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BAR HARBOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Students who would like to become scientists and researchers and stay here in Maine, have 18 million reasons to celebrate. The MDI Biological Laboratory in Bar Harbor just received an $18 million dollar grant from the National Institutes for Health. That money will continue to fund a program called the Idea Network for Bio-medical Research Excellence or INBRE for five years.

That program has created a partnership between 13 public and private colleges, universities, and research institutions in Maine geared towards bio-medical research.

The program helped recent College of Atlantic graduate Yuka Takamon land a research job at Jackson Lab with the same scientist she worked with as a student.

"It really helped me by introducing me to the bio-medical field as a student and transition directly to a job," she said.

"The word is coming out a lot from our students who are participating in the program who are now having opportunities that they didn't have before who are now staying in the state for good paying jobs that we have at our institutions and are qualified for those jobs," added Patricia Hand, the Vice President for Administration at MDI Biological Laboratory.

There were a number of dignitaries at Monday's announcement, including Senator Susan Collins.

"This is the kind of investment that we need in Maine. It will help train the many students who take advantage of the program in scientific careers and it has also created 200 jobs in Maine since Maine started receiving funding," Collins remarked.

MDI says all of Maine's Congressional Delegation has been supportive, as have Maine voters who approved a $50 million bond package last fall for research and development.

$3 million dollars of that will enable the MDI Biological Laboratory to construct a 3,000 square foot research training laboratory to expand its workforce training programs.

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