Our Research

In 2003, the Human Genome Project was successfully completed, mapping all the genes present in human DNA. Today, in one of history’s most exciting scientific eras, investigators in the BWH-BRI Genomics Center are capitalizing on the achievements of the BWH genetics community to create a level of interdepartmental cooperation and leverage our multidisciplinary strengths to reach a deeper understanding of the genetic variations that underlie, influence, and cause disease.


Bringing the power of genetics to bear on almost all areas of medicine, our researchers are identifying and cataloging the common genetic variations underlying human disease. They’ve learned that there are genetic differences among patients who have the same disease, that the relative “contribution” of each of those genes varies from one person to the next and that each gene may play only a small role in the overall disease. Even then, they wonder, what impact does the environment have on disease? To develop new therapies for disease, BWH-BRI researchers, both physicians and scientists, aim to tease out these differences, establish a database for genetic data and test potential treatments.


At BWH, our physicians and scientists have long been committed to discovery, education and scientific excellence in genetic research. Milestones at BWH include:


  • Identification of a gene responsible for a severe, early-onset form of hypertension which runs in families.


  • The first Women’s Genome Health Study to find the genetic causes for the development of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and other common health disorders, was launched by BWH, in collaboration with the NIH and Amgen, in 2006.


  • The discovery, in 2007, of new genetic variations associated with multiple sclerosis (MS), findings that suggest a possible link between MS and other autoimmune diseases.



Our Departmental Affiliates

Research is conducted by physicians and scientists from the departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pathology, Neurology, Surgery, Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, and Medicine, including the divisions of Genetics, Cardiology, Infectious Diseases , Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension, Women’s Health, as well as the Channing Laboratory.



Our Investigators

BWH investigators are nationally and internationally recognized for their contributions to advances in genetics and genomics research as recipients of prestigious awards including membership of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institut de France’s 2007 Grand Prix de la Fondation Lefoulon-Delalande award, the National MS Society’s Upjohn Achievement Award for Clinical Excellence, and the American College of Rheumatology Henry Kunkel Young Investigator Award.



Learn More

For more information about the BWH Genomics Center, email bwhbri@partners.org.