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MIT staff blogger Kris Guay

Metabo lite s by Kris Guay

Why the Broad Institute is inspiring my exercise goals

I’m getting married again in a mere five months and I cannot fit in my wedding dress. This might be because I spent the whole winter in pajamas eating pretzels and twizzlers during reading season and selection committee. More likely though, it is due to my sluggish 40-something metabolism. I’m on a mission to figure out what the heck is going on here, and to use my personal trainer to help me start burning up some calories during my lunch hour at the Z center this summer.

Clary Clish, director of the Metabolite Profiling Initiative at the Broad Institute here at MIT might tell me I’m on the right track.

Clish and other researchers have been working since 2008 in the rapidly growing field of metabolomics. Although there are a lot of cool things about this research he and others are doing (and you can read more about the whole project here) I was most interested to read about the way that exercise changes our metabolic makeup. As if I need any more reasons to exercise!

I actually stumbled across this interesting research while sitting on my couch flipping through my Harvard Alumni magazine. But just like everything at MIT, The Broad Institute is collaborative and includes more than 150 faculty and more than 1,500 scientists from across MIT, Harvard and the Harvard-affiliated hospitals working together to solve the most critical problems in biomedicine.

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Pretty impressive place. And also pretty great if you want to do research as an undergraduate at MIT. From as early as your second semester at MIT, you can choose to take part in real cutting-edge research through UROP — the Institute’s ground-breaking Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. And you can do it at the Broad, or in any academic department, interdisciplinary lab, or center at MIT.

By the time they graduate, almost 85 percent of MIT students will have collaborated on research. Chew on that! Well ok, you can, but from the looks of the research, I need to do a less chewing and a lot more moving.

3 responses to “Metabo lite s”

  1. Gina '14 says:

    While it’s true that in almost all cases IAP of freshman year is the earliest you’d start a UROP, I don’t want anyone to have the impression that you’re not allowed to do one before your second semester freshman year. You can technically starts one as soon as fall semester =)

  2. Nathan '14 says:

    So, any lab that is a member of the Broad Institute and MIT student could UROP in? Even if said lab is not in Broad’s main building?

  3. kris says:

    @Nathan: I don’t see why not!