“During my own graduate research I ran into barriers trying to acquire materials,” said Dr. Fan. Scientists were busy doing research and didn’t always have time to efficiently respond to requests. There were also logistic hurdles to sharing that we thought we could help with.”
From this idea, Addgene has evolved to become one of the most trusted providers of research materials. The organization has distributed over 350,000 samples to scientists around the world, including over 90,000 samples in 2013 alone. The current collection includes plasmids for many technologies, such as genome engineering, stem cell research and fluorescent protein studies. Addgene hosts materials to advance research in most areas of human disease including cancer, diabetes, neurological disorders and rare genetic conditions.
Addgene’s growth has been supported by the community of over 1,700 depositing scientists who share their materials via Addgene. These scientists are often leaders in their respective fields, and working with Addgene allows their research to have an even greater impact.
Dr. Robert Weinberg, Director of the MIT Ludwig Center for Molecular Oncology, was one of Addgene’s first depositors and Addgene has distributed over 12,000 samples on behalf of his laboratory. “Addgene has really enormously decreased the barriers to exchange reagents and allowed my lab personnel to focus on what we do best - our research - rather than spending time shipping out plasmids.” said Dr. Weinberg. “Their service has substantially accelerated collaboration and helped scientific discovery worldwide.”
Addgene’s decade of service has been recognized in many ways. Most recently, Addgene was honored with the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network 2013 Excellence Award in the category of Innovation for its creative solutions for material sharing in the research community. In 2012, Addgene was named a finalist in the Mass Technology Leadership Council’s Leadership Awards for Best Use of Technology for its innovative electronic Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) system.
“It is extremely rewarding to see an idea take hold and become a thriving organization that serves tens of thousands of scientists,”
Addgene plans to continue improving its service and reaching new scientists, particularly internationally, in the coming years.