Despite centuries of exploration, there’s still a lot we don’t know about the ocean and its
inhabitants. Unlocking those secrets
could help researchers learn more
about human disease.
The world’s first research facility
dedicated to marine genomics, the
Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute
opened in October 2018. The facility
is primarily focused on research that
connects to human health, but also
contributes to fishery research.
Located in the seaport of Gloucester,
Massachusetts, the Institute is close
to biotechnology hubs in nearby
Cambridge and Boston.
The 5,000 sq. ft. state-of-the art
saltwater laboratory functions as a “big
brother” to the Institute’s educational
arm, the Biotechnology Academy,
which educates high school graduates
for careers as biotech lab technicians.
The Gloucester Marine Genomics
Institute also offers numerous academic
and professional development
opportunities, include training in
molecular and biochemical techniques.
Benefits to sea life, humans
The facility’s research strategy brings
cutting-edge genomic technologies to
the ocean for new discoveries that will
impact both future fish populations and
Genomics is a rapidly growing
discipline involving the structure,
function, evolution and mapping of
all the genes within an organism.
Researchers use this knowledge to
understand how living things adapt to
changing environments and respond to
The unique adaptations of marine
organisms have made them valuable
models for biomedical research and
provide a source for new medicines
for human disease. There are currently
nine FDA-approved marine-derived
drugs on the market for indications
Marine Genomics Aids Human Disease
The Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute is dedicated to decoding the mysteries of sea life DNA.
By Elizabeth Doughman, Editor-in-Chief, ALN
The world’s first research facility dedicated to marine genomics, the Gloucester Marine Genomics
Institute opened in October 2018. Image: Courtesy of the Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute.
The seawater facility is home to a variety of marine invertebrates that are the subject of ongoing
research projects. Image: © Peter Vanderwarker