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January 29, 2024

Broad Institute’s Terra Platform Now on Azure, Unleashing New Possibilities in Biomedical Research

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 29, 2024 — The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard has announced the general availability of Terra on Microsoft Azure. Terra is the Broad Institute’s flagship biomedical data platform, co-developed by Broad, Microsoft, and Verily.

The open-source platform is used by over 65,000 individuals globally for biomedical data analysis, secure data sharing, and cross-enterprise data science collaborations. Through Terra, researchers can gain access to genomics and other data modalities used for biomedical research, as well as run state-of-the-art workflows developed by Broad and wider bioinformatics community.

Expanding Terra onto Azure enhances support for enterprises and data scientists worldwide. Organizations such as AnalytixIndiana and Vanderbilt University Medical Center are adopting Terra on Azure to provide a Trusted Researcher Environment for their employees and affiliates.

Enhanced functionality with Terra on Azure include:

  • Connection to enterprise data: Terra on Azure is a preferred option for commercial organizations as it can be deployed within an organization’s Azure tenant and connect to data within the organization’s IT network, and integrates with an organization’s existing authentication and authorization systems via Active Directory.
  • Advanced policy configuration for cross-organization collaboration: Terra on Azure enables organizations to share their data securely in a manner that enforces data governance and privacy policies. This allows controlled data access and collaboration across organization and geographical borders.
  • Compliance agreements: Terra can now sign HIPAA Business Associate Agreements for U.S. health system customers and Data Processor Agreements for customers regulated by GDPR.
    Integration with Microsoft offerings: Researchers can seamlessly use the Azure ecosystem from within their Terra Workspace environment, such as connecting to Azure OpenAI Service and Azure Health Services.
  • Platform-wide Security: Terra’s support for Azure is authorized as a FedRAMP Moderate Impact system with an Agency Authorization.

“The Broad Institute has always been at the forefront of driving progress in genomics and biomedical research,” said Clare Bernard, head of the data sciences platform at Broad, which is responsible for Terra development and operations. “Our partnership with Microsoft Azure further extends the reach and impact of Terra, accelerating the pace of scientific discovery and impact on human health. We are thrilled to have so many partners at the forefront of this exciting journey.”

“The responsible use of omics and health data requires robust security and compliance controls, but also ease of access and use to unlock the scientific potential,” said Jonathan Carlson, Managing Director, Microsoft Health Futures. “Terra on Microsoft Azure represents an important step toward accelerating scientific discovery through empowering responsible collaborative research across the global scientific community.”

Researchers and scientists worldwide can now use the power of Terra on Azure to drive advancements in population genetics, public health surveillance, and cancer research.

For more information on Terra on Azure, please visit Terra.Bio.

About Broad Institute

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard was launched in 2004 to improve human health by using genomics to advance our understanding of the biology and treatment of human disease and to help lay the groundwork for a new generation of therapies. The Broad is an independent, non-profit research institution and home to a community of highly creative and focused individuals dedicated to achieving transformative, interdisciplinary research.

Source: Broad Institute