MDIBL international partnership announced

BAR HARBOR — The Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory has signed a partnership agreement with the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) at Monash University in Melbourne to promote research and education on regeneration and the development of new therapies to improve human health.

“ARMI and the MDI Biological Laboratory are the only two research institutions in the world that focus on understanding how diverse animals are able to readily grow new body parts after injury or disease,” said Kevin Strange, president of the MDI Biological Laboratory. “By partnering with ARMI, we will be able to speed the discovery of new ways to promote healing and tissue repair in humans and potentially improve Maine’s economy. This is an exciting opportunity for us all.”

“MDI Biological Laboratory has a venerable history that Kevin has rejuvenated with young vibrant faculty and a new focus on regenerative medicine,” says Nadia Rosenthal, ARMI’s Founding Director. “We found we had both landed on the same recipe for success: studying animals with varying regenerative capacity gives remarkable insight into mechanisms of repair.”

The new agreement is designed to facilitate the creation of an international exchange program between faculty and students at the two research institutions, including graduate students conducting doctoral thesis research at the MDI Biological Laboratory and Monash University, and Monash University medical students. Three Monash graduate students will participate in a new regenerative biology course and symposium to be held at the MDI Biological Laboratory this summer.

The partnership also opens the possibility of developing biotech business connections between Maine and Australia in areas of shared interest and also may develop a drug discovery consortium focused on using a variety of organisms to model diseases and identify new pharmaceuticals.

According to Peter Currie, ARMI’s deputy director, “This partnership offers an unprecedented opportunity to build on our increasing knowledge about natural mechanisms for healing and repair. ARMI and the MDI Biological Laboratory share a common mission and drive to put our discoveries to work as new therapies.”

ARMI opened in 2009 as a joint venture between Monash University and the Victorian government. The $153 million center was established to build on the university’s existing strengths in biomedical research. The MDI Biological Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution founded in Maine in 1898.

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