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.