The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) is dedicated to scientific discovery and improving the human condition through research and education in biology, biomedicine, and environmental science. Founded in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, in 1888, the MBL is a private, nonprofit institution and an affiliate of the University of Chicago.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees: Robert J. Zimmer
Interim President and Director: Arthur Sussman
Speaker of the MBL Society: Colleen M. Cavanaugh
Scientists and Affiliated Staff
The MBL has approximately 300 year-round employees, about half of which are scientists and science support staff. The staff is joined each year by more than 300 visiting scientists, summer staff, and research associates from hundreds of institutions around the world, as well as a large number of faculty and students participating in MBL courses (see below).
Among the scientists with a significant affiliation with the MBL (scientists, course faculty and students) are 56 Nobel Prize winners (since 1929); 124 Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators, early career scientists, international researchers, and professors (since 1960); 229 Members of the National Academy of Sciences (since 1960); and 198 Members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (since 1960).
Affiliation with the University of Chicago
The MBL and the University of Chicago formed an affiliation on July 1, 2013, that enhances both institutions’ missions of leadership and innovation in scientific research and education. The affiliation builds on shared values and historical ties between Chicago and the MBL, which was led by University of Chicago faculty members for the first four decades of its existence.
Major Programs and Research Areas
Ecosystems Center: Ecosystems processes, biogeochemistry, and climate change
Bay Paul Center for Comparative Molecular Biology & Evolution: Microbial ecology; genetics and metagenomics; molecular evolution
Bell Center for Regenerative Biology & Tissue Engineering: Cell, developmental and regenerative biology; tissue engineering and regeneration
Cellular Dynamics Program: Microscopy, imaging and cellular dynamics; cellular physiology and biocurrents; biosensors
Program in Sensory Physiology & Behavior: Sensory biology (especially vision, balance, hearing); cephalopod camouflage; animal behavior
Whitman Center for Visiting Research: Collaborative research by leading scientists from around the world
MBL Courses: 22 courses providing advanced, laboratory-based research training in fields such as cellular physiology, embryology, neurobiology, and microbiology, including (in 2014) 531 students from 371 institutions and 36 countries; and 897 faculty, staff, and lecturers from 258 institutions and 37 countries.
Educational programs also include undergraduate education and independent research, graduate training, the Brown-MBL Graduate Program in Biological and Environmental Sciences, postdoctoral training, and community continuing education programs.
The Brown-MBL Partnership fosters research collaborations between scientists from the MBL and Brown University, and includes undergraduate training, a joint graduate program, graduate training grants, and collaborative research programs.
The Woods Hole Consortium is a research and educational alliance between the MBL, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the Woods Hole Research Center.
Encyclopedia of Life (EOL): The MBL is a founding member of the Encyclopedia of Life, a global consortium working to provide free, open access to curated digital knowledge about life on Earth, with a special focus on more than 200,000 marine organisms. The software programming team responsible for building EOL is based at the MBL.
The MBL annually hosts scientific meetings, conferences, and departmental retreats, accommodating more than 2,600 participants from around the world.
The MBLWHOI Library houses one of the world’s foremost print and electronic literature collections in the biological, biomedical, ecological, and oceanographic sciences; and conducts digitization and informatics projects.
The W. M. Keck Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics Facility is a high-throughput DNA template production and sequencing facility in the MBL’s Josephine Bay Paul Center.
The Marine Resources Department is an advanced facility for maintaining, culturing, and providing aquatic organisms essential to biological, biomedical, and ecological research.
National Xenopus Resource breeds and maintains Xenopus (frog) genetic stocks; and provides training in Xenopus husbandry, cell biology, imaging, genetics, transgenesis, and genomics.
2014 Operating Budget: $47.4 million (40% government grants and contracts; 11% nonfederal grants and contracts; 8% contributions; 7% endowment earnings; 34% other)
Endowment: $76.0 million (as of Dec. 31, 2013)
Net Assets: $166.7 million (as of Dec. 31, 2013)
October 9, 2014