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The Boston Globe

Opinion

The Podium

Innovation at the research institutes

More than 900 independent, not-for-profit research institutes work across the United States to support research and technological innovation and training in a wide range of sciences. In Massachusetts, a state widely considered one of the most important, if not leading, research hubs anywhere in the world, there are only seven independent research institutes: Broad Institute, Forsyth Institute and Whitehead Institute in Cambridge; Marine Biological Laboratory and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Falmouth; and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston.

These Massachusetts-based institutes continue to thrive by focusing on innovation. The Broad Institute seeks to transform medicine by identifying biological processes at the molecular level to understand their innermost workings. Woods Hole Oceanographic researches everything from the bacterium that causes Lyme disease to drought prediction to the impact of glaciers on oceans. The Whitehead Institute investigates dozens of biological mechanisms to determine the origins of Parkinson’s and the genetic foundation of autism. And at Forsyth, the world’s leading independent organization dedicated to scientific research and translation in oral health and related biomedical sciences, a team of scientists is developing novel saliva-based diagnostics, and preventative and curative treatments and products that will advance oral and overall health across the globe.

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