CRLS Biotech Club Expands Scope in Broad Institute


Pei-Yun Chu

Members of the CRLS Biotech Club toured the Broad Institute on March 28th.

Kristen Chun, Contributing Writer

On March 28th, the CRLS Biotech Club attended a lab tour inside the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard located in Kendall Square. After over two years of entirely virtual meetings up until the beginning of last year, students were finally able to tour these intricate labs that are such significant factors in making Cambridge, Cambridge. The Broad Institute is a research center that focuses on biomedical and genomics research where thousands of studies are conducted. Through this tour, students learned about the different facilities and equipment that Broad scientists utilize every day.

Students value opportunities to experience tours like these that further introduce them to the STEM field, which would not be as easily accessible if it were not for science-oriented clubs like the Biotech Club.

When asked about the tour, Sofia Bernstein ’23 told the Register Forum that her favorite part of this experience was “learning the steps taken in the lab toured, in order to better understand a molecule and its potential role in helping create a drug.”

The tour sparked much inspiration in students to potentially pursue a career in the science field.

During this tour, students had the opportunity to visit multiple facilities, including a lab focused on creating proteins, and had the chance to interact directly with the scientists at work. “[They] mentioned the flow that exists from one side of the room, where they synthesize proteins in tissue culture and bacteria, to the machines used for the analysis of proteins through crystallography, spectrometry, etc.,” Sabrina Urbancik ’24 explained to the Register Forum. Scientists at the Broad Institute have very intertwining roles where one team of scientists cannot accurately and efficiently complete the necessary work without the research and help from another team.

Not only was the research conducted by the scientists intriguing and detailed, but the facility itself showed to be very unique. Urbancik also mentioned that “The Broad Institute is very into collaboration and the sharing of ideas to spark new connections, so if you’re on break and looking at the lab side of the hallways from the non-lab side, you can still enjoy seeing scientists from other labs work on their research.” Biotech Club advisor Ms. Pei-Yun Chu agreed, stating to the Register Forum that she was “surprised to see how much thought went into designing the building” and was “very impressed with how quickly they can assay molecules and proteins with their current technology.”

This tour sparked much inspiration in students to potentially pursue a career in the science field after observing all of the passionate and determined scientists and their work at the Broad Institute. The ultimate goal of the Biotech Club is to familiarize students with STEM as a whole to broaden their perspectives, which is what the club hoped to have achieved during this tour at the Broad. Tour guide Dr. Adrianna P. Matos-Nieves, the Senior Program Coordinator at the Broad, told the Register Forum, “I joined the Broad in 2022 because of its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion within the science education space. Being at the intersection of biomedical research and K-12 education is my happy place, and I am so lucky to be here.”

This article also appears in our April 2023 print edition.