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UMaine Today Magazine

First Impression from the President

President Robert A. Kennedy
President Robert A. Kennedy

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Our recent announcement that the University of Maine plans to create a Graduate School of Biomedical Science (GSBS) has been met with great enthusiasm. We are fortunate to have working relationships with highly regarded Maine-based bioscience research institutions, including The Jackson Laboratory, Maine Medical Center Research Institute and Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory. Those partners, along with Eastern Maine Health Care Systems in Bangor and others, have helped us create this initiative, which will move Maine forward in this vital research area. Development of GSBS has been a wonderful example of cooperation involving UMaine, its research partners, the Governor's Office and the state legislature.

Pending approval by the University of Maine System Board of Trustees later this year, GSBS will facilitate development of a College of Allied Health Professions in Bangor, which could combine programs now offered in Orono and at University College of Bangor. Such a college would complete the translational "bench to bedside" objective of Eastern Maine Health Care Systems' new Maine Institute for Human Genetics and Health, tying together the missions of basic and clinical research, education and wellness, and outreach. It would enhance our working relationships with St. Joseph Hospital, Eastern Maine Community College, and with social and human service agencies. Maine faces significant health problems related to cardiac disease, diabetes, cancer and other conditions. This work will have a positive, long-term impact on the health of our citizens.

Additionally, GSBS and its affiliated programs and institutions will attract biotech and biomedical companies, services and practitioners, not just to this region, but statewide.

GSBS will deliver a graduate education and fellowships program open to the partner institutions, and to other biomedical research and higher education institutions in Maine. Collaborating with GSBS faculty will be talented senior scientists in our partner institutions, many of who already teach in UMaine's cooperative Ph.D. programs in functional genomics, and in molecular genetics and cell biology.

Maine must be in the business of educating the "human resources" that will staff the state's existing and planned research centers for biomedicine and bioscience. These research institutions will prosper and continue to contribute to Maine's economic growth if, as we anticipate, they are able to attract and retain the best and brightest scientists.

Robert A. Kennedy Signature

UMaine Today Magazine
Department of University Relations
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The University of Maine
, Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System