UMM Receives $900k Grant for Biomedical Research

Governor Baldacci announces grantMACHIAS, ME – The University of Maine at Machias has been awarded more than $900,000 in grant funding from the National Center for Research Resources, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

UMM’s award is part of a five-year, $18.7 million dollar research grant to the Maine IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE). INBRE is a collaborative research network of 12 Maine research laboratories, universities, and colleges led by the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory in Bar Harbor. The grant ensures the continuation of INBRE, which was created in 2001 to enhance the ability of scientists and students in Maine to conduct cutting edge research and improve their ability to compete successfully for federal research dollars.

The funds awarded to UMM will be used to provide research support, student summer internships, an intensive molecular biology course for students at the MDI Biological Laboratory, student travel to professional meetings to present research, equipment to support UMM faculty and student research, and access to core research facilities.

“UMM’s focus on experiential learning is a great fit with INBRE’s goal of enhancing Maine’s workforce through improved training in biomedical research,” said Dr. Ellen Hostert, Associate Professor of Biology. Dr. Hostert’s project will use comparative functional genomics to examine part of the immune system in Atlantic salmon, and compare how the differences in exposure to parasites in different populations affects genetic variation in each population. This approach can be extended to studying human exposure to new parasites, and ways of preventing diseases caused by parasites.

In announcing the award at a ceremony at the State House in Augusta on May 21, Governor John Baldacci said, “Biomedical research is an increasingly important sector of the Maine economy. Thanks in large part to the Maine INBRE, we will continue building a sophisticated, educated workforce to support research in Maine and enhance our capacity to be a leader in science and technology.”

The governor added, “I am particularly pleased that Maine students are learning that they don’t have to leave the state to have a meaningful, rewarding career in science.”

The INBRE program is expected to provide fellowships, training and research opportunities to more than 1,000 Maine high school, undergraduate and graduate students over the next five years.

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