such as cancer, pain and infectious disease, and research
using marine animals has resulted in six Nobel Prizes.
The seawater facility is home to a variety of marine
invertebrates that are the subject of ongoing research
projects, including cod, lobster and sea urchins.
Sea urchins (Lytechinus variegatus) are used as models
to understand the cellular and molecular pathways
associated with tissue regeneration and negligible aging.
The Red beard sponge (Microciona prolifera) and Yellow
sulphur sponge (Cliona celata) are used as a source of
interesting new molecules with therapeutic potential.
Lobsters (Homarus americanus) support an important
commercial fishery and are biomedical models for
understanding how the nervous system functions.
Sequencing the genome of this animal provides an
important resource for both fisheries and biomedical
Scientists at the Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute
are also conducting research to find ways to prevent rapid
declines in regional fish populations using a genomic
technology called “environmental DNA” or eDNA.
When plants and animals slough off skin or mucus, some
of their DNA is left behind in the ambient environment.
Researchers are able to extract this environmental DNA
from water samples, allowing them to confirm whether or not
a certain species is present in surrounding waters.
The design of the facility employs a pragmatic approach to space
planning, while providing ample access to plenty of natural light and
views of scenic Gloucester Harbor. Image: © Peter Vanderwarker
The Gloucester Marine Genomic
Institute’s research strategy
brings cutting-edge genomic
technologies to the ocean for
new discoveries that will impact
both fisheries and human health.