Founded in 1982, the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research is a non-profit research and teaching institution located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
The Whitehead Institute was founded as a fiscally independent entity from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and its 17 members hold faculty appointments in the MIT Department of Biology. The Institute is named for businessman and philanthropist Edwin C. “Jack” Whitehead, who selected David Baltimore (1975 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine) as the Whitehead Institute’s Founding Director. Baltimore chose Gerald Fink, Rudolf Jaenisch, Harvey Lodish, and Robert Weinberg as the Whitehead Institute’s Founding Members.
The institute is one of the world’s leading centers for genomic research. Its Center for Genome Research was active in the Human Genome Project, and reportedly contributed one-third of the human genome sequence announced in June 2000.
In June 2003, Eli and Edythe L. Broad pledged $100 million to build the Broad Institute, a joint venture of Whitehead, MIT, Harvard and local teaching hospitals. The new venture’s mission is to expand tools for genomic medicine and apply them for the treatment of disease.
Less than a decade after its founding, the Whitehead Institute was named the top research institution in the world in molecular biology and genetics, and over a recent 10-year period, papers published by Whitehead scientists had more impact in molecular biology and genetics than those from any of the 15 leading research universities and life sciences institutes in the United States. Four times since 2009, the Whitehead Institute has been ranked first as the Best Place to Work for Postdocs in USA by The Scientist magazine.