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Breakthroughs in Biomedical

& Human Health Research That was Mote then. In 1955, one young woman, Dr. Genie Clark, opened a tiny research lab to study the marine world along Southwest Florida’s coast. News of her exploits with sharks and other fish quickly spread and her reputation as “The Shark Lady” was born.

This is Mote Now. Mote Marine Laboratory is now one of the premier independent marine research laboratories in the world and a recognized leader among diverse scientific and education communities. Mote is dedicated to cutting edge research with an emphasis on conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity, healthy habitats and natural resources around the world. A key facet of Mote’s new 2020 Vision and Strategic Plan is to translate and transfer its science and technology development to positively impact both human society and the marine environment. This is evident in Mote’s studies of human cancer using marine models, as well as studies of the effects of red tide on humans, the environment and the economy.

A decisive moment for Mote Marine Laboratory

Today’s Research | Tomorrow’s Oceans

Every dollar that Mote spends on research is a dollar that has to be raised through grants or philanthropic funding. Over the past decade there have been seismic shifts in the funding landscape for science and research. It is more difficult to secure funding for marine and conservationoriented scientific research now than it has ever been. Furthermore, available funding favors federal and state agencies and large universities, which stymies support for innovative independent non-profit institutions and their scientists from exploring potentially transformative and/or politically charged new areas of research. Mote has launched its 2020 Vision and Strategic Plan with the mandate to secure significant philanthropic sector support to

Carl Luer, Ph.D. has been conducting research to understand exactly how shark immune cells grown in a culture medium secrete cancerinhibiting proteins. “Characterizing these proteins relies on sophisticated biochemical techniques — it is a long process and success is proportional to funding.”

increase its ability to conduct world-class research in spite of these cuts. True to its independent mission, a key element of the strategic plan is to ensure that sustainable sources of funding are available so that scientists can focus their energies on conducting research and developing breakthroughs.

Shark Research and Cancer Treatment Mote Marine Laboratory has a long history of contributions to the field of biomedical and human health. One of the most potentially impactful research programs being conducted at Mote today is our work with developing human cancer therapies. Through Mote’s extensive shark research endeavors, scientists made groundbreaking discoveries that sharks have a unique immune system resistant to cancer. Mote

Breakthroughs in Biomedical & Human Health Research scientists painstakingly developed cultured media from shark cells, that when introduced to cancerous human cells were found to cause a significant decrease in cancer cell viability and growth. Today Mote scientists are working tirelessly to isolate the exact proteins in the shark cells that are cancer inhibitory. With continued support, this scientific breakthrough has the potential to lead to an FDA approved treatment for several different forms of human cancer.

Red Tide and Public Health Mote Marine Laboratory was the first to partner with the U.S. National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct research on the effects of Red Tide on humans – previous research only studied the effects of Red Tide on marine species. Through their research, Mote scientists discovered that toxins found in the naturally occurring phenomenon of Red Tide can be

released in aerosol form that causes skin rashes and respiratory problems to humans. Mote researchers were able to identify the level of airborne toxins that are harmful to humans and continue to monitor Southwest Florida beaches regularly. This research has led to the publication of a ‘beach report’ that is made publically available on-line and updated several times daily. The report alerts residents as to when it is unsafe to visit local beaches – this report has led to a decrease in emergency rooms visits during periods of Red Tide and serves as an example of how Mote scientist contribute to public health creating healthy communities.

Marine Species and Wound Healing Utilizing the information that Mote researchers gathered from marine species led to the discovery that many sharks, skates and rays have extraordinary wound healing capability through mucus they excrete from their skin. Mote scientists received generous philanthropic support and a grant from the Department of Defense to determine how this chemical can be used to treat our wounded warriors in the battlefield as well as fight the growing number of drug-resistant microbes found in hospitals around the world.

Unprecedented Opportunity By securing the funding needed to support its scientists, Mote Marine Laboratory will be in a position to attract and retain top talent and continue to distinguish itself as the premier independent marine research facility in the world. Establishing endowed continuously rotating competitive grant awards will foster an innovative research environment that will continue to differentiate Mote from its peers and attract scientists from around the globe to conduct groundbreaking research. This will ensure the sustainability of Mote’s research enterprise as scientists continue to make discoveries that impact human health and lead to healthy communities around the world. Please consider making a gift to one of Mote’s dynamic research tracks:

Contact: Tom Waters Mote Marine Laboratory 1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy. Sarasota, FL 34236 (941) 388-4441, ext. 352


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Scientist Scholarly Service Awards

Provide 25 percent salary & fringe support for the purpose of conducting scholarly and service activities leading to innovative new enterprise and scientific discovery.

Mote Scientific Research Chair

Establish a competitively awarded three year rotating Mote Scientific Chair that provides 50 percent salary & fringe support for a current Mote scientist. Scientists will significantly advance a current research initiative or develop a new enterprise that will lead to healthy oceans, enhanced food supply and improved economies around the world.

A nnual cost

Endow ment

A nnual cost

E ndow ment

$500,000 – Fully endow one continually rotating scholarly research and services activities fellowship

$75,000 – One Mote Chair

$1,500,000 – Fully endow one continually rotating Mote Scientific Chair

$25,000 – One scientist’s scholarly service and activities

Case for Support: Biomedical Research at Mote  
Case for Support: Biomedical Research at Mote