Collins, King Announce $574,650 in Grant Funding for University of Maine and Bigelow Laboratory Collaboration

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King today announced that the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded the University of Maine and Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in Boothbay two grants totaling $574,650 for a joint study of a marine protozoan parasite that infects oysters. Bigelow Laboratory has received $399,908 for the project and University of Maine has received $174,742.

“Maine’s ocean ecosystem helps drive our state’s economy, and understanding its delicate balance can preserve diverse habitats and protect our ocean resources for generations to come,” Senators Collins and King said in a joint statement. “This funding will support the innovative collaboration between Bigelow Lab and the University of Maine and further our knowledge of Maine’s marine ecology.”

The joint project, "Collaborative Research: Culture of Marine Protozoans Using Industrial Bioreactors," aims to develop a process to produce proteins from intracellular parasites at a multi-liter-scale. Protein production at this scale would allow for improved vaccine validation, drug screening, and industrial processes. The project research activity will be carried out at Bigelow Laboratory and the University of Maine, and integrated into the biotechnology curriculum at Southern Maine Community College. The SMCC integration will assist with developing Maine’s STEM workforce.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports research, innovation, and discovery that provides the foundation for economic growth in this country. By advancing the frontiers of science and engineering, the United States develop the knowledge and cutting edge technologies needed to address the challenges we face today and will face in the future