Major gift to be awarded by Warren Waugh of Lyon-Waugh Auto Group to Gloucester Ed Foundation

The Lyon-Waugh Auto Group met with students and teachers at Gloucester High School today, Thursday, October 29, to award the second installment of a three-year commitment of $150,000 ($50,000 a year) to the Gloucester Education Foundation in support of the Automotive Technology Program at Gloucester High School.  This gift supports an additional educator for this program to meet the needs of a growing student enrollment.  With this support, additional students wishing to pursue careers in the growing auto technology field have been given the opportunity to enter the popular program.

            Mr. Waugh has also provided state-of-the art equipment for use in the program, and automobiles for students’ use in the shop to apply classroom learning.  The program fosters a close connection with the Lyon Waugh Auto Group for visits to various dealership service departments, as well as classroom visits from Lyon-Waugh auto technicians to share state-of-the art trends and knowledge with students.

Warren Waugh, a resident of Gloucester, stated, “Lyon Waugh Auto Group is committed to sharing our success with our workplace communities and the towns we live in.  The students that come from local towns like Gloucester are the foundation for businesses like ours. We consider it a privilege to be able to give back to our schools and help students prepare for entering the workforce through projects like this.”

Gloucester Education Foundation Executive Director Aria McElhenny commented, “We are so fortunate to have the generous support of Lyon-Waugh Auto Group. The high school’s automotive vocational program has grown and flourished thanks to Warren’s commitment to our students. There is a lot of interest in auto tech and that need is being met in a very high-level way through this generous donation.”

GMGI: The very latest

The shift to Fall brings a renewed sense of focus and determination, as we make the push towards the end of the year. The dedicated research team continues making great progress on all fronts including obtaining new samples for the red sea urchin research, the Annisquam microbe study and Cod eDNA project, as well as announcing a new partnership that will pair GMGI with OceanX, an organization known for extraordinary research and storytelling. 

Our virtual GMGI Science Hour returned, premiering with a talk from Dr. Bruce Walker, Founding Director of the Ragon Institute, setting the tone for a season of engaging and insightful talks. The Academy is already in its eighth week of Semester 1, and we are incredibly proud to report classes have remained safely in-person, giving the students the full experience of hands-on learning in a working biotech laboratory.

The support from you, and our community, is palpable. We see it in your commitment to reading our monthly updates, spending your Thursday evenings with GMGI to explore new scientific ideas, and in your financial support. Your generosity is, as always, profoundly appreciated in this uncertain climate.

– Chris Bolzan, Executive Directorphoto credit: Andy Mann

GMGI Announces Partnership with OceanX
 GMGI is thrilled to announce a newly formed partnership with leading research and exploration organization OceanX. Formed with an extraordinary mission to support scientists in their effort to “explore the ocean and to bring it back to the world through captivating media,” OceanX works to connect the ocean and all it offers to world through innovative technology, ambitious science and breathtaking storytelling.

“We are thrilled for the opportunity to partner with OceanX, an organization that holds the same curiosity and passion for marine exploration and biological discovery,” said Chris Bolzan, GMGI Executive Director. “This partnership will be fueled by a shared interest in genomics, allowing our two teams to collaborate and align our complementary skill sets. We look forward to conducting exciting research together and sharing our discoveries broadly.”

GMGI and OceanX will collaborate on several research projects with the goals of understanding and preserving the ocean as well as fostering its connection to the general public.

“We are ecstatic to be pursuing a partnership with Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute, an organization dedicated to addressing the challenges facing our oceans, human health and the environment through groundbreaking scientific research,” said Vincent Pieribone, Vice Chairman, OceanX. “We have a shared motivation and interest in the ocean and look forward to merging the expertise of GMGI with our science, technology and media teams to produce much needed ocean science and storytelling.”The New GMGI Science Hour Season Kicks Off

Earlier this month, the Fall season of the GMGI Science Hour kicked off with a fantastic talk by Dr. Bruce Walker.  Dr. Walker, Founding Director of the Ragon Institute, a pioneering virus researcher at MGH and an expert on viruses and the immune system, discussed his experience treating patients with HIV and COVID-19. While working in Africa in the peak of the HIV outbreak, Dr. Walker focused on the how patients’ immune systems reacted to the disease, enabling him and his team to develop optimal treatments.

Dr. Walker is assisting in the fight against COVID-19, alongside GMGI Co-founder David Walt, with the Massachusetts Consortium for Pathogen Readiness.  Dr. Walt facilitated the Science Hour Q&A, in which Dr. Walker answered questions on possible future pandemics, what we can learn from patients who have contracted the disease twice, the virus’s impact on the immune system, and potential vaccines for COVID-19.

The next Science Hour speaker is William G. Kaelin, Jr., MD, scheduled for November 19th.  Dr. Kaelin was awarded the 2019 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine for his work with tumor suppressing proteins, using a variety of molecular and cellular approaches to understand how, mechanistically, these proteins prevent tumor growth. 

To register for this talk, please visit the GMGI Science Hour page on our website
 GMGI scientists Andrea Bodnar and Jennifer Polinski have officially begun the process of sequencing the genome of the long-lived red sea urchin (Mesocentrotus franciscanus) to determine how it is able to live nearly 50X longer than a closely-related sea urchin species, and what that could mean in the context of human age-related diseases.Check Out Our New Website recently got a facelift, and we invite you to check it out! You can meet our staff and Board of Directors, learn more about GMGI’s science strategy and ongoing research projects, read some Frequently Asked Questions about the Academy, catch up the latest GMGI news, and re-watch past Science Hour talks.
 Remembering Donald G. Comb

GMGI remembers and honors the late Donald G. Comb, scientist and founder of New England BioLabs.   Don’s passion for research, arts and the marine environment was unmatched and an inspiration to so many.  We are truly honored to have the Science Director position at GMGI named after Don, and we will continue to lead GMGI with same integrity, humility, and passion for science that he demonstrated throughout his life.  His legacy will forever be an inspiration to all.
 The GMGI Science Minute

We are excited to announce that we will soon be breaking ground on our new biomanufacturing teaching lab at the Academy! This state-of-the-art learning environment, made possible by a $940k Massachusetts Workforce Skills Capital Grant and additional matching funds from our supporters, will allow us to add biomanufacturing skills to the standard Academy curriculum — and double the number of students we are able to enroll in each class. 

GMGI Research Scientist Amanda Baryshyan gives us an overview of what biomanufacturing is, what it’s been used for in the past and what the future looks like for this booming field.

Welcome Back! Sawyer Free Library to Opens to the Public on October 30

The Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library is thrilled to announce beginning on Friday, October 30, 2020 at 10am, it will reopen the building to the public for select onsite services, many of which have been greatly missed and some that are new.

To keep its staff and patrons as safe as possible, the Library has implemented extensive preventative measures and controls, including that all staff and visitors will be required to wear masks, practice physical distancing and all public spaces have limited capacities.

The Sawyer Free Library will be open for public service six days a week, Monday through Saturday, from 10 am to 5 pm, except for Thursday, when it is open from 12 to 7 pm. Visitors coming to the Library to borrow from the collections are requested to keep their visits to 30 minutes or less, including young people and their families in the Library’s Children’s Room. People are encouraged to search the online catalogue before visiting to see what is available and make a list of materials with their call numbers so they can be found more easily.

The public is requested to use the entrance closest to the Library area that they want to visit. The parking lot entrance will be for access to the Children’s Room and those with accessibility needs. The Dale Avenue entrance will be for the first floor where the fiction, DVD, and music collections are available for browsing and the Friends Book Shop is located. If people need materials from the non-fiction and local history collections on the second floor, the staff will be happy to retrieve them.

Also on the first floor, the Library will have two first-come first-served express public computer stations for 30 minute sessions. People needing public computer access for longer periods may check out a Chrome Book or an App Sampler Tablet along with a 3-hour Wireless Hot-Spot.

The Library will be opening the 2nd floor to students ages 11 and up as a Student Study Hall from 1 to 5 pm Monday through Friday. It will offer students independent study stations in a safe, welcoming environment where they will have access to WiFi, resources to support their learning and staff assistance to help them thrive. For everyone’s safety, all work stations and tables are socially distanced and sanitization supplies are readily available. Study spaces are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and students are requested to keep their visits to under 2 hours. 

The library experience will be very different from the last time people visited. Furniture, tables, and seating have been removed to increase the amount of space available for proper social distancing. Directional pathways and signage will help manage traffic throughout the Library. Hand sanitizer stations are available. The staff will be social distancing behind glass barriers installed at service areas and wearing masks at all times.

The Sawyer Free Library staff recognizes that not everyone will be ready for an in-person visit and will continue to offer many of its offsite services. Library cardholders can still utilize the daily curbside pick up, digital collections for downloading, and its online programming for Book Clubs and children’s storytime. The staff is always happy to assist anyone by phone, email, and LibChat for questions about online resources, tech issues, and book recommendations.

The following services remain temporarily unavailable at the Sawyer Free Library: public indoor lounge seating, meeting rooms and group study spaces, newspapers, and in-person public programs.

For detailed information about the Sawyer Free Library’s services, programs, procedures and policies, and COVID-19 updates, please visit

Backyard Growers is hiring!

Backyard Growers is seeking a full-time Program Coordinator to join our small but mighty team and manage our school and community gardens in Gloucester.

Are you (or is someone you know!) a dynamic people person with vegetable farming and/or urban agriculture experience who is passionate about connecting communities, bringing diverse populations together, and honoring different perspectives? If so, this role could be a great fit!

Check it out here, apply by 12/6/2020, and help Backyard Growers continue to connect seniors, kids, and families to the resources they need to grow their own food! 💚

The GMGI Science Hour with Dr. Bruce Walker on 10/15 – Register Now!

GMGI’s Fall Science Hour series begins this Thursday, October 15th with a talk featuring Dr. Bruce Walker’s first-hand experience treating COVID-19 and co-leading the Massachusetts Consortium for Pathogen Readiness.  Register now! 

If you have already registered for this talk, you will have received a confirmation email from Zoom with login information. 

Please reach out to with any questions.
Previous Science Hour talks are available on our website.