Bar Harbor: MDI lab dedicates research building

Posted July 28, 2008, at 12 a.m.
Last modified Jan. 28, 2011, at 12:08 a.m.

BAR HARBOR, Maine&nbsp- The Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory has formally dedicated its new laboratory building and announced the names of two research centers that will call the building home.

The announcement was made July 24 as the laboratory held its annual meeting and celebrated its 110th year.

The new research centers in the new structure, one on each floor, are named after benefactors and lab officials. The John W. and Jean C. Boylan Center for Cellular and Molecular Physiology is on the first floor, and the Martha and Wistar Morris Center for Environment and Human Health is on the second floor.

John Boylan, father of the MDI lab’ s chairman, Terence C. Boylan, was a seasonal investigator at the lab, while Wistar Morris is a member of the lab’ s board of trustees who, with his wife, Martha, offered the lab a $1 million challenge grant last year.

State and lab officials spoke at the annual meeting, praising the efforts of those for whom the centers are named and others who worked hard to make the new building a reality.

“This building encompasses so many things,” Terence Boylan said at the meeting. “It is already a symbol of the future of Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory.”

Franklin Epstein, a seasonal investigator at the lab who also serves on the board of trustees, said the collegial atmosphere and relatively small size of the building should help foster a spirit of collaboration among the lab’ s scientists.

“It’ s very hard to remember more than 10 names,” Epstein said. “We hope this laboratory continues to grow in quality, but not too much in quantity.”

About 200 people attended the event held in a white tent pitched outside the new three-story building, which was built to environmental standards established by the U.S Green Building Council. Lab officials cut a ribbon outside the new building and gave tours to lab visitors immediately after the annual meeting.

Founded in 1898 as a summer lab only, the lab has seven lead investigators among its year-round staff of approximately 30 people. It specializes in biomedical research on marine life.

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