About Us

The Massachusetts Consortium on Pathogen Readiness (MassCPR) is led by Harvard Medical School (HMS) and unifies 17 institutions propelled by a common mission: to address both the immediate and long-term challenges of the COVID-19 crisis and to enhance preparedness for future pandemics.

Since its formation in March 2020, MassCPR has grown into an unprecedented collaboration bringing together hundreds of basic and translational scientists, clinicians, and public health professionals from a variety of disciplines, including virology, immunology, microbiology, epidemiology, pathology, diagnostics and therapeutic development, computational biology, and clinical medicine.

Since 2020, insights generated by MassCPR researchers have helped to:

  • Catalyze vaccine development and deployment
  • Deepen our mechanistic understanding of the interplay between the virus and its human host
  • Generate critical knowledge about the immunobiology of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19
  • Map the basic structure and biology of SARS-CoV-2 and its behavior inside human and other animal cells
  • Propel our understanding of how viral mutations can evade immune system defenses and antibody-based therapeutics
  • Illuminate new understanding of T cell and antibody responses in SARS-CoV-2 infection
  • Enhance our understanding COVID-19 in pregnancy, children, and immunocompromised individuals
  • Identify drivers of health disparities in Covid-19 and map strategies for tackling them
  • Inform the design and establishment of national clinical treatment guidelines for COVID-19
  • Inform the design of new testing modalities
  • Enable the design of novel computational models to understand, map, and track viral spread

To reflect the evolving nature of the pandemic, in late 2021 and early 2022 MassCPR added three new focus areas that will build upon, as well as collaborate with, other research efforts within the consortium and chart a path for the future of COVID-19 research.

By bringing together over 800 collaborators across universities, medical schools, research institutes, teaching hospitals, government agencies, and biopharmaceutical companies, MassCPR has offered a blueprint for global cooperation and collaboration, demonstrating that when we break down barriers across scientific disciplines, modes of intellectual inquiry, disparate institutions, and geographic borders, we are capable of tackling even the greatest of challenges.

The consortium is led by HMS Dean George Q. Daley and David Golan, HMS dean for research operations and global programs, along with faculty co-leads Arlene Sharpe, chair of the Department of Immunology at HMS, and Bruce Walker, director of the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard.

Read our commentary, “Collaboration is the cure for COVID-19,” published in the Boston Globe.

MassCPR Timeline

MassCPR scientists continue research on COVID-19, publishing research in top-tier peer-reviewed in journals including Nature, The New England Journal of Medicine, Cell, and Science, among others.

These ongoing efforts have resulted in the publication of thousands of COVID-19-themed papers from MassCPR institutions, including hundreds of studies directly funded by MassCPR.

December 2019 Initial reports begin to emerge of a mystifying pneumonia of unknown origin.
February 24, 2020 Harvard announces that its scientists will join forces with colleagues from China to study the newly identified SARS-CoV-2 virus and to develop ways to detect, treat and prevent the disease that it causes (with initial support by China Evergrande Group).
March 2, 2020 Historic COVID-19 Response Workshop held at Harvard Medical School launches the Massachusetts Consortium on Pathogen Readiness (MassCPR).
March 12, 2020 Inaugural seminar, “A Coordinated Boston-wide Response to COVID-19,” kicks off the MassCPR Scientific Seminar series. This event also marks the first seminar series collaboration involving the departments of medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital, called Harvard Medical Grand Rounds.
March 17, 2020 MassCPR announces an initial Request for Proposals with the most accelerated timeline in Harvard Medical School’s history.
March 24, 2020 In response to MassCPR’s first RFP, nearly 450 proposals are received from investigators representing local institutions, hospitals, and biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.
April 21, 2020 MassCPR announces 62 awards(including 16 key research resources) representing over $16.5 million in total research funding.
May 15, 2020 First MassCPR Public Briefing held via Zoom with over 460 participants from 9 countries, with six more public briefings held through April 2021.
October 7, 2020 MassCPR scientists and colleagues from China, Italy, and South Africa present “Global Perspectives on COVID-19” as part of Worldwide Week at Harvard.
December 2020 MassCPR researchers hold a Congressional briefing on vaccines for Capitol Hill staffers.
November 2021 MassCPR rapidly initiates research on viral variants in response to the emergence of omicron and holds weekly press briefings through February 2022, offering critical insights and context to the new media and the public. MassCPR investigators are quoted in news outlets including The Boston Globe, Time, Nature, The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, NPR, Bloomberg News, Reuters, among others.
January 2021 A weekly working group meeting forms to address emerging variants.
June 2021 MassCPR makes the strategic decision to focus Year Two efforts on PASC (Long COVID-19) and viral variants.
July 2021 MassCPR launches a COVID-19 clinical education video series to help clarify evidence-based information and care. The videos are subsequently translated into seven languages.  
January 2022 MassCPR announces its new research focus on three areas that reflect the evolving nature of the pandemic—viral variants, long COVID, and the collection of biospecimens to be shared across the member institutions—and $8.5 million in funding to support 35 to 40 research projects across these three new focus areas.

MassCPR attendees at the inaugural COVID-19 Response Workshop held on March 2, 2020

Photograph of MassCPR COVID-19 Response Workshop attendees with each person labelled from #1 to #75

Photo: Steve Lipofsky

(1) Edward Ryan, MD
Massachusetts General Hospital
(26) Bruce Walker, MD
The Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard
(51) Rahul Dhanda, MBA
Sherlock Biosciences
(2) Xu Yu, MD
Massachusetts General Hospital
(27) Lee Gehrke, PhD
Harvard Medical School
(52) John Brownstein, PhD
Boston Children's Hospital
(3) Denisa Wagner, PhD
Boston Children's Hospital
(28) Kathryn Stephenson, MD
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
(53) Michael Seaman, PhD
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
(4) Arlene Sharpe, MD, PhD
Harvard Medical School
(29) Stephanie Dougan, PhD
Dana Farber Cancer Institute
(54) Amy Wagers, PhD
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
(5) Lydia Bourouiba, PhD
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(30) Doug Kwon, MD, PhD
Massachusetts General Hospital
(55) Lawrence Madoff, MD
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
(6) Michael Mina, MD, PhD
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
(31) Galit Lahav, PhD
Harvard Medical School
(56) Arup Chakraborty, PhD
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(7) Stephen Elledge, PhD
Harvard Medical School
(32) Pardis Sabeti, MD, PhD
The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
(57) Lindsey Baden, MD
Brigham and Women's Hospital
(8) Shirley Liu, PhD
Dana Farber Cancer Institute
(33) Bronwyn MacInnis, PhD
The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
(58) Daniel Lingwood, PhD
Massachusetts General Hospital
(9) Maofu Liao, PhD
Harvard Medical School
(34) David Roberts, MD
Harvard Medical School
(59) James Maguire, MD
Brigham and Women's Hospital
(10) Bing Chen, PhD
Boston Children's Hospital
(35) Nira Pollock, MD, PhD
Boston Children's Hospital
(60) Cameron Myhrvold, PhD
The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
(11) Jonathan Li, MD
Brigham and Women's Hospital 
(36) Deborah Hung, MD, PhD
The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
(61) David Hwang, PhD
Harvard Medical School
(12) Sarah Fortune, MD
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
(37) Paul Farmer, MD, PhD
Harvard Medical School
(62) Stephen Walsh, MD
Brigham and Women's Hospital
(13) Michael Springer, PhD
Harvard Medical School
(38) Michael Greenberg, PhD
Harvard Medical School
(63) Chris Sander, PhD
Dana Farber Cancer Institute
(14) Anthony Griffiths, PhD
Boston University
(39) Megan Murray, MD
Harvard Medical School
(64) Bobby Herrera, PhD
E25Bio
(15) David Hooper, MD
Massachusetts General Hospital
(40) Don Coen, PhD
Harvard Medical School
(65) Ofer Levy, MD, PhD
Boston Children's Hospital
(16) George Daley, MD, PhD
Harvard Medical School
(41) Marc Lipsitch, DPhil
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
(66) Ifat Rubin-Bejerano, PhD
Harvard Medical School
(17) David Knipe, PhD
Harvard Medical School
(42) William Blake, PhD
Sherlock Biosciences
(67) Dan Hu, PhD
Brigham and Women's Hospital
(18) Clifford Tabin, PhD
Harvard Medical School
(43) Peng Yin, PhD
Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering
(68) Mark Elliot, PhD
Harvard University
(19) Dan Barouch, MD, PhD
The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
(44) Ann Hochschild, PhD
Harvard Medical School
(69) Jonathan Abraham, MD, PhD
Harvard Medical School
(20) Jon Kagan, PhD
Boston Children's Hospital
(45) M. William Lensch, PhD
Harvard Medical School
(70) Dan Kuritzkes, MD
Brigham and Women's Hospital
(21) Deborah Marks, PhD
Harvard Medical School
(46) Peter Weller, MD
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
(71) Stephen Blacklow, MD, PhD
Harvard Medical School
(22) Penny Heaton, MD
Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute
(47) Galit Alter, PhD
The Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard
(72) Jim Cunningham, MD
Brigham and Women's Hospital
(23) Andrea Carfi, PhD
Moderna
(48) Doug Lauffenberger, PhD
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(73) Ron Corley, PhD
Boston University
(24) David Golan, MD, PhD
Harvard Medical School
(49) Wayne Marasco, MD, PhD
Dana Farber Cancer Institute
(74) Mark Namchuk, PhD
Harvard Medical School
(25) Jianzhu Chen, PhD
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(50) Phyllis Kanki, DVM, DSci
Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health
(75) Loren Walensky, MD, PhD
Dana Farber Cancer Institute