Four-year grant will support 12 advanced courses on topics such as parasitism, embryology, microbial diversity and cell signaling.

Developmental biology, microbiology and neurobiology are advancing so swiftly that biomedical scientists, whether still student or established researcher, must find ways to keep pace. For many of them, summer school at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass, is the answer.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has awarded a new grant of $2.2 million to the renowned research and educational institution. The four-year grant will support 12 advanced courses, including:

  • Biology of Parasitism: Modern Approaches
  • Embryology: Concepts and Techniques in Modern Developmental Biology
  • Microbial Diversity
  • Physiology: the Biochemical and Molecular Basis of Cell Signaling

"The Marine Biological Laboratory has a long tradition of training biomedical scientists at many stages of their careers," said HHMI President Purnell W. Choppin. "Researchers worldwide gather there to be taught by leaders in their fields."

Since 1988, the Marine Biological Laboratory has received a total of $8.2 million in HHMI grants, of which $7.2 million has enabled the program to offer scholarships to U.S. and foreign scientists and to attract leading researchers as course directors and lecturers.

"This grant continues the Institute's commitment to making important educational opportunities broadly available throughout the scientific community," said Joseph G. Perpich, HHMI's vice president for grants and special programs. "It helps provide the flexibility and stability that a program like this needs."

Since its founding in 1888, MBL has helped train the world's leading biologists. Courses in embryology, microbiology, neural systems and behavior, neurobiology, parasitism and physiology are the cornerstone of its educational program. Shorter courses also are offered throughout the year in fields such as computational neuroscience, medical informatics, molecular evolution, and optical microscopy and imaging. Participants are chosen for their academic accomplishments and their potential for future scientific achievement.

HHMI also supports other institutions that provide unique resources to biomedical researchers. Another new grant, for example, will make $1.32 million over four years to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island, N.Y., to continue and expand its program of postgraduate short courses in molecular biology, neuroscience and structural biology.