Maine INBRE Grant Renewed for Another 5 Years

James Coffman, Ph.D.
INBRE Program Director

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) through the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) has awarded $19.4 million for the renewal of the Maine Biomedical Research Network (INBRE) to support biomedical research and infrastructure in Maine. The grant will fund the statewide program for five years starting on May 1, 2024. This begins the 24th year of the program in Maine and fifth consecutive renewal of Maine INBRE.

The MDI Biological Lab, located in Bar Harbor, is the lead institution of the statewide collaborative network of now 17 educational and research institutions. With this renewal, Maine INBRE welcomes the MaineHealth Institute for Research, the University of Southern Maine, and the University of Maine at Augusta as new members. Institutions continuing in the network include the University of Maine and The Jackson Laboratory, as well as undergraduate institutions Bates College, Bowdoin College, Colby College, College of the Atlantic, Southern Maine Community College, University of New England, University of Maine Honors College, and the Universities of Maine at Farmington, Fort Kent, Machias and Presque Isle.

“The renewal allows us to build on a highly successful collaborative program that provides support for talented faculty as well as opportunities for undergraduate students in Maine to carry out cutting edge biomedical research. In this renewal the Maine INBRE will develop and support new research programs involving Data Science and conduct outreach to identify and involve individuals in science research who would not otherwise have that opportunity.” said James A. Coffman, Ph.D., director of the Maine INBRE and associate professor at the MDI Biological Lab. “The addition of three new institutions to our network will also allow us to develop new opportunities for collaboration in the southern part of the state.”

The new award will support the renovation of research facilities at the University of Maine at Farmington, Southern Maine Community College, and the Honors College at the University of Maine. This summer 22 undergraduate students will receive hands-on, mentored research fellowships at 8 different research and undergraduate network institutions. Dustin Updike, Ph.D., associate professor at MDI Biological Laboratory, will direct the Maine INBRE Developmental Research Project Program, which provides research project funding to faculty through a competitive application process. At the outset of the new award, 7 science faculty will be funded to carry out their biomedical research projects at Colby College, Bowdoin College, College of the Atlantic, MDI Biological Lab, the University of Maine, and the University of New England.

Plans are underway for a statewide media announcement and celebration of this exciting accomplishment later this summer.