March 3, 2022

Baker-Polito Administration and Massachusetts Life Sciences Center announce $28.3 million in capital funding to support high demand innovation infrastructure

10 projects receiving funding through Life Sciences Center’s Research Infrastructure program with matching funds totaling more than $50 million

Today, the Baker-Polito Administration and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) announced $28.3 million in capital funds to support 10 projects through the MLSC’s Research Infrastructure program. Through this program, the Center invests in innovative infrastructure across Massachusetts that is in high demand from both academic and industry scientists. In addition to these awards, the projects are also leveraging matching funds for a combined total of more than $50 million committed by the recipient institutions and their partners.

“These strategic investments will help Massachusetts maintain its position as a global leader in life sciences innovation,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our Administration is proud of its continued commitment to providing essential funding that supports this pivotal sector of our economy, while also advancing critical research and scientific development.”

“The Life Sciences Center continues to be vital in positioning Massachusetts as the leading ecosystem driving innovation and advancements that improve patient outcomes,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Massachusetts is home to incredible partners in industry and academia pioneering the next big breakthrough and our Administration remains a partner in catalyzing cross-sector collaboration throughout the Commonwealth.”

Since its inception, the MLSC has administered an open, competitive capital program to provide grants for projects that support the life sciences ecosystem in Massachusetts. This has led to more than $550 million of investments toward nearly 200 capital projects and infrastructure. These projects have leveraged an additional $1.4 billion in funding.

“Today’s announcement represents the Baker-Polito Administration’s continued support for public-private partnerships and strategic investments that have made Massachusetts a global leader in research, development, and medical advancements in the life sciences,” said Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, who serves as Co-Chair of the MLSC Board of Directors. “The Commonwealth’s prominence in the life sciences continues to produce growth in jobs, funding, and infrastructure that translates into therapies and other products that are improving the  lives of patients on a global scale.”

“The Baker-Polito Administration is excited by the potential these projects offer to support critical infrastructure and economic development for the Commonwealth,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Michael J. Heffernan, who also serves as MLSC Board Co-Chair. “The Life Sciences Center plays a pivotal role in accelerating growth and success at all levels of our life sciences ecosystem to the benefit of the Massachusetts economy, the broader health care system, and the patients it serves.”

Applicants to the MLSC Research Infrastructure program are required to demonstrate the potential of their project to fill a gap or accelerate growth in the Massachusetts life sciences ecosystem. Additionally, they must provide specific details on how the equipment will be shared and marketed to other prospective industry and academic partners. Moreover, awardee institutions are required to regularly report usage of MLSC-funded equipment by external partners, including use by industry partners.

“To remain the global leader in the life sciences, we must continue to leverage emerging research and innovative infrastructure throughout the Commonwealth,” said MLSC President and CEO Kenn Turner. “We are incredibly bullish on the potential of these projects to support our research and entrepreneurial communities, while also advancing important science to produce the next breakthrough unlocking treatments and cures for patients around the world.”

Research Infrastructure program awardees:

Awardee: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center     
Project Title: Innovative Glycoscience for Diagnostic and Therapeutic Advances
Award Amount: $1,401,047

“This incredible support by the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center is vital to the development of glycosciences and medical advances in this area,” said Richard D. Cummings, PhD, Director of the HMS Center for Glycoscience at BIDMC. “The key resources to be provided by the funds will be transformative to not only our team but will aid researchers and companies throughout the commonwealth.”

Awardee: Brigham and Women’s Hospital       
Project Title: MAGNUS – next-generation MRI scanner to advance brain research in Massachusetts
Award Amount: $3,026,942

Awardee: Brigham and Women’s Hospital       
Project Title: Enabling Computational and Quantitative Microbiology to Promote Commonwealth Innovation
Award Amount: $3,346,155

Awardee: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Project Title: Center for Emergent Drug Targets
Award Amount: $2,811,397

“We are very grateful for the support from the Massachusetts Life Science Center for the development of state-of the art platforms to complement Dana-Farber’s existing programs to characterize new small molecules and validate new drug targets,” said Kevin Haigis, PhD Chief Scientific Officer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. “The Center for Emergent Drug Targets at Dana-Farber will provide a growing set of novel small molecule libraries, along with commercially sourced compounds, for screening against new targets. By providing the tools to strengthen underlying target hypothesis, we can work with our partners to quickly get new, potentially life-saving treatments to patients.”

Awardee: Lahey Hospital and Medical Center 
Project Title: Image-guided Therapy Innovation Center
Award Amount: $4,000,000

“Lahey Hospital & Medical Center is extremely grateful to the Mass Life Sciences Center for providing this funding that will allow us to build out the Image Guided Therapy (IGT) Innovation Center at LHMC. It empowers us to realize our vision of bringing together the best and brightest multi-disciplinary physicians who will work with innovative companies on solutions to real world clinical challenges at an early, preclinical state,” said Christoph Wald, MD, PhD, MBA, FACR, Chair of the Department of Radiology at LHMC. “Image guided therapy is the future of minimally invasive precision medicine, and our IGT Innovation Center will be the only facility in New England dedicated to the development of these techniques.”  

“We appreciate this generous grant from the MLSC, which will help support solving challenging and complex problems in clinical medicine using minimally invasive image-guided robotic systems that will benefit our patients and the region,” said Ajay Wakhloo, MD, PhD, FAHA, Chief of the Department of Neurointerventional Radiology at LHMC and Director of the IGT Center. “This funding will foster the collaboration between industry and academia, which is now more important than ever and is engrained in the character of Massachusetts.”

Awardee: Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives          
Project Title: MBI ScaleUp Center Expansion
Award Amount: $3,000,000

“Central Massachusetts is bursting with early-stage biotech companies, jobs, and biomanufacturing,” said MBI President and CEO Jon Weaver. “Our continued partnership with the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center and the Commonwealth will create additional space for innovative entrepreneurs to bring products to patients, create jobs, and support early stage biomanufacturing.”

Awardee: Mass General Cancer Center 
Project Title: Mass General Tumor Cartography Center
Award Amount: $4,000,000

Awardee: North Shore InnoVentures     
Project Title: Nurturing Strengths and Building Opportunities in Metro-North’s Life Science Community
Award Amount: $3,100,000

Awardee: University of Massachusetts Boston
Project Title: Biophysical Instrumentation Core for Molecular Interactions, Thermodynamics, and Structure for Life Sciences
Award Amount: $1,647,201

“The establishment of a number of core facilities on the Boston campus has provided access to specialized equipment and methodologies for both faculty research and student training,” said Dr. Bala Sundaram, Vice Provost & Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston. “These have also allowed us to engage with industry partners, mostly start-ups and small businesses, in research and collaborative projects. The award from the MLSC allows for a new facet to be added to campus capabilities, extending our abilities to equip students with the necessary advanced technical training to enter the life sciences’ work force.”

Awardee: UMass Chan Medical School 
Project Title: Enabling nanoscale imaging of viruses of pandemic potential at UMass Chan Medical School
Award Amount: $2,017,168

“We are very excited about the continued support from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center,” said Terence R. Flotte, MD, the Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor, executive deputy chancellor, provost and dean of the T.H. Chan School of Medicine at UMass Chan. “Funding will enable the acquisition of a super-resolution microscope, a live-cell imaging platform with an integrated cell metabolism analyzer, a surface plasmon resonance instrument, and the necessary computer hardware with analysis software, which are not available for Biosafety Level 2 and Biosafety Level 3 research in the greater Worcester area.”