MDI Biological Laboratory

Impact Report 2020

Despite the challenges, our Research and Education Programs continued to make a major impact in 2020.

Thank you to all of you who made it possible.
Hermann Haller, M.D.
Hermann Haller, M.D.

As the novelist James Lane Allen once said, “Adversity does not build character, it reveals it.” While the past year was dominated by adversity, it also reminded us of who we are and what we value.

January 30, 2021

Dear Friend,

It is with mixed emotions that I look back on 2020. On one hand it was enormously challenging. The immediate and unrelenting threat to our community from COVID-19, coupled with social and political unrest, tested us in ways we never imagined. Yet, despite the fact that 2020 brought us many of our worst days – it also brought us some of our brightest moments.

As the novelist James Lane Allen once said, “Adversity does not build character, it reveals it.” While the past year was dominated by adversity, it also reminded us of who we are and what we value. At MDIBL we witnessed countless examples of kindness and generosity – from an employee shopping for an elderly neighbor, to our staff finding creative ways to keep us all connected despite the need to remain physically distant, to the hundreds of emails, notes and donations we received from loyal supporters like you – eager to ensure the continuation of our important work.

And thanks to you, that’s exactly what we did.

Despite the fact that COVID-19 significantly altered day-to-day operations, it did not prevent us from making substantial progress in our research and education programs. With your help we hired two outstanding international scientists, welcomed twenty new employees and received more than $6 million in federal research grants. With determination and hard work, we translated our education programming to online learning, hosting 23 high school and undergraduate virtual summer fellowships, holding 13 courses and conferences and providing meaningful experiences to 625 students and science professionals.

With our sights set firmly on the year ahead, we have laid out our programmatic and fundraising priorities which include raising $1M to fund innovative faculty research projects; $280,000 to recruit four full-time graduate students and $650,000 to restore and preserve historic Bowen Hall.

There is much to be said for the strength and hope our extraordinary community have offered this year, and it is abundantly clear to me that we are better together. Thank you for your support. While we continue to run our programs and outreach virtually for now, we eagerly await the day that we can invite you to campus again with open hearts and beaming smiles.

Hermann Haller, M.D.
President, MDI Biological Laboratory



Despite the challenges of 2020, we grew our team and advanced our research. Your support truly matters; thank you.

federal grants awarded
talented faculty, including 2 exceptional international hires
new employees
publications by faculty
exciting new animal model: African Turquoise Killifish
visiting scientists and research collaborations
A valuable five weeks on campus allowed me to work, uninterrupted, in the laboratory conducting experiments. It was a wonderful chance to work with your faculty, meet well-respected scientists and experience the beauty of Acadia National Park. It all made a big impression.
Brett Keiper Visiting Scientist 2020



Despite the challenges of 2020, we kept science education moving by shifting to online learning. Your support truly matters; thank you.

attendees participating in online education programs
in endowed fellowship funds
courses and conferences
samples collected at our community lab
citizen scientists shared
observations from over 70 countries
virtual summer fellowships
I was really able to immerse myself, working alongside people who are experts in their field, gaining knowledge I would not have received in a traditional academic setting. I felt that I was at the forefront of the research with my mentors right there beside me, walking me through it all.
Sravya Bahudoodda REU Summer Fellow 2020


Our Donors

The MDI Biological Laboratory is extremely grateful to all of the donors who generously support our work. This list represents contributions made from January 1 to December 31, 2020. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our list. Our sincere apologies if any omissions or errors have occurred.
(* denotes alumni of the MDI Biological Laboratory's research training programs, † denotes deceased)


$50,000 to $99,999

$25,000 to $49,999

$10,000 to $24,999

$5,000 to $9,999

$2,500 to $4,999

$1,000 to $2,499

$500 to $999

$250 to $499

$100 to $249

$1 to $99


Give Now

Support our research and education programs with a gift today

Our scientists and students are working hard to develop new approaches to prevent and treat degenerative disease. However, their work would not be possible without your support. Your gift of any amount will bring us one step closer to ensuring all of us live longer, healthier lives.

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Current Financial Documents