The Scientist spoke to Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory’s Jim Strickland about the institute’s new MDI Bioscience initiative to perform more drug testing and development in nonmammalian models.

Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, a non-profit research institute in Maine, is funding a new initiative to increase the use of nonmammalian models in early drug development. The initiative, dubbed MDI Bioscience, aims to turn to species like zebrafish (Danio rerio), C. elegans, axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum), and African turquoise killifish (Nothobranchius furzeri) to evaluate potential therapeutic compounds at scale before they’re tested in mammals or enter human clinical trials, potentially hastening and honing the decision-making process in early drug discovery and reducing the reliance on mammals such as mice. Read more