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For Immediate Release: July 23, 2010
Contact: Gina Hebert, 508-289-7725; ghebert@mbl.edu

Senator John Kerry, U.S. Congressman Bill Delahunt and Senate President Therese Murray Join Marine Biological Laboratory to Celebrate Loeb Laboratory Renovation
Ribbon-cutting event recognizes $25 million renovation of key life sciences training facility and establishment of new center for regenerative biology and tissue engineering



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The MBL's Loeb Laboratory. Photo by Beth Ready. Click for larger image.

Senator John Kerry. Photo by David Gallagher. Click for larger image.

Congressman William Delahunt. Photo by David Gallagher. Click for larger image.

MBL Director and CEO Gary Borisy. Photo by David Gallagher. Click for larger image.

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Loeb Laboratory Fact Sheet


Builder and Architect:

WOODS HOLE, MA—Senator John Kerry, Congressman Bill Delahunt, Senate President Therese Murray, and other key elected officials gathered today at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) to celebrate the completion of a $25 million renovation of the Loeb Laboratory, the MBL’s central research training facility and the establishment of the new Eugene Bell Center for Regenerative Biology and Tissue Engineering. The ribbon-cutting event also announced the public launch of an historic $125 million MBL fundraising campaign aimed at increasing the pace of discoveries in the life sciences.

From (L) to (R): Edwin McCleskey, Scientific Officer, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; John W. Rowe, MBL Chairman of the Board and Lead Campaign Donor; Gary Borisy, MBL Director & CEO; Millicent Bell, Lead MBL Campaign Donor; Susan Windham-Bannister, President and CEO, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center; Senator John Kerry; Massachusetts Senator Robert O’Leary; Congressman Bill Delahunt; State Representative Tim Madden. Click for larger image.

The Loeb Laboratory is the cornerstone of the MBL’s world-famous life sciences education programs, which train more than 450 students, including 200 international students, each year. The renovation, funded by a $15 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and a $10 million grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, has transformed Loeb into a state-of-the-art facility that will serve as a national resource for science training and discovery.

The completion of the Loeb Laboratory renovation also marks an important step toward establishing the MBL’s Eugene Bell Center for Regenerative Biology and Tissue Engineering which will be a high-impact, multidisciplinary, and unique research initiative that draws upon the special advantages of marine invertebrates and other cornerstone organisms to define and understand the natural processes by which damaged or aging tissues and organs can regenerate or be repaired, and to apply that knowledge to the development of medical therapies.

Federal stimulus funds received by the MBL last year are supporting the recruitment of scientists specializing in regenerative biology and the MBL is anticipating funding from the National Institutes of Health to establish a national resource for research on the frog, Xenopus, which possesses unique regenerative abilities, including the ability to regenerate the lens of its eye.
The new Bell Center, a key part of the MBL’s fundraising campaign, was made possible by the following transformative leadership gifts: $8 million from Millicent and Eugene Bell and $5 million from John W. and Valerie Rowe.

Key MBL and elected officials and funders weighed in on the significance of the renovation and the many benefits that it will bring to the Commonwealth and the nation.

“The successful renovation of Loeb Laboratory will not only keep the MBL at the forefront of innovative biological research in Massachusetts, but nationally and internationally,” said MBL Chairman of the Board Dr. John W. Rowe, whose family has donated more than $10 million to the MBL. “This facility’s opening is a pivotal moment in the MBL’s longstanding and impressive history as the Bell Center will find its home here and will allow for significant advances in the emerging field of regenerative biology,” added Dr. Rowe. “It is with great pleasure that my family makes a gift to this effort, knowing that it will be used ably at the MBL to strengthen biology that will lead to enhancements in human health.”

“Since 1970 the Loeb Laboratory has played a fundamental role in research and life sciences training and today we are poised to usher in a new era for MBL education with a thoroughly modernized, first-rate facility that’s in keeping with the superb quality of our discovery education and research programs,” said MBL Director and CEO Dr. Gary G. Borisy. “Thanks to this renovation, the MBL is able to maintain and solidify its position as an exceptional and critical international resource for scientific instruction and exploration. The pioneering work being done here will benefit our local, national, and global communities. I thank our federal and state officials, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, and the Bell and Rowe families for helping to ensure that Massachusetts and the MBL continues to play a vital role in American science.”

“MBL’s new Center for Regenerative Biology and Medicine holds huge promise for thousands of Americans who suffer from debilitating diseases and injuries,” said Senator John Kerry. “The new state-of-the-art center will empower MBL to continue to recruit the best scientists in the field and ensure that Massachusetts remains the country’s leader in the life sciences field and particularly in regenerative medicine.”

"The research that is conducted at this facility is unmatched in the country. Within this facility, the MBL is on the cutting edge of science and providing the experts of tomorrow with the training and insights needed to develop the cures for the many degenerative diseases that impact so many in our society,” said Congressman Bill Delahunt. “I am honored to be a part of today’s event and to continue to work to secure federal resources for this essential work at the MBL."

“This new laboratory is important not only to the cutting edge research going on at MBL, but also to underscore Massachusetts’ leadership in the areas of scientific research, biotechnology and the life science industry both across the country and around the world,” said Senate President Therese Murray, who represents Falmouth in the Massachusetts Senate. “Because we have been willing to invest in these areas and with the Massachusetts Life Science Center continuing to promote this industry, we have been able to leverage private funding, and companies and countries from around the world want to work in and with the Commonwealth. That means jobs here in Falmouth, and across Massachusetts.”

“Last year the Legislature enacted and the Governor signed into law a bill supporting life sciences here in Massachusetts,” said Senator Robert O’Leary. “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.”

“The Center is thrilled to have partnered with MBL on this very important project,” said Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister, President and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. “Regenerative medicine is where much of the innovation in life sciences is taking place and is a growing area of strength for Massachusetts. This investment will further strengthen our leadership in this promising field. The Center’s investment in the Loeb Laboratory meets both of our primary goals - creating jobs and advancing good science.”

“For the last 40 years, more young scientists have been trained in Loeb Laboratory in courses teaching cutting edge laboratory methods than in any other single building in the world,” said Edwin McCleskey, HHMI Scientific Officer. “Many of their instructors have been HHMI Investigators and many of the students later became HHMI Investigators. For all these reasons, HHMI is proud to have contributed to the renovation of Loeb. We look forward to its success for the next 40 years and beyond.”

After an ambitious nine-month renovation, which involved gutting the 66,000 square-foot building and thoroughly modernizing its infrastructure and internal design, the Loeb Laboratory opened its doors in June, 2010. Of particular note is the renovation’s commitment to the environment. Ninety-eight percent (by weight) of the material removed from the building during demolition was recycled. The building is currently awaiting LEED Certification, the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of a high-performance green building.


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.