Seeding the next generation of biomedical visionaries.

Whether it's bringing single-cell technologies to tackle HIV or launching a breast cancer research initiative, BroadIgnite supports the ideas that lead to biomedical breakthroughs.
Matching Gift Challenge
Many thanks to those of you who contributed to our end-of-the-year fundraising challenge! Together, we raised more than $170,000 (including a $100,000 match from an anonymous donor) to support early-career scientists involved in highly innovative, high-risk projects. These funds enabled us to name our first two BroadIgnite award recipients for 2020: Leif Ludwig and Alessandra Ianari. Thanks to you, Leif and Alessandra’s audacious research ideas, described below, will now achieve liftoff! 
New Award Recipients
Leif Ludwig: Hematology  

Stem cells are vital to human health. But we still don’t know the answers to some of the most basic questions about them—such as how many populate our bodies and how they change with age. Leif, a physician-scientist in the Regev Lab , intends to answer these questions by tracking lineages of mutations in human stem cells, similar to building a family tree, using genome sequencing. His work could open new doors for understanding how stem cells contribute to cancer and other blood-related diseases.   
Alessandra Ianari: Cancer Therapeutics 

Interactions between proteins—the tiny molecules that keep us alive—play a vital role in driving tumor growth, making them important targets for new drugs. However, they’ve been difficult to hit. Alessandra, a physician-scientist in the Sellers Lab , hopes to help solve this challenge by developing a technology that illuminates protein–protein interactions on a single-cell basis. This would allow researchers to identify how proteins engage and communicate with each other much faster and cheaper than current methods, thereby accelerating the pace of new drug discovery.
Project Update
Progress Update from Andres Colubri

Andres Colubri received a BroadIgnite grant in 2018 to develop a tool that allows doctors to rapidly share patient data—which is essential for stemming deadly disease outbreaks, like the current coronavirus epidemic—without endangering patient privacy. Last month, Andres completed a prototype of the tool: a mobile app, called ClinicApp, that enables medical professionals in low-resource settings to securely record and share patient information on their smart phone using a decentralized machine-learning platform. Andres is now collaborating with a renowned research institute and university in Switzerland, the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, to deploy ClinicApp within medical relief organizations, such as Doctors Without Borders. We look forward to keeping you updated as these developments unfold!
Save the Dates
May 18, 2020: Exclusive Videoconference
BroadIgnite is coming to a screen near you! On Monday, May 18, from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m., we will live stream a panel discussion with three past award recipients, who will discuss their work and answer any pressing questions you have about biomedicine. We will be sending e-mail invitations with more details in the coming weeks! 
June 3, 2020: BroadIgnite Annual Event
BroadIgnite will host its annual event on Wednesday, June 3 at 6:30 p.m. at The Hawthorne in Kenmore Square, Boston. This flagship event is a wonderful way to connect with the BroadIgnite community and see firsthand some of the exciting research projects you have supported. Stay tuned for a formal invitation! 
BroadIgnite Awardees in the Media
Elinor Karlsson , who received a BroadIgnite grant in 2017, was recently featured in The New York Times for her work debunking a popular theory about animal domestication. Read the article, titled “Why Are These Foxes Tame? Maybe They Weren’t So Wild to Begin With,” here —and a new Broad Q&A about her broader research interests. 
Viktor Adalsteinsson , also a 2017 awardee, appeared in Smithsonian Magazine for his work on blood biopsies—tests designed to replace invasive cancer biopsies by tracking fragments of tumor DNA shed in the blood. Check out what Viktor says about the benefits of this new technology in “How Simple Blood Tests Could Revolutionize Cancer Treatment,” here
Yonatan Grad received a BroadIgnite award in 2019 for his research on antibiotic-resistant disease in Namibia. A professor of immunology and infectious diseases at the Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health, Grad was quoted in a recent Boston Globe story regarding the spread of COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus.
Contact
Abby Kussell Hopper
abbyhopp@broadinstitute.org