at Nine Cambridge Center near Kendall Square, The Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research also occupies three additional sites in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Last Updated: 07-08-03