Please join us via Zoom this Thursday, March 4th to hear from Dr. Shirley Pomponi, research professor, ocean explorer, and part-time aquanaut, as she describes her experience living in the underwater laboratory Aquarius for nine days in 2019. Dr. Pomponi was selected to participate in one of NASA’s Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO), testing out techniques and protocols for future space missions.
Today begins our new #TourTuesday series, where you’ll get a glimpse inside GMGI’s state-of-the-art research institute each Tuesday for the next few weeks. Let’s get started!
Some background: Affectionately known amongst staff as ‘417 Main’, the nearly 6,000sq ft space first opened in October of 2018 and is home to all of GMGI’s research and administration staff. The institute was built by @windover_construction and was made possible through a $2.7M grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center.
First up, the largest and most centralized lab in the institute, the Molecular Biology Lab. This is where the majority of hands-on laboratory experiments take place, with specialized tasks happening in other, smaller lab areas. (You’ll see those in the coming weeks!) The Molecular Biology Lab supports desk space for GMGI’s research associates and lab technicians, and has designated bench space for up to 16 research staff – all with incredible views of Gloucester’s inner and outer harbor!
The Gloucester Biotechnology Academy is now accepting applications for the Class of 2022! The Academy, located in Blackburn Industrial Park, provides high school graduates with the training needed to begin a career in biotech. This innovative program pairs ten months of hands-on training in a state-of-the-art teaching lab with a paid, three-month internship at a biotech company or research institute in Boston, Cambridge or the North Shore.
Are you – or know someone who might be – interested in learning more? Visit our website or contact Education Director Dr. John Doyle at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
GMGI’s free, virtual lecture series The GMGI Science Hour returns for the new year, and we are thrilled to kick off 2021 with Dr. Vincent Pieribone, Vice Chairman of OceanX!
Please join us on Thursday, January 21st at 7:30pm via Zoom to hear Dr. Pieribone discuss the fascinating adventures of OceanX and what it means for the future of Ocean Science. Registration is required — register today! A live Q&A session will be held after Dr. Pieribone’s talk, and will be moderated by GMGI’s Donald G. Comb Science Director, Dr. Andrea Bodnar.
2020 will be remembered as the year that saw a complete upheaval of daily life. Everyone needed to pivot and adjust — quickly — to a new normal.
Here at GMGI, it was no exception. With the stay-at-home order implemented in the Spring, our research team lost valuable time in the Institute’s laboratories. Our Academy internships were cut short due to closings, and the graduation was both delayed and scaled down.
Despite these obstacles and disappointments, the past eleven months have produced some incredible outcomes.
• The Academy graduated its fourth class (with an impressive 78% graduation rate) and enrolled a full fifth class, which has maintained in-person learning without any positive COVID-19 cases to date. • We began the expansion of our Academy to create a new biomanufacturing learning environment, made possible by a grant from Governor Baker’s Workforce Development Cabinet. • Our Science team continued its innovative research, cracking the lobster genome, understanding population genetics of North Atlantic Cod, and investigating genetic diversity of the tiny microorganisms that are vital to sustaining a healthy marine ecosystem. • The GMGI Science Hour was introduced virtually as a way to bring our community together and bring world-class, innovative science safely to you at home.
We are proud of these accomplishments. And we are equally proud of the dedicated, motivated GMGI staff. They’ve showed that, thanks to a focused determination, the GMGI mission is stronger than ever.
We hope our performance within the most challenging environment in recent memory gives you the confidence to support GMGI as the year draws to a close. Your tax-deductible donation will fortify our efforts to address the critical challenges facing our oceans, human health and the environment.
Chris Bolzan, Executive DirectorDONATE TODAY TO SUPPORT OUR MISSIONGMGI Science Hour Talks Continue Up next on the GMGI Science Hour: our own Donald G. Comb Science Director, Dr. Andrea Bodnar! Following on the heels of the inspiring talk two weeks ago from Nobel Laureate William G. Kaelin Jr., M.D. – which drew a record setting audience – Dr. Bodnar joins us THIS Thursday December 3rd at 7:30pm via Zoom to discuss her groundbreaking work on the long-lived red sea urchin, and its potential to help scientists understand healthy aging in humans. Register for the talk here.
As always, you can view previous Science Hour talks and learn more about our upcoming speakers on our website.Academy Starts Second Semester The Academy’s first semester wrapped up in mid-November, with students completing a final practical exam that consisted of different ‘stations’ set up in the teaching lab, designed to test students’ knowledge and application of different technical laboratory skills. All students completed their exams – and the semester – successfully, with high praise from their instructors. Teaching Assistant Rebecca Barnard reports that in addition to fulfilling the requirements of semester one, this class had some of the cleanest DNA sequencing results seen in recent years.
We are also happy to report there were zero cases of COVID-19 within the Academy’s in-person learning model. This accomplishment is a testament to the commitment to safety that students and instructors practiced over the past 12 weeks.
This morning, students returned to the Academy to begin their second semester. Using what they learned in semester one on how to extract fish DNA for sequencing, semester two will guide students through the process of extracting protein from fish samples. There will also be an introduction to mammalian cell culture – the growth and passaging of cells derived from animal tissue. Additionally, this class will be the first to end semester two with four weeks of biomanufacturing – a brief introduction to what will soon be a permanent addition to the Academy curriculum in 2021. You can read more about the new biomanufacturing curriculum and lab, and the grant that enabled it, here.GMGI research associates Dylan Comb and Tim O’Donnell stop at Corliss Landing on a sampling trip in late November, collecting water samples for an ongoing eDNA project analyzing the local cod population.GMGI’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
During the summer months, GMGI created an internal Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee. Since its formation, the committee has met on a regular basis to address issues of inclusion and equity in the workplace, develop staff training and growth opportunities, and foster an environment free of bias and judgment. The committee has developed this statement of commitment: In addition to researching diversity in our oceans, GMGI is committed to supporting diversity in our workforce and classrooms. We know that having varied backgrounds and experiences stimulates discussion and new ideas. We are taking action on diversity, equity, and inclusion by providing substantial training opportunities to increase self-awareness as an organization, and building a team of staff and students from uniquely different backgrounds.The GMGI Science Minute
As you enjoyed your second (or third) helping of Thanksgiving dinner, GMGI Scientist Matt Harke, PhD hopes you remembered to thank your gut microbiome. DONATE TODAY
On Thursday, November 19th, we are honored to have Nobel Laureate William G. Kaelin Jr., M.D. as the speaker for our second virtual Science Hour talk of the season! In 2019, Dr. Kaelin received the Nobel Prize 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.
Please join us on Thursday, November 19th at 7:30pm on Zoom to hear Dr. Kaelin’s journey from being a “C-” student to earning one of the most prestigious awards in medicine.
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 email@example.com with any questions. REGISTER NOW Previous Science Hour talks are available on our website.
On August 31, the Gloucester Biotechnology Academy will open its doors for the Class of 2021 to begin the innovative, life sciences workforce training at Blackburn Center. and is still accepting applications for the few remaining openings. The entering class will mark the 5th anniversary of the transformational, vocational program.
“At GMGI, we are all about science so we will be taking more than just the prescribed precautions,” said Christine Bolzan, GMGI Executive Director. “This will be a safe and productive environment — 81% of enrolled students graduate and 86% of them have gone either on to careers in life sciences or to study science in college.” The Academy team has created a comprehensive plan that prioritizes the health and safety of students and staff and allows for a continuation of the Academy’s tradition of excellence in hands-on, laboratory career training.
Donning PPE has long been an Academy practice, and additional requirements will include careful social distancing, rotating breaks and lunch schedules, cleaning regimens, and a revised academic calendar to account for potential disruptions due to illness. Students and staff will engage in daily health monitoring before entering the facility. Equipment has been purchased to allow for lectures to be recorded, and both classroom and laboratory settings have been reconfigured to create the safest possible environment.
“The practical curriculum cannot be taught remotely as the great benefit of this experience is its hands-on nature and guidance from our teaching staff. We needed to develop a plan that would allow that to continue, and it will take commitment, vigilance and honesty within our Academy community to make this work amid a global pandemic. We are excited to move forward and welcome another cohort of young adults to pursue careers as laboratory technicians,” explained Dr. John Doyle, Education Director.
The Gloucester Biotechnology Academy is currently accepting applications for the Fall of 2020 and more information can be found online: https://gmgi.org/education/apply/
Join us on Thursday, July 9th for the final GMGI Science Hour of the season: “GFP: Lighting Up Life” with Nobel Prize winner Martin Chalfie.
In 2008, Dr. Chalfie was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry with co-recipients Osamu Shimomura and Roger Tsien for the discovery and development of Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP). His demonstration of the GFP gene’s capability as a biological marker revolutionized the biological sciences and contributed to major advances in genetics, cell biology, and neurobiology, and to a better understanding of cancer, Alzheimer’s and other diseases.
Looking for plans this Thursday night? Join GMGI for our virtual Science Hour!
Nina Overgaard Therkildsen, fisheries scientist, assistant professor at Cornell University, and GMGI Science Advisory Board member, will join us via Zoom on Thursday, June 11th at 7:30pm to discuss how she and her team use genomics as a tool for improving fisheries management.
Nina’s research aims to leverage the ongoing revolution in genomic analysis tools to help support sustainable fisheries management and marine conservation. Her talk will discuss the enormous potential of DNA as a tracing tool in a wide variety of ocean applications.
Invitation with details below. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.