Governor Baker Signs Life Sciences Bond Bill with Earmark Funding for MBL Imaging Initiative

June 15, 2018
CONTACT: Gina Hebert, Marine Biological Laboratory

WOODS HOLE, Mass. – At a ceremony today at Bunker Hill Community College, Governor Charlie Baker signed a $473 million Massachusetts Life Sciences Bond Bill containing $10 million earmarked by the Legislature for an Imaging Innovation Initiative at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL).  The capital funds, which Governor Baker will decide how to invest over five years, would enable capital improvements to the Lillie Laboratory.


Confocal image of a squid embryo. Nuclei are stained blue, neural structures are red and cilia on the surface of the embryo are stained green. Credit: Davalyn Powell/MBL Embryology Course

The MBL, an affiliate of the University of Chicago, is in the process of launching a new Imaging Innovation Initiative in the Lillie Laboratory.  The interdisciplinary effort will be devoted to developing and disseminating new instrumentation, techniques, and computational tools that will advance major biological breakthroughs and inform new approaches that can be used to answer the most intractable questions facing the life sciences community. Capital funding from the Commonwealth provided through the Life Sciences Bond Bill is expected to unlock further funding in additional programmatic and capital support from public and private partners.

“We greatly appreciate the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ commitment to cultivating strong partnerships with leading research institutions like the Marine Biological Laboratory,” said Robert Zimmer, President of the University of Chicago and Chairman of the MBL Board of Trustees. “The capital funding provided for in this bill will not only help to drive our understanding of biology, but will also leverage partnerships to increase the vibrancy of the Cape Cod scientific community year-round.”

“I am excited to have been able to work with Governor Baker and my colleagues in the Legislature to secure this funding for the Marine Biological Laboratory,” said Senator Vinny deMacedo (R-Plymouth). “MBL is a world class research facility located in our own backyard that has placed Massachusetts at the forefront of scientific research in our nation. I am thrilled to see this investment in keeping MBL at the cutting edge of life sciences research and look forward to continuing to work with them as this project moves forward.”

“The Marine Biological Laboratory, founded in 1888, is an impressive, world-renowned research and educational facility for scientific discovery that attracts the best and brightest scientists, students and faculty from around the world to study on the shores of Cape Cod,” said State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro). “The investment by the Commonwealth for the renovation of critical building infrastructure will further strengthen Massachusetts’s place as a worldwide leader in life sciences research — and keep Cape Cod and the Islands at the forefront of marine science worldwide.”


The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) is dedicated to scientific discovery – exploring fundamental biology, understanding marine biodiversity and the environment, and informing the human condition through research and education. Founded in Woods Hole, Massachusetts in 1888, the MBL is a private, nonprofit institution and an affiliate of the University of Chicago.