Graber joins MDI Bio Lab

BAR HARBOR — Joel Graber has joined the faculty of the MDI Biological Laboratory as a senior staff scientist. He will serve as director of the institution’s computational biology and bioinformatics core.

As director of the core, Graber will collaborate with scientists from the laboratory and from Maine INBRE, a statewide biomedical innovation network, to assist them in analyzing large quantities of complex biological data.

Graber will work in the institution’s Kathryn W. Davis Center for Regenerative Biology and Medicine, where scientists are working to identify the molecular pathways responsible for regeneration in organisms that have retained the ability to regenerate lost and damaged tissues and organs, then screening for drugs with the potential to reawaken these dormant regeneration pathways in humans.

Graber also will lead the development of the Comparative Models of Regeneration Database (RegenDB), a novel bioinformatics resource supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) whose function is to integrate gene function across multiple animal, tissue and cell models in order to validate and inform the hypotheses needed for the discovery and development of regenerative medicine drug therapies.

The development of the database is supported by the NIH’s Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) program, which focuses on regeneration, tissue repair and aging.

A physicist turned computational scientist, Graber comes to the MDI Biological Laboratory from The Jackson Laboratory, where he focused on computational approaches to understanding posttranscriptional gene regulation and interactions, while also working intensively to process, analyze and interpret the genome-scale data sets generated within the Patient Derived Xenograft (PDX) cancer study program.

Graber is a native of Munising, Mich. He holds dual bachelor’s degrees in physics and computer science from Michigan Technological University and a doctorate in experimental accelerator physics from Cornell University.

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