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July 24, 2017

NIH awards $20M grant to Maine Medical Center Research Institute

Courtesy / Maine Medical Center Research Institute
Courtesy / Maine Medical Center Research Institute
Maine Medical Center Research Institute in Scarborough has received from the National Institutes of Health a $20 million award over five years to establish the Northern New England Clinical and Translational Research Network with partners that include the University of Southern Maine and University of Vermont College of Medicine.

Maine Medical Center Research Institute: By the numbers


  • 180 employees, including 98 who have a master's degree or above

  • 229 total grants and contracts, totaling $92 million, over the past five years

  • 246 clinical trial studies and 878 published research articles in journals over the past five years

  • Since 2000, MMCRI has supported and provided training to 33 graduate students from the University of Maine and Tufts University School of Medicine, as well as 75 postdoctoral fellows

The National Institutes of Health has awarded $20 million over five years to the Maine Medical Center Research Institute and its partners to establish the Northern New England Clinical and Translational Research Network.

Funding from this award will help researchers develop and implement innovative medical treatments for many chronic diseases prevalent in Maine, including cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and substance abuse. Research activities will also focus on defining optimal methods of prevention and health care delivery in rural environments, where approximately 60% of Maine's population resides.

The consortium is comprised of MMCRI and its partners, the University of Vermont College of Medicine and the University of Southern Maine, and will feature collaborations with researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine and the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.

Dr. Clifford Rosen, director of the Center for Clinical and Translational Research at Maine Medical Center Research Institute, and Gary Stein, Ph.D., director of the University of Vermont Cancer Center and chairman of the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, will co-lead the program.

The consortium joins nine other NIH-supported regional networks across the country.

Sen. Collins tours research labs

Courtesy / Sen. Susan Collins Office
Courtesy / Sen. Susan Collins Office
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, meets with a lab researcher at Maine Medical Center Research Institute's facility in Scarborough.

On Friday, MMCRI investigators briefed U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, during a visit to the institute's Scarborough campus that included tours of several research labs.

"This $20 million grant will help spur the advancement of treatments, means of prevention and cures for diseases that affect nearly every American family," Collins said in a statement. "The establishment of this consortium is a true credit to the skilled scientists at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute and its partnering institutions, including the University of Southern Maine."

Collins, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, added, "helping to foster collaboration among researchers and implement innovative medical treatments ... will help us conquer so many diseases that take both an emotional and financial toll."

The institute, in a news release, said another key purpose of the network is training the next generation of biomedical scientists, physicians and nurses in research methodology to attract additional research support to the region.

"Such initiatives are critical in meeting the health care needs of the region's aging population in an era when ground-breaking medical treatments are rapidly being developed," the release stated.

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