The Marine Biological Laboratory

There is no other place in the world like the Marine Biological Laboratory. An environment of discovery without equal, the MBL is a nexus where scientists meet—often for the first time—and begin work that has a global reach.

The University of Chicago’s newest affiliate, the Marine Biological Laboratory is an internationally renowned research and educational institution located in the science hub of Woods Hole, Massachusetts. For more than 125 years, the MBL has been dedicated to scientific discovery and improving the human condition through groundbreaking biological, biomedical, and environmental research and advanced, discovery-based educational programs. It’s a place where new fields in the biological sciences have been born or nurtured, and where the best and brightest students and faculty convene from universities and institutions around the globe to study, teach, collaborate, and innovate—often transforming the course of their research and their careers in the process.

The MBL’s role as an innovator in the biological sciences is legendary. More than 55 Nobel laureates have had a significant association with the MBL since its founding. The most recent, Eric Betzig, 2014 Nobel laureate in chemistry, credits his experience as a visiting investigator at MBL with helping to fine-tune the microscope technology for which he co-won the prize.

“It’s the place to be in the summer,” Betzig said. “Just about anyone who’s anyone in biology, all working in one spot, working ridiculous hours and a bunch of great students willing to try anything—it’s a great proving ground.”

Today the MBL hosts world-class researchers from around the globe working at the cutting edge of biology. It is also the home of advanced training programs in fields including neurobiology, cell biology, reproductive biology, regenerative biology, microbiology, parasitology, and environmental sciences, and it is a leader in imaging, ecosystems ecology, and microbial genomics. A corps of more than 270 scientists and support staff pursue research year-round. They are joined each year by more than 470 students and 400 visiting scientists, summer staff, and research associates from hundreds of institutions around the world. Unconstrained by disciplinary boundaries or bureaucratic red tape, they’re inspired to think creatively and take risks.

The University of Chicago Campaign: Inquiry and Impact will raise $100 million to support initiatives through the Marine Biological Laboratory.