Campus News

Major Federal Grant To Bolster Bowdoin's Biomedical Research Capacity

Story posted July 23, 2004

Bowdoin College's growing biomedical research capacity was bolstered this week with a $1.67 million grant from the IdeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE), sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

The grant to Bowdoin is part of a five-year, $17.8 million collaborative grant led by Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (MDIBL). It will support Bowdoin faculty research, expand student research opportunities, and allow the College to purchase additional equipment and biomedical-related electronic journals.

Bowdoin's INBRE grant, coupled with a recent $800,000 grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, will also allow nearly 100 Bowdoin students to engage in advanced biomedical research. In addition to summer research projects with Bowdoin faculty members, students will engage in their own interdisciplinary research and study research methods with biomedical researchers at MDIBL.

"These funds are instrumental in Bowdoin's efforts to build a true center for excellence in the biosciences," said Bowdoin President Barry Mills. "With excellent faculty, equipment, and facilities, we are well positioned to engage in a level of research that is unusually sophisticated for an undergraduate institution. As a result, Bowdoin students are getting hands-on experience in exciting scientific frontiers that will better prepare them for graduate school or careers in science."

Bowdoin, along with other top liberal arts colleges, prepares a disproportionately large number of the Ph.D.s in the sciences and mathematics and M.D.s and other health professionals in our country.

Maine's INBRE collaborative promotes the development and sharing of research among seven entities: MDIBL, The Jackson Laboratory, Bates, Bowdoin and Colby colleges, College of the Atlantic, and the University of Maine campuses at Orono, Farmington and Machias. The $17.8 million federal grant includes funding for each institution that is intended to strengthen and expand its individual research programs, with a common focus on comparative functional genomics. The funds also support research-training opportunities for over 500 undergraduate students throughout the state.

Maine Governor John Baldacci said the research collaborative would "enable Maine to significantly strengthen its biomedical research sector, as well as develop the technically skilled workforce that is so vital to attracting knowledge-based industries to our state."

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