Broad Institute launches $300M Schmidt Center to merge AI, biology and a slew of business partnerships

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard has launched a brand new, main initiative to help machine-learning-powered analysis into the life sciences.

With a $150 million endowment present courtesy of the previous Google CEO and his spouse, the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Center will function a house for a worldwide community connecting tutorial and business researchers throughout a number of scientific disciplines—with the intention of doubtless creating a brand new one by merging tech, biology and the target of enhancing human well being.

Based on the Broad Institute’s campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the middle hopes to capitalize on the widespread adoption of massive information and cloud computing in healthcare R&D alongside parallel developments in DNA sequencing, single-cell evaluation and digital imaging.

“The pandemic has shown us that prioritizing science, innovation, and research is one of the greatest investments we can make in our future,” said Eric Schmidt, who additionally serves on the Broad Institute’s board.

“Beginning with its origins in the human genome project and its extension into statistical genetics and single-cell genomics, the Broad Institute has excelled at connecting the world’s best scientists and software engineers and equipping them with the right tools to seek answers to questions previously thought impossible,” he mentioned.

The Schmidts’ $150 million present—marking the most important from the pair’s philanthropic initiative, Schmidt Futures—may even be matched with an extra $150 million endowment from The Broad Foundation.

The middle itself might be co-directed by Caroline Uhler, an affiliate professor {of electrical} engineering and laptop science at MIT, and Broad’s chief information officer, Anthony Philippakis. 

It additionally plans to collect expertise from MIT, Harvard and its instructing hospitals and to associate with the Broad’s established synthetic intelligence work, together with the Models, Inference & Algorithms Initiative and the Machine Learning for Health effort.

“By connecting clinicians with biotechnologists and data scientists trained in diverse areas—from mathematics to computer science, electrical engineering and computational biology—we can begin to gain unprecedented insights into the biology of cells, tissues and organisms,” Uhler mentioned.

The program may even construct upon the Broad’s present know-how partnerships with Bayer, IBM, Intel and Verily and herald a brand new set of collaborators, together with: Mila, the Quebec AI Institute; the European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems; the Oxford Big Data Institute; and The Alan Turing Institute—in addition to connections with the Mayo Clinic, Geisinger, Genentech, AstraZeneca, Novartis, DeepMind, Google Research and Microsoft.

“Learning the programs of life will require new and collaborative approaches to creating data platforms, analytical tools and biotechnologies,” Philippakis mentioned. “By bringing them together, we can nucleate discoveries at the interface of biology and machine learning, discoveries that may ultimately transform medicine and impact the lives of many suffering from disease.”

“The life sciences are in the midst of a data revolution,” Philippakis added. “This is a unique moment in time, one where we can bring the modern tools of machine learning to bear on questions of fundamental importance to biology and medicine.”

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