Basic scientists working in labs at Mass General make breakthroughs that further our understanding of life processes.
Unlocking the Biological Rules of Life
As defined by the National Institutes of Health, basic research is the process of learning the basic rules of life. The applications are wide-ranging, including new and improved devices, diagnostics and treatments, more accurate imaging technology and better organ donor matching.
At Massachusetts General Hospital, the innovations made by our basic researchers are part of a continuum of discovery that includes translational research, clinical research and trials, outcomes research and the contributions made by patients to our life registry.
The basic research conducted in our laboratories has led to new insights about cell behavior, biochemistry and the relationship between genetics and disease.
Basic research is by nature open-ended and unpredictable. Our scientists often go into an investigation expecting one outcome, only to discover something completely different.
It is often those unexpected discoveries that become the biggest game changers.
A Collaborative Environment
Once a new scientific discovery is made, Mass General's uniquely collaborative environment enables scientists to team up with clinicians to speed the development of new diagnostics, treatments and devices.
Likewise, if an insight from a clinical trial suggests a new area to investigate in the lab, our basic researchers can pursue that avenue of thought and let our clinicians know what they discover.
A section through an artery in human optic nerve, stained for soluble guanylate cyclase alpha 1 (red) and nitric oxide synthase (green). Submitted by Emmanuel Buys, PhD.
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Explore some of our current research projects and recent milestones in cancer, AIDS, genetics, transplantation, schizophrenia and basic research.