Updates From GMGI

Thank you to everyone who helped make 2021 a year of impact and growth for GMGI. As we look forward to 2022, I see a bright and exciting road ahead with activity from the first two months of the year paving the way:
 
GMGI was honored with a visit by U.S. Representative Seth Moulton who came to see first-hand our transformative workforce development activities and marine genomics research.
Renowned marine genetics scientist Dr. Stephen Palumbi joined GMGI’s Science Advisory Board.
At the Academy, we have a record number of internship opportunities to offer our Academy students.
 
GMGI is demonstrating that Gloucester is a great location to conduct cutting-edge scientific research and offer a new model for educating our young people.
 
None of this would be possible without the enthusiastic support of our community. Thank you for your belief in GMGI’s potential — we are committed to maintaining this momentum, and look to the future with confidence. 

In gratitude, 

Chris Bolzan
Executive Director

Congressman Seth Moulton Visits GMGI

 
U.S. Congressman Seth Moulton visited GMGI in January along with State Senator Bruce Tarr, State Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante, and the new mayor of Gloucester, Greg Verga. Donald G. Comb Science Director Andrea Bodnar toured the group through the research institute at 417 Main Street with Executive Director Chris Bolzan, and GMGI Board Member Bill Kane. The group finished the visit at the Academy where Education Director John Doyle and Lead Teacher Stephen Anderson walked them through the new biomanufacturing learning lab and previewed the new curriculum.

“This is fantastic,” Moulton said afterward. “This is exactly what we need to see more of in terms of education, but also in terms of our economy. There’s a synergy between the economic lifeblood of Massachusetts and tremendous educational opportunities for our students. This is incredible.” Moulton said he hopes other communities in the Commonwealth learn from our model. 

GMGI welcomes Dr. Stephen Palumbi to our Scientific Advisory Board 
A native of Baltimore, Steve Palumbi has long been fascinated by how quickly the world around us changes. His research on the genetics of marine organisms focuses on basic evolutional questions, and on practical solutions to questions about how to preserve and protect the diverse life in the sea. Steve has lectured on human-induced evolutionary change, has used genetic detective work to identify whales, seahorses, rockfish, and sharks for sale in retail markets, and is developing genomic methods to help find ocean species resistant to climate change. His work on corals in the American Samoa and Palau has identified corals more resilient to heat stress, and his work at the Hopkins Marine Station focuses on how kelp, sea urchins, abalone, and mussels respond to environmental changes.

In addition to hundreds of published scientific research papers on a wide variety of marine organisms, Steve has published several books for non-scientists and has appeared in many film and TV documentaries to share his fascination with the world’s oceans.

Steve holds a Ph.D. in Marine Ecology from the University of Washington and started his career as a Professor at the University of Hawaii before moving to a Professorship at Harvard University. He then joined the faculty of Stanford University and is now the Jane and Marshall Steel Jr. Professor of Marine Sciences and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment. Steve is a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, a member of the National Academy of Science, and a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation. 

“Steve is a world-renowned marine biologist and leader in the field of marine genomics, and we are thrilled to have him as a member of our Scientific Advisory Board,” said Andrea Bodnar, Donald G. Comb Science Director.


Academy Students Interview for Internships

The internship process for the Class of 2022 has been like no other in the Academy’s six-year history. Academy students began their internship journeys by participating in (virtual) mock interviews on January 13th. On the day of these interviews, 20 individuals representing 11 local biotech companies provided our students critical practice and feedback.

“The mock interviews were really good practice and helped me feel more prepared for the real interviews. Mentors from the mock interviews gave feedback on what I should focus on in terms of my interests and what questions the interviewers might ask,” an Academy student explained. Real interviews with employers began the week of January 20th.

Students are benefitting from an unprecedented 26 companies offering 41 internship positions. In just six years, the demand for Academy students has far outpaced the supply.

“Part of the demand this year due to our new biomanufacturing curriculum and the additional skills it gives our students. These skills are in high demand right now,” said Education Director John Doyle. 

In the second semester students learn how to insert DNA necessary to create green fluorescent protein (GFP) into bacteria. The bacteria are then grown into high density in a fermenter, producing equally high concentrations of GFP inside the bacteria. In the image shown above, a student learns how to successfully operate a homogenizer, an instrument used to break open bacterial cells and release the GFP, which is glowing after being exposed to a UV light source. 


Stefan Abramo and Barbe Ennis-Abramo are donors and passionate volunteers at GMGI — Stefan lending his time and experience as an Academy volunteer and Barbe as a GMGI committee member. A rich life of professional and personal experiences has taken them around the world (and continues to do so), but it is here in Gloucester they now call home…  Click here to read more. 


GMGI Science Hours

Unable to attend one of our recent Science Hours? Click the links below to watch!

This is not Planet Earth: Recent findings from our work on the physiological and biochemical adaptations to life in the deep sea with Dr. Peter Girguis, Harvard University

Living with White Sharks with Dr. Greg Skomal, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries

GMGI Science Hour on 2/17 with Dr. Greg Skomal of MA Marine Fisheries

**Please use the updated registration link below**

Living with White Sharks

Please join us on Thursday,  February 17th at 7:30pm to hear from Dr. Gregory Skomal of Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries.


Click here to register!

White sharks have been returning to the Gulf of Maine in greater numbers in response to the regional recovery of seal populations. For more than a decade, the MA Division of Marine Fisheries and collaborators have been studying the ecology, behavior, and natural history of white sharks off the easy coast of the US using state-of-the-art tagging technology. The focus of Dr. Skomal’s current research has been to gain a better understanding of where, when, and how white sharks hunt their prey. Join Dr. Skomal as he shares this research as he and his team attempt to develop a science-based strategy for mitigating potential shark and human conflicts.Q&A to be moderated by GMGI Donald G. Comb Science Director Andrea Bodnar.
REGISTER NOW
Missed our last Science Hour?Click the link below to hear from Dr. Peter Girguis of Harvard University discuss his work researching the deep sea! 

This is not Planet Earth: Recent findings from our work on the physiological and biochemical adaptations to life in the deep sea

SUPPORT GMGI THIS GIVING SEASON

Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute had a pivotal year in 2021 and to make 2022 even better, we need your help.

Supporting GMGI means:

Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute is an ambitious organization. And yet we are just getting started.

Click here to support GMGI.

Dr. Iain Kerr of Gloucester’s Ocean Alliance joins the December GMGI Science Hour!

Photo credit: Ocean Alliance

Interested in learning more about Ocean Alliance, the SnotBot, their innovative whale research and ocean conservation efforts? Don’t miss Dr. Iain Kerr, Ocean Alliance CEO, as he joins the GMGI Science Hour on Thursday, December 9th at 7:30pm. Dr. Kerr’s talk is free and available to anyone who is interested. You can click here to register.

Check out our short preview of his talk with our Science Hour Warm Up. You can also see past Science Hour videos on our website.

Be sure to sign up for our mailing list or reach out to Ashley Destino at ashley.destino@gmgi.org to stay up to date on future Science Hour talks. The new season begins on January 20th!

Up Next on the GMGI Science Hour: Integrating Resilient Reef Restoration to Recover Florida’s Coral Reef

Join us on Thursday, November 4th at 7:30p via Zoom to hear from Mote Marine Laboratory researchers Dr. Erinn Muller and Dr. Hanna Koch as they discuss their important research restoring and understanding Florida’s coral reefs.

You can click here to register or click here for a brief overview of what you’ll learn from their talk.

GMGI Science Hours are free and open to the public! Please reach out to Ashley Destino with any questions at ashley.destino@gmgi.org

The GMGI Science Hour Returns on 9/23 – register now!

After a brief summer hiatus, we are excited to announce the return of the virtual GMGI Science Hour series with a fantastic talk from Dr. Steve Palumbi!

Dr. Palumbi is a professor of Biology at Stanford’s Hopkin’s Marine Station in California, and will be joining us on Thursday, September 23rd to talk about his fascinating research on coral reefs – and what can be done to help protect them from climate change.

You can click here to register or visit our website to read more about what you can expect from Dr. Palumbi’s talk.

The GMGI Science Hour is free and open to all! Visit our website to learn more, and to see the full list of speakers for the upcoming season.

https://gmgi.org/news/gmgi-news-and-announcements/gmgi-news/the-science-hour-with-stephen-palumbi-phd-a-warm-up/

Virtual Information Session – Gloucester Biotechnology Academy

Join us on Thursday, May 27th at 7:15pm via Zoom to learn more about Gloucester Biotechnology Academy’s hands-on training program that provides young adults with the skills needed to start a career in biotech. This is a webinar, so all you have to do is log in and listen – we wont be able to see or hear you (unless you submit a question for Q&A)!

If you’re curious about the Academy’s training program, or if you’re looking for information on how to apply and be part of the Class of 2022 – all are welcome! Hear from Academy instructors, learn the basics of the program, how to apply, get a virtual tour of the training laboratory, and ask questions during a live Q&A.

You can click here to register, or see the invitation below for details. Please reach out to Ashley Destino at ashley.destino@gmgi.org with any questions.

Virtual Open House: Gloucester Biotechnology Academy

🚨Virtual Open House alert🚨

Join us on Thursday, May 27th at 7:15p via Zoom to learn more about Gloucester Biotechnology Academy’s innovative, hands-on training program. Tune in to hear from Academy instructors, gain insight into program details, and information on how to apply! No need to have your camera on, all you have to do is log in and listen!

The Academy trains young adults to be entry-level lab technicians in just ten months – you can learn more about the program here.

Register for the information session via the link below, and reach out to ashley.destino@gmgi.org with any questions.

Click here to register!

Register Now! The GMGI Science Hour on 5/13

This month’s GMGI Science Hour (our final talk before a brief summer hiatus!) features Dr. Nadia Rosenthal, Scientific Director of The Jackson Laboratory. Our Science Hour Warm Upbelow gives a preview of Dr. Rosenthal’s talk, Exploring COVID-19 Host Genetics with Mice, where she discusses JAX’s new program to develop animal models of COVID-19 through humanizing their genetically diverse mouse strains to reflect different patient responses to the virus.

Dr. Rosenthal joins the Science Hour this Thursday, May 13 at 7:30pm. Haven’t registered yet? Click here to register!

Known as: A Molecular Biologist, and Scientific Director of the Jackson Laboratory

Based out of: Bar Harbor, Maine

What she does in 10 words or less: Studies genetic variation in mice to better understand human disease.

Why what she does is important to you: Dr. Rosenthal uses naturally occurring variation in the genetic code of different strains of mice to study the biology of aging and regenerative medicine. By using mice as models for the differences between individual people, Dr. Rosenthal and her team are able to investigate, for example, how our immune system can be influenced to improve tissue repair, including in the heart. The use of genetic engineering and targeted mutagenesis gives researchers like Nadia the ability to find methods for treatment of degenerative conditions that are usually considered incurable.

What you’ll learn from the talk: How the team at Jackson Laboratory, led by Dr. Rosenthal, is using genetically diverse mice to study susceptibility to SARS-Cov-2 and how mice can help us develop a new understanding of why COVID-19 affects people so differently.
 
Key Terms:

Genetically engineered – the artificial manipulation of genetic material (DNA) to modify an organism.

Degenerative disease – A disease in which the function or structure of the affected tissues or organs changes for the worse over time. For example, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer disease.

Regenerative medicine – Replacing tissue or organs that have been damaged by disease, trauma, or congenital issues with healthy tissue.

Targeted mutagenesis – Deliberate change in the genetic structure directed at a specific site on the chromosome.
 
Fun fact: Nadia is a trained artist, and designs cover art for the scientific journals she edits as well as the books she’s authored.
 
This event is for you if: You’re curious how genomics has played a role in the study of COVID-19, and how mice give scientists an incredible opportunity to research human disease.
 
When: Thursday, May 13th at 7:30pm on Zoom.  Register here.

SPONSORS
 This Science Hour is generously sponsored by: