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About Mass General Brigham Personalized Medicine

Learn more about how every individual holds critical information in the form of genetic variants that can help diagnose, treat, predict, and even prevent disease.

researcher in lab viewing sample under magnifiying glass

Working together to transform care

Personalized genetic medicine is the tailoring of prevention and treatment modalities to an individual’s unique genetic make-up or to how a particular disease or syndrome is expressed. The genome of every individual holds critical information in the form of genetic variants that can help clinicians more precisely diagnose, treat, predict, and prevent disease. With advances in genome sequencing and translation—now becoming more economically accessible for clinical use—the mysteries of the genome are finally being unlocked.

Today, Mass General Brigham Personalized Medicine offers whole genome and exome sequencing to help detect disease risks and improve the accuracy of diagnoses. Improvements in detection can lead to more targeted, effective, and sometimes preventative care which means improved quality at a lower cost and, most importantly, better outcomes for patients.

Making personalized medicine a reality for all patients

By combining bench research with technology, Mass General Brigham Personalized Medicine is working to improve the care of patients and the implementation of personalized genetic medicine throughout the world. Our goal is to improve the quality and cost of care and to make the promise of personalized genetic medicine a reality for all patients. For those suffering from heart, neurological, pulmonary, and other diseases, Mass General Brigham Personalized Medicine plays a critical role in:

  • Building new capabilities for more precise diagnoses
  • Developing safe and effective targeted therapies
  • Enhancing our understanding of the origin and progression of diseases
  • Developing new means of prevention for these diseases
  • Uncovering and pinpointing inherited disease

For example, the Personalized Medicine team offers tests that help detect underlying and pre-symptomatic heart conditions in children and adults, such as cardiomyopathy—ones that can be managed, if detected. As another example, 10-20% of children with hearing loss will develop additional medical issues later in life (e.g., renal failure, infertility, hypothyroidism). Using testing to detect hearing loss in children early in their lives can help tailor their immediate and lifelong medical care and lifestyle.

How we work with you

World-class capabilities with a focus on our clients

Mass General Brigham Personalized Medicine offers a cohesive suite of services for personalized medicine. We take a collaborative, consultative approach with our clients, guiding them every step of the way whether that is acquiring samples, testing samples, building research projects, or educating students.

There are many ways Mass General Brigham Personalized Medicine can support you with your work:

  • Clinical testing of your patients
  • Performing clinical assay of your research samples
  • Requesting Biobank samples
  • Training in our laboratories
  • Establishing collaborations

With your needs in mind—and a personal touch

Whether you are an investigator looking for research support, a clinician in need of genetic testing services, or someone interested in expanding your knowledge of personalized medicine, we will work with you to help you achieve your goals.

Better, together 

Mass General Brigham Personalized Medicine brings together scientists, clinicians, genetic counselors, and information scientists from Mass General Brigham hospitals and Harvard Medical School who collaborate to: 

  • Advance our collective understanding of the role of genetics in disease origin and treatment 
  • Apply personalized medicine in the clinical setting to make care more effective and affordable 

Mass General Brigham Personalized Medicine plays a crucial role in helping to ensure that the system fulfills its mission of delivering high quality and efficient patient care, advancing clinical care through research discoveries, and educating the next generation of scientists and caregivers who can bring that care to our local and global community. 

Better, with you

Mass General Brigham Personalized Medicine comprises three areas that work together and with you to provide you with industry leading personalized medicine services: Mass General Brigham Biobank, Laboratory for Molecular Medicine, and Biobank Genomics Core

The investigative and clinical work of Mass General Brigham Personalized Medicine is backed by a world-class, information technology infrastructure that includes GeneInsight® and GIGPAD. These and other applications developed by and utilized by the division are critical to managing the data intensive and rapid pace of genetic testing and research. 

Our history

While the approach is beginning to revolutionize today’s medical practice and optimize patient care, Mass General Brigham Personalized Medicine has a long history of being at the forefront of this field.    

Mass General Brigham Personalized Medicine is a division of Mass General Brigham, an integrated health care system founded by Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General Hospital. Both are Harvard-affiliated teaching hospitals and the largest independent hospital recipients of National Institute of Health (NIH) research funding in the United States.  

Mass General Brigham Personalized Medicine was founded in 2001 by Mass General Brigham, one of the largest and most transformative health care systems in the country, and Harvard Medical School (HMS) as the Harvard-Partners Center for Genetics and Genomics. The center was launched before completion of the Human Genome Project as an early commitment to, and in recognition of, the potential for genomic knowledge to dramatically improve health care. The mission to better understand and harness the unique genetic and genomic makeup of individuals to improve their health continues today. 

As a part of Mass General Brigham, and through its affiliation with HMS, Mass General Brigham Personalized Medicine is uniquely positioned to both leverage the talent and resources of the system as well as impact its research and clinical activities.