Senator joins celebration of $18.4-million grant

BAR HARBOR — U.S. Senator Susan Collins joined scientists, students and leader of colleges and research institutions in Maine in celebrating an $18.4 million, five-year grant to Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (MDIBL) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

“The INBRE (Idea Network of Biomedical Research Excellence) program is a powerful instrument for bringing educational institutions from Fort Kent to South Portland together to build on their collective strengths and help our state be more competitive nationally,” said Sen. Collins. “Since it began in 2001, INBRE has brought more than $100 million in federal funds into Maine. It has strengthened our state’s research infrastructure and trained more than 2,000 Maine students in biomedical research techniques.”

With this latest grant, INBRE will provide more than 1,100 research training experiences to undergraduate, graduate and medical students. Approximately 14 science faculty will receive research support, support that will make them more competitive in applying for individual grants.

Other MDI institutions that benefit from the program include The Jackson Laboratory and College of the Atlantic.

Although Sen. Collins worked with Senator Angus King and other members of the Maine delegation in securing the grant, she attributed the credit for actually getting this grant to MDIBL and the collaborative relationship it established with other educational and research institutions. In addition to providing opportunities for students to conduct hands-on research, the INBRE program teaches students to work independently and collaboratively – skills that employers value.

“For years, I have advocated for more collaboration between Maine’s scientific institutions and industry and am excited about research that could lead to [a greater understanding] of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, heart disease and the regeneration of damaged tissue,” said Sen. Collins.

Founded in 2001 and led by Patricia Hand, the principal investigator on the grant and Vice President of MDIBL, INBRE is a network comprised of 13 public and private colleges, universities and research institutions.

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Anne Kozak

Contributer at Mount Desert Islander
Anne teaches writing at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor.