The Broad Institute, in Cambridge, MA, is meeting critical challenges in biology and medicine through systematic approaches in the biological sciences to accelerate the understanding and treatment of disease.
Scientists at the Broad Institute were collaborating members of the Population Health Metrics Research Consortium (PHMRC). The project was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as part of the Gates Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative #13 to develop technologies that permit quantitative assessment of population health status.
From 2007 to the project’s conclusion in 2011, the Broad Institute collaborated on this grant to address one of the primary objectives, developing methods to measure the prevalence and incidence of major diseases. The research team used mass spectrometry to profile the peptide and protein content of human serum, sputum, and urine samples to discover biomarker patterns associated with specific disease states.
Through the Grand Challenges project, samples were collected from research sites in Bohol, Philippines; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; and Pemba Island, Tanzania. The identification of biomarkers associated with a specific disease state provided an invaluable tool for diagnosis, prognosis, and monitoring of disease.