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December 23, 2021

Jackson Lab hits new yearly record for grant funding

File photo Jackson Laboratory is headquartered in Bar Harbor and breeds research mice at a facility in Ellsworth.

Jackson Laboratory, headquartered in Bar Harbor, was awarded over $140 million in grant funds during 2021, a 30% increase over the biomedical research institute's previous annual record of $108 million in 2020.

The grants came from federal programs, foundations and other external sources to support research and education programs, according to a news release. More than 115 awards were made to cover a broad range of work in the lab’s focus areas, including cancer, addiction, education and genetics. 

The 2021 funding included:

  • $2.7 million awarded over five years by the National Cancer Institute to investigate a regulator gene in cancer
  • $2.4 million awarded over five years by the National Cancer Institute to study the lung microenvironment in the presence of breast cancer
  • $1 million from the Mark Foundation for Cancer Research to study immunotherapy in cancer
  • $4 million awarded over five years by the National Institute on Drug Abuse to identify and characterize the mechanisms underlying addiction and predisposing behaviors
  • $4.1 million awarded over five years to identify and characterize mouse strains that replicate behaviors and other traits seen in humans at risk for addiction
  • $6 million awarded over five years by the National Institute on Aging to identify the protective factors to improve cognitive resilience to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias
  • $2.5 million awarded over five years by the National Human Genome Research Institute for genomic research
  • $5 million from the National Human Genome Research Institute to form a Technology Development Coordinating Center to support advanced genome technologies efforts.

Other work

 Jackson Lab also served in response to the pandemic, running nearly 2 million COVID-19 tests in Maine and Connecticut, and conducted research that was pivotal in the identification of SARS-CoV-2 variants and to better understand the virus.  

In October the lab paid $63 million to acquire Charles River Laboratories Japan’s Research Models & Services business. The Japan-based organization, which is now called the Jackson Laboratory Japan, has approximately 250 employees and three production sites in Atsugi, Hino and Tsukuba, and an administrative office in Yokohama.

Also in 2021, the lab hired its 125th employee at the Charles E. Hewett Center in Ellsworth. The Ellsworth facility opened in 2018 to enable wider access to mouse resources for the worldwide biomedical research community. As of 2021, JAX employs nearly 3,000 people in locations around the world.

On Nov. 29, Lon Cardon, a biotech industry leader and human genetics researcher, became the lab’s new president and CEO. Cardon replaced Edison Liu, who stepped down after nine years with the lab. Liu is a 2021 Mainebiz Nonprofit Leader of the Year.

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