Bio Lab awarded $2 million

Kevin Strange

Kevin Strange

BAR HARBOR — Kevin Strange, president of The Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, has received a five-year, $2.1 million federal grant to study how proteins are regulated.

Proteins perform the essential work of every cell and organ in our bodies. Understanding how they are regulated and what happens when mutations occur is key to developing better treatments for a variety of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and heart disease.

Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the grant will support Strange’s studies of two unique elements or domains found in diverse proteins that play poorly understood roles in the regulation of protein function. Mutations in these domains result in serious heart, muscle, eye, bone, kidney and metabolic diseases, and they are important targets for drug development.

“Kevin is widely recognized as a leader in improving our understanding of the role of these poorly understood protein domains,” said Nadia Rosenthal, director of the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute and member of the MDI Biological Laboratory’s Board of Scientific Counselors. “In addition to maintaining an NIH-funded research program in a highly competitive funding environment, he is also the driving force behind the major transformation and growth of the MDI Biological Laboratory over the past six years.”

Strange joined the MDI Biological Laboratory as its first full-time president in 2009. Since that time, he has established a new research focus in regeneration and aging biology and medicine, recruited five full-time faculty members and raised more than $40 million in funding from private and governmental sources to support the institution’s research and educational programs. Additionally, he is playing a key role in developing Maine’s R&D and science commercialization activities and is co-founder and CEO of Novo Biosciences, a start-up biotech company developing a novel drug for use in regenerative medicine.

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