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December 21, 2022

Jackson Lab awarded over $130M in grant funding in 2022

2 people in lab with microscope Courtesy / Cloe Poisson, JAX Research Assistant Mallory Ryan examines slides in the cellular engineering laboratory along with Justin McDonough, associate director of Cellular Engineering Service, as part of JAX’s studies of neurodegenerative disorders

Jackson Laboratory, headquartered in Bar Harbor, achieved its second-highest grant funding year in 2022, taking in over $130 million.

The figure was down 8% from the biomedical research institute's record haul of over $140 million in 2021.

Both figures are well above the previous annual record of $108 million in 2020.

The 2022 grants and 90 awards for diverse research areas, came from federal programs, foundations and other external sources to support research and education programs.

The 2022 funding included:

  • A three-year grant for $2.3 million to model genetic interactions related to Alzheimer's disease.
  • $4 million to study embryonic development.
  • 9.7 million over five years to help establish a National Institutes of Health research center related to the interpretation and classification of genes implicated in human disease. 
  •  A five-year grant totaling more than $9 million to study whether and how next-generation flu vaccines are more effective in older adults than previous vaccines.
  • In collaboration with UConn Health, a four-year grant for $10.7 million to generate a database of mouse senescent cells with the goal to identify new biomarkers for human therapeutic application.
  •  A five-year renewal grant for $3 million to research heritable retinal disease.
  • Renewal of $3.7 million over five years to investigate protein irregularities linked to neurodegenerative disease.
  • Numerous grants for the study of rare diseases such as pediatric cancer, Alport syndrome and Charcot-Marie Tooth disease.

Studying COVID-19

After more than two years of rigorous analysis and sequencing of COVID-19 samples from Maine, Connecticut and California, JAX ran its final analyses of COVID-19 samples in summer 2022, having performed over 1.6 million PCR tests since the pandemic began in 2020. 

aerial of campus and woods
Courtesy / JAX
JAX in Bar Harbor.

JAX played a role in strengthening testing capabilities and remains committed to COVID-19 research conducted across its campuses. Projects include working with hospitals nationwide to pool COVID patient data, better define the scope of long COVID and provide better clinical insight for patients. JAX also utilized cancer immunotherapy techniques to develop potential variant-proof treatments for COVID-19.

Program and infrastructure growth

To address the need for research on less commonly known diseases, JAX expanded its commitment to rare disease research by starting the Rare Disease Translational Center.

The center is expected to play a role through the rare disease odyssey from diagnosis to research to drug development.

The Maine Cancer Genomics Initiative, a JAX-led alliance of Maine oncology providers, also expanded by bringing resources to oncologists across the country.

Addressing the lack of accessible, year-round housing in Bar Harbor, JAX opened its Hemlock Lane apartments within walking distance of the Bar Harbor campus. The complex includes 24 units housing over 40 people and is managed by the Bar Harbor Housing Authority.

JAX broke ground on a child care facility at its Bar Harbor campus. The center will accommodate more than 50 children when fully staffed and is slated to open in 2024.

This year marked the fifth anniversary of the JAX College Scholarship program, which recognizes high school students from underserved backgrounds who are pursuing careers in life sciences and health care. A total of $140,000 in scholarships have been provided to high school students since 2018. 

JAX Genomic Education relaunched its Online MicroLessons and MiniCourses in 2022, for graduate students, postdocs and animal care and laboratory research professionals. Since the relaunch, nearly 4,000 learners from 113 countries have generated nearly 10,000 new enrollments.

A gift from Tucker Taft and his wife Phyllis Yale established the JAX Endowment for Diversity Initiatives to support  access to specialized mentorship for trainees from communities and populations that are underrepresented in science, and by helping to create an inclusive culture.

Moses Davis, the Jackson Lab director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, this year initiated Stoveside Chats, a video series where he and employees discuss DEI topics. The DEI team also supported training opportunities, webinars, employee resource groups and events to support a diverse culture at JAX.

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