Research Overview

Research at Massachusetts General Hospital began more than 200 years ago. Today, the Mass General Research Institute is home to the largest hospital-based research enterprise in the United States.

In 2016, the research budget at Mass General was $850 million, which represents almost 25 percent of the hospital's overall operating budget. Our research budget has grown over 352% over the past 20 years.

Research at Mass General takes place in over 30 departments, centers and institutions across the institution and occupies 1.25M square feet of space in Boston, Charlestown and Cambridge. There are approximately 1,200 clinical trials taking place at Mass General at any given time.

The Research Institute is powered by a research community of 10,000 people, including:

  • 2,000+ principal investigators leading research teams
  • 3,700+ scientists and research staff
  • 1,500+ postdoctoral research fellows
  • 700+ support staff

The Mass General Research Institute was launched in 2014 to serve as an umbrella organization for our ongoing research efforts. The mission of the Research Institute is to promote, support and guide our diverse research enterprise.

Outreach to Industry

A key goal of the Research Institute is to increase the number of productive collaborations between our researchers and members of the pharmaceutical and biotech industries.

We believe that the next big wave of biomedical discoveries will come from combining the strengths of academia and industry. To further this process, we have launched several new initiatives:

Strategic Alliances

The Strategic Alliances initiative is designed to foster translational research partnerships with industry at all stages of research--from fundamental science all the way through to transfer to market.

Under the guidance of the Office of the Scientific Director and with the feedback of a volunteer council of experts from industry and venture capital we have created four new multidisciplinary programs in Epigenetics, Cancer Immunotherapy, Neuroinflammation in Neurodegeneration and the Microbiome. These programs include 61 investigators representing 15 different departments and centers.

The Translational and Clinical Research Centers (TCRC)

The TCRC is a new $11M clinical trials facility that merges the existing Clinical Research Center—a vastly experienced in-patient center for clinical research—with the new Translational Research Center.

A key goal of this new 18-bed inpatient facility is to conduct first-in-human clinical trials in partnership with industry. It is fully staffed by experienced nurse practitioners, clinical research nurses and support staff.

The Partners Biobank at MGH

The Partners Biobank has consented 58,000 patients to participate in our personalized medicine efforts. The samples, which are linked to clinical data, are at the forefront of our efforts to improve patient care and better understand disease.

Of the 55,000 patients consented, we have completed 15,000 full genotypes, which have also been made available to investigators to assist with research efforts.

Internal Funding and Support

The Executive Committee on Research (ECOR) at Massachusetts General Hospital administers the hospital’s grants program, providing over $12M in internal research support each year.

ECOR has a diverse and regularly rotating membership group that includes more than 50 members, including senior research faculty, chiefs and hospital executives.

ECOR reviews nearly 800 applications for support from investigators and fellows each year, and awards approximately 150 internal grants.

Over 90% of investigators who have received interim support from ECOR (to bridge the gap during delays or lags in funding from the NIH) are still with the institution

In 2016:

  • 78 Principal Investigators received interim/bridge funding support  from ECOR totaling $5.8 million
  • 6 MGH Research Scholars were selected as part of class of 2016 (each will receive $100,000 per year for five years), bringing the total number of researchers supported by the program to 42
  • 6 Claflin Awards were presented to female faculty members of childbearing age to support them as they balance the demands of raising a family and continuing their science careers
  • 26 FMD and Tosteson Awards were presented to postdoctoral fellows in building their science careers

Awards and Honors Committee

Notable Awards and Honors in 2016:

  • Jeannie Lee, PhD, received the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health 2016 Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences
  • Denise Faustman, MD, PhD, Mehmet Toner, PhD, Ralph Weissleder, MD, PhD, and Warren Zapol, MD, were elected into the National Academy of Inventors
  • Robert E. Kingston, PhD, Chief of the Department of Molecular Biology, was elected into the National Academy of Sciences
  • Rakesh Jain, PhD, received the National Medal of Science
  • Cammie Lesser, MD, PhD, received the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Transformative Research Award
  • Bradley E. Bernstein, MD, PhD and Seok-Hyun "Andy" Yun, PhD, received NIH Pioneer Awards


Mass General investigators submitted 4,706 research proposals in 2016.

In 2016, Mass General was recognized as the #1 institution for research by the Nature Index, which tracks articles published in high impact scientific journals


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