Construction is underway on a new 6,560-square-foot training laboratory building that will more than triple the MDI Biological Laboratory’s dedicated training space. The expansion of the training infrastructure will allow for an increase from 350 to 500 in the number of students and teachers receiving hands-on training in biomedical research annually.
The new building is being funded by a $3 million state bond issue to bolster Maine’s biotechnology sector. The funding is being matched by $5.7 in private funds to cover the recruitment of three new biomedical research teams (one team, led by Vicki Losick, Ph.D., has already been recruited).
The new laboratory will free up approximately 1,700 square feet in the Kathryn W. Davis Center for Regenerative Biology and Medicine to create research space for the two new research groups. The recruitment of additional research groups is key to securing additional federal funding, to expanding the institution’s drug discovery and development activities and to enhancing its position as a global leader in research on aging and tissue repair.
The new facility will be built on a site now occupied by the Hegner Laboratory overlooking Upper Frenchman Bay. The contemporary design reflects the vision for the future of the institution while also paying homage to the past by retaining elements of the existing cottage-style architecture in the use of traditional building materials such as clapboard siding. The space will also support new initiatives, including expanded training for junior faculty, a new focus on bioinformatics, enhanced regional educational collaborations and new collaborations with Maine biotech companies.
A formal groundbreaking ceremony will take place later this summer. Plans call for the building to be completed by mid-March 2017.