Message from the MBL President and Director Regarding Immigration

The Marine Biological Laboratory is deeply committed to the free and open exchange of scholars from around the world. It is the defining characteristic of our mission supporting the advancement of scientific knowledge for the benefit of mankind. We are concerned about the potential impact of the Executive Order signed on January 27, 2017, which restricts travel into the United States for nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, and places new restrictions on the U.S. visa process. The MBL annually welcomes to its campus in Woods Hole hundreds of international students and scientists. We deeply regret the imposition of restrictions that will hinder the free flow of scholars and students.

As the events of this past weekend make clear, there remains considerable uncertainty with regard to the extent of the current restrictions and the future directions they may take. We are committed to welcoming students and scientists from all over the world once again in the summer of 2017. We are working with our colleagues at the University of Chicago to assess the potential impact of this Executive Order on our programs. The University’s Office of International Affairs is assisting us with questions and concerns and their website,, is being updated with important information as the situation develops.

We also refer you to the position of the University of Chicago’s leadership on immigration issues and the Executive Order.

For questions or concerns regarding our summer courses, please contact Dr. Rae Nishi, Director of the Division of Education; Burroughs Wellcome Fund Director of Education ( For questions or concerns regarding the Whitman Program, Grass Fellows, MBL Fellows, Hibbitt Fellows and Resident Research, please contact Dr. Jonathan Gitlin, Director of the Division of Research (

Huntington F. Willard
President and Director