Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory has won a $12.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to move forward its regenerative medicine research. The grant will run until 2017.
It will sustain 16 jobs and create 10 new ones, three-to-four of which will be full-time faculty. MDIBL estimated 86% of the award would be spent in Maine.
The institution has pulled in $83 million in grant income over the last several years, according to Kevin Strange, its director. “I was amazed we got the $13 million grant because of the sequester,” he told Mainebiz, referring to the federal government’s budget cuts.
He says the new jobs from the grant are high-end, high-paying positions to study the biology of tissue regeneration and aging. They include technical and research support positions.
The lab has focused on tissue regeneration in lower vertebrate animals and invertebrates including the zebrafish, which can regenerate its own heart, fins, retina and spinal cord tissues when they are damaged.
The goal of the research is to ultimately develop therapies that can reactivate and enhance natural regenerative abilities in humans.
The grant is designed to build research capacities in states like Maine that have had low levels of NIH funding historically.