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Senate President Therese Murray, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Join Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) for Loeb Laboratory Groundbreaking Ceremony
Date:9/21/2009

WOODS HOLE, Mass., Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Senate President Therese Murray, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), and key state officials gathered at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) today to break ground on a $25 million renovation of the MBL's central research training facility, the Loeb Laboratory. This renovation will create 250 regional construction jobs over the next 15 months and will greatly enhance the MBL's and the state's ability to attract and retain top scientists.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090921/NE78967 )

The MBL is an internationally recognized biomedical and environmental research and education center in Woods Hole, and the Loeb Laboratory has been the cornerstone of the MBL's world-famous life sciences training programs since 1970. The renovation, funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, will transform Loeb into a state-of-the-art facility that will serve as a national resource for science training and discovery.

The renovation, which will be completed this spring, was designed by Tsoi/Kobus & Associates. Shawmut Design and Construction is overseeing the project and will completely gut the building's internal infrastructure to create a thoroughly modernized facility, bringing all of the MBL's research-training programs into the building and creating spaces designed for each discipline.

"The tremendous support of state officials like Senate President Murray, and funders such as the HHMI and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center are helping ensure that Massachusetts and the MBL play a vital role in American science," said MBL Director and CEO Gary Borisy. "The MBL trains over 450 scientists each year in Loeb and this renovation is critical to maintaining our position as a leader in scientific research and education."

The renovation is also an important step toward establishing a Center for Regenerative Biology and Medicine at the MBL. This effort has received widespread support from the Commonwealth, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center and HHMI.

Key state officials and scientific funding providers weighed in on the significance of this project and the many benefits that it will bring to the Commonwealth.

Senate President Therese Murray, who spoke at the event, said, "The renovation of the Loeb Laboratory at the Marine Biological Laboratory is an important factor in elevating Massachusetts' status in the life sciences industry. The Commonwealth's $10 million investment, coupled with the $15 million in private funds from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, will enhance the state's life sciences training by enabling the MBL to dramatically improve its premiere educational training programs designed to groom scientists for jobs in the life sciences sector. I am delighted to support this initiative, which is a terrific example of how investments by the Commonwealth can reap great benefits and promote economic development."

Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Ian Bowles said, "This renovation will expand the MBL's research training capabilities in the environmental sciences, while enhancing opportunities to solve the pressing environmental problems of our time, including the effects of ecosystem destruction, coastal erosion and global climate change."

Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister, President & CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center said, "The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center is pleased to be partnering with MBL on this very important project. This investment is a perfect match for the goals of the Center - creating jobs, driving innovation, and supporting good science that will improve the human condition - and is consistent with the Center's focus on strengthening Massachusetts' leadership in regenerative medicine. Research conducted at MBL has had an enormous impact in creating positive medical outcomes for people, as demonstrated by the 53 scientists affiliated with MBL that have received the Nobel Prize since MBL's founding in 1888, including last year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry."

HHMI Scientific Officer Edwin McCleskey said, "The MBL's extraordinary education program is transforming today's students into the scientific leaders of the next generation. Many HHMI-affiliated scientists have been a part of the MBL's unique courses as students or instructors. We are pleased to support the enhancement of such a thriving research training program through the renovation of the Loeb Laboratory."

Senator Robert O'Leary (D-Barnstable) said, "Last year the Legislature enacted and the Governor signed into law a bill supporting life sciences here in Massachusetts. I was very proud to work on that bill with some of the internationally acclaimed marine research facilities that the Cape is home to, and to make sure that all areas of the life sciences were recognized and supported. Today represents the culmination of hard work from the marine scientific community at large and a collaborative effort with the legislature. By supporting these efforts I believe we are opening new doors for potential landmark scientific discoveries and an incredible opportunity for the Cape."

State Rep. Matt Patrick, who represents part of Falmouth and was in attendance at the event said, "This renovation is already bringing jobs and economic benefits to the south shore. For the next 15 months, 250 construction workers will be working to modernize this center of scientific excellence, ensuring that Woods Hole continues to be a hub for research and discovery."

State Representative Tim Madden who represents Woods Hole said, "I can't say enough positive things about this project. The local jobs created and the advancements in scientific research to continue Massachusetts' worldwide leadership in life sciences are a tremendous asset to the Woods Hole community and the entire Cape. I wish the MBL the best in their research, and am excited to see their next life-changing discovery."

The MBL is a leading international, independent, nonprofit institution dedicated to discovery and to improving the human condition through creative research and education in the biological, biomedical and environmental sciences. Founded in 1888 as the Marine Biological Laboratory, the MBL is the oldest private marine laboratory in the Americas. For more information, visit www.MBL.edu.


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SOURCE Marine Biological Laboratory
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