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HHMI Funds Renovations at Two Research Facilities
While cutting-edge scientific equipment can become outdated in mere months, the buildings that house laboratories last much longer.
This summer's imaging course at CSHL brought together scientists from around the country, including (from left to right) students Nicholas Frost of the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Gregory Digby of the Medical College of Georgia, and teaching assistant Yusuf Tulfail of Arizona State University.
But at two research institutions, the time has now come to renovate aging facilities. HHMI is contributing $15 million toward the costs of construction at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) in Cold Spring Harbor, New York, and another $15 million toward revamping the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Both are used widely by HHMI investigators and are considered vital scientific training grounds for the broader biomedical research community.
“Cold Spring Harbor and MBL are preeminent in combining scientific research and education, synonymous with HHMI's mission,” says David Clayton, vice president for research operations at HHMI until August 2008. “They have been a unique resource for the broader scientific community since the late 1800s, and HHMI is pleased to participate in contributing to strengthening their resources for the benefit of future generations of scientists.”
Nearly 90 percent of HHMI investigators say they participated in at least one meeting or course at CSHL between 2002 and 2007. A significant number of courses offered during that time included HHMI investigators as lecturers. But to add courses to their repertoire—in topics such as structural and functional neuroanatomy, rodent behavior, and live-cell imaging—CSHL needs new laboratories and research buildings. The HHMI grant will help fund the construction of a 12,241-square-foot laboratory building with a computer classroom, six new research buildings that will make up the 11-acre “Hillside Campus,” and the renovation of a 1926 teaching laboratory building. Additionally, the grant will allow CSHL to purchase equipment for high-resolution microscopy and protein analyses.
Like CSHL, MBL also has a distinguished record of offering advanced training to scientists. Their training is primarily through a series of summer courses in biology that have been held since 1892. The building that houses these summer courses, however, was built in 1970 and has inadequate heating, air conditioning, ventilation, and electrical systems. The HHMI grant will upgrade these systems to better accommodate the summer courses. The state of Massachusetts has also authorized $10 million of state support toward renovations of MBL.
The renovations will allow both institutions to continue offering classes at the forefront of biomedical research, helping HHMI and non-HHMI scientists alike.
Photo: Berkin / Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory