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Midsummer Nights' Science at the Broad: Unweaving the Circuitry of Human Disease

  • Jul 24, 2013 · 5:30 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

Summer is here! And it's time once again for Midsummer Nights' Science at the Broad Institute. Midsummer Nights' Science is an annual lecture series that explores key advances in genomic research. This lecture series is held each summer, and is free and open to the general public.

Lectures start at 6:00. We'll gather outside starting at 5:30, then go in and get seats before the lecture starts. The organizers will be wearing their nerdy Meetup pins.  Afterwards, we'll reconvene in the lobby, then head to one of the nearby eateries for discussion and socializing over food and drinks.

NOTE: There is no RSVP limit for the Meetup, but registration with the Broad is required. RSVPing on the Nerd Fun event page does not guarantee you a seat.  Be sure to register, as these lectures often fill up.

You can register here:


Best way to get there is the T - take the Red Line to the Kendall/MIT stop, and go a few blocks west down Main Street. The Broad is between Ames Street and Galileo Galilei Way. If you plan to drive, parking is available for a $7 evening rate at the Cambridge Center East and Cambridge Center North garages - for details go to and search for parking in and around Technology Square in Cambridge (make sure you get the right garage though, because the others are quite expensive).

Hope to see you there :)


2013 Lecture Schedule:

Wednesday, July 10, 6-7pm
The road to vital therapy
Stuart Schreiber, Jay Bradner, Aly Shamji, Mike Foley, and Brian Hubbard

Insights from human genomes reveal hints to basic questions about our origins and evolutionary history. But can this focus on human biology provide guideposts to revolutionary therapies? Leaders from the Broad’s Center for the Science of Therapeutics (CSofT) will discuss the institute’s current efforts and future aspirations for therapeutics research. The panel will describe "chemistry-enabled, patient-based drug discovery" and will lead an interactive discussion on how we might mitigate suffering from disease in the future.


Wednesday, July 17, 6-7pm
Exploring the genome’s "dark matter":
What the frontiers of genomic research are revealing about cancer
Levi Garraway

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, accounting for more than 9,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Finding its biological underpinnings – the triggers that allow cancer cells to divide indefinitely – is essential to understanding the disease and conceiving of potential treatments. Levi Garraway will discuss his recent work on the genes involved in melanoma growth, and will talk more generally about how genomic research is helping to reveal some of cancer’s long-held secrets.


Wednesday, July 24, 6-7pm
Unweaving the circuitry of human disease
Manolis Kellis

Countless regions of the human genome have been mapped by genetic studies in recent years. Manolis Kellis will discuss these efforts to build high-resolution activity maps of gene and regulatory regions across hundreds of cell types. These maps are bringing the genome to life, revealing possible culprits in human disease, and revealing the circuitry likely responsible when the genome’s regulatory system goes wrong. Understanding these mechanisms is essential to the development of effective therapeutics.


Wednesday, July 31, 6-7pm
The coelacanth, its evolution, and how fish first came onto land.
Jessica Alfoldi

The African coelacanth, whose genome was recently sequenced, is a highly unusual fish that closely resembles the fossils of its 300-million-year-old ancestors. Scientists have debated for decades about whether it truly is a slow-evolving fish, and how closely related it is to our own ancestor – the fish that first came up onto land. Jessica Alfoldi will discuss the history of the enigmatic coelacanth and what its genome has taught us about our own evolution.

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  • Richard

    The speaker provided a lot of valuable information at a level of understanding that was appropriate for the audience!

    July 25, 2013

  • Doreen C.

    Interesting but intense lecture. Amazing to see how far genotyping has come. A little difficult to keep up with the speaker at times, but frequent revisiting of the main points/ideas helped. Small group at dinner after was fun too.

    July 25, 2013

  • Paul M

    I enjoyed it! I wish he'd had another hour to finish up, he had a lot of material left...

    July 24, 2013

  • Bruce H.

    Heard today : without mutations we might be bacteria , errors are necessary for chance and change

    1 · July 24, 2013

    • John

      We are mutants :>

      July 24, 2013

  • Michael

    I have again an extra registration. First come first serve.

    July 24, 2013

  • Dr G.

    Science brings people together.

    July 22, 2013

  • Priya

    I think all of these lectures are already full according to the Broad website. Is that correct?

    July 13, 2013

    • Tom M.

      That's what I discovered after registering and filling out their multi-part form.

      1 · July 18, 2013

    • Paul M

      Despite the online registration being full, they just signed me up at the door last week. There were a fair number of empty seats.

      July 21, 2013

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