MDI Biological Laboratory President Kevin Strange has been awarded a five-year, $12 million National Institutes of Health Center of Biomedical Research Excellence grant to continue research on tissue and organ regeneration.

The funding will support the continued growth and development of the Kathryn W. Davis Center for Regenerative Biology and Medicine, which was founded by Strange in 2012, the Bar Harbor-based lab said in a statement.

The highly competitive “phase two” grant follows a $13 million “phase one” grant that Strange was awarded by NIH in 2013. It reflects the center’s research and development successes thus far and the potential for its continued growth and progress, MDI said.

The 2013 grant established MDI as a global leader in research into therapies to repair and regenerate lost or damaged tissues and organs, and to delay the onset of age-related degenerative diseases, the lab said. The designation also has inspired donations from individuals and foundations at a level that has been vital to the institution’s growth and success, it said.

“We are delighted that the NIH has renewed our (Center of Biomedical Research Excellence) program and that peer reviewers ranked our proposal as ‘outstanding,’ ” Strange said. “Over the past five years, the program has catalyzed the creation of a vigorous and self-sustaining research environment. With Phase II funding, we will be able to accelerate our efforts to develop new drugs to regenerate tissue and extend healthy lifespan.”

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