BAR HARBOR, Maine — Thanks to a challenge gift from one of its trustees last year, The Jackson Laboratory will be able to get double the $1 million it has raised as part of the gift’s stipulations.
The gift was made in March 2009 by Weslie Janeway, a geneticist and author who hails from Cambridge, England, and New York City. To collect on the money, which is geared toward recruiting and supporting new scientists at the lab, Jackson Lab had to raise an equal amount of money on its own.
That goal was accomplished just a couple of weeks ago, according to the lab officials. With the $2 million now at its disposal, the lab plans to hire seven new principal investigators over the next five years. The money will be used to pay for their starting salaries, for lab equipment, and for experiments, lab officials indicated in a recent press release.
“I had expected this campaign to take two years,” Janeway said in the statement. “I’m most gratified that the laboratory has met its goal not only in terms of raising the matching funds, but also in attracting new donors and encouraging current supporters to make additional gifts.”
Rich Gurin, chairman of the board of trustees advancement committee, indicated that 20 percent of the 414 contributed matching gifts the lab received were from first-time donors.
“We are fortunate to have a trustee leader like Weslie Janeway, who challenged all of us to support the new talented young scientists who are leading the search [into biomedical research breakthroughs],” Gurin said in the statement.
With nearly 1,200 employees at its local campus, Jackson Lab is the largest employer in Hancock County and one of the largest in eastern Maine. It is known worldwide for using mice in its research of human disease and medical conditions and for breeding mice used in similar research around the globe.