The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor has received a philanthropic gift of $1.5 million from Weslie Janeway, a longtime member and current vice chair of the institution’s board of trustees, to support the creation of the Janeway Distinguished Chair.

Janeway’s gift ensures ongoing support for the research of the faculty member holding the chair position, the laboratory said Thursday in a news release. Previously, Janeway established a fund to provide support for postdoctoral fellows working in the labs of early-career faculty, it said.

Jackson Laboratory President and CEO Dr. Edison Liu recently announced the appointment of Robert Braun as the Janeway Distinguished Chair. Braun is a leading reproductive biologist studying stem cells and how they develop into eggs and sperm. His lab explores how stem cells balance self-renewal with differentiation, and how imbalances between the two can lead to problems ranging from tumor development to sterility, the laboratory said.