Broad Institute Launches $150 Million Schmidt Center for Research in Machine Learning, Biology | News | The Harvard Crimson

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard introduced Thursday the launch of the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Center, which can intention to advertise human well being by integrating machine studying and the life sciences.

Funded by a $150 million endowment reward from former Google CEO Eric E. Schmidt and his spouse, businesswoman Wendy Schmidt, the Schmidt Center will carry collectively educational and industrial professionals from all over the world to conduct interdisciplinary analysis in knowledge science and biology.

The Schmidts’ reward will coincide with an extra $150 million contribution from the Broad Foundation to the Broad Institute’s common endowment. Eric Schmidt, who left Google in 2020 after 19 years and has an estimated internet value of roughly $19 billion, serves on the Broad Institute’s board of administrators.

The heart will collaborate with researchers from MIT, Harvard, and the Harvard educating hospitals, in addtion to international firms, together with Google Research and Microsoft.

“It’s a transformational moment for both medicine and biology,” mentioned Anthony A. Philippakis, co-director of the newly shaped heart.

Caroline Uhler, professor {of electrical} engineering and laptop science at MIT and fellow co-director of the brand new heart, mentioned the Schmidt Center’s creation is impressed by current revolutions in knowledge science and biology: the expansion of information applied sciences like cloud computing and machine studying, and advances in genome sequencing.

Philippakis mentioned he hopes efforts on the Schmidt Center will promote the switch of concepts between biology and machine studying — notably within the less-developed pipeline from life sciences to machine studying.

“The real success of the new center will be marked not by bringing ideas of machine learning into biology — that’s very much already happening and will happen with or without the Schmidt Center — but if we can see that the life sciences actually drives research in machine learning,” he mentioned.

Puneet Batra ’98, who leads the Machine Learning for Health group on the Broad Institute, mentioned the Schmidt Center’s founding comes at an “exceptional moment” for each biology and machine studying.

“What we’re already seeing is that this is attracting not just a lot of attention from machine learning people who usually might not think about biology, but it’s also attracting a lot of attention from the folks at, say, Longwood and Harvard Medical School,” Batra mentioned. “They’re excited about the possibility of machine learning transforming their own fields, and so everybody is just now starting to take a look and define what problems could really be tackled.”

According to Uhler, the Broad Institute is “uniquely fertile ground” for the interdisciplinary collaboration the Schmidt Center goals to advertise as a result of it already has a strongly-connected community of biologists, biotechnologists, and computational scientists.

Aviv Regev — head of Genentech analysis and early improvement and former Chair of the Faculty and first recruited core member on the Broad Institute — wrote in an emailed assertion that the Broad powers new advances by bridging academia and trade.

“During my time at the Broad, I helped to lay the foundation for the Schmidt Center,” she wrote. “I’m now at Genentech, and we look forward to collaborating with the Schmidt Center on research at the interface of the life sciences and computer science, including activities such as talent exchanges via internship programs and participation in public scientific seminars.”

The Schmidt Center will collaborate with researchers at Mayo Clinic, Geisinger Health System, AstraZeneca, Novartis, Google Research, and Microsoft, amongst quite a few others. Establishing connections between the brand new heart and trade is integral for the event of key well being interventions, per Philippakis.

“We really don’t want this to be just about papers in journals, but actually see the ideas and insights turned into things that are new therapies or better ways of caring for patients,” Philippakis mentioned. “And that impact often requires interactions with industry.”

—Staff author Ariel H. Kim could be reached at

—Staff author Anjeli R. Macaranas could be reached at


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