Thursday, March 3, 2011

Region's quality of life helps win over Jackson Lab

 There's one Bradenton resident in particular who was pleased to hear The Jackson Laboratory wants to locate in Sarasota County.

 his book "The Legacy," about the South Florida Museum.
Dr. Thomas Peter Bennett spent the summer of 1957 studying at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. The Bradenton resident was a undergraduate in chemistry at Florida State University at the time and was selected to study at the biomedical research facility as part of a college internship program.

"I spent two summers at Jackson Lab as a student and it was an incredible experience," Bennett said.

Bennett, an FSU graduate, went on to earn his Ph.D in Life Sciences from Rockefeller University. He still has many colleagues at The Jackson Laboratory today and is a member of its discovery program.
He also served as executive director of the South Florida Museum in Bradenton from 1998-2002.

Bennett discussed his time at The Jackson Lab with me a  few weeks ago as officials were touring Sarasota and Hillsborough counties to decide which county would be most suited for a 120,000-square-foot biomedical village.

He saw great potential then for Sarasota County to win out over Hillsborough County. He recalled during his time at The Jackson Lab how much he and colleagues enjoyed the quality of life around Bar Harbor, Maine -- hiking in particular.

"The lifestyle opportunity for many of the scientists who are at The Jackson Lab is endless here," Bennett said. "They enjoy the outdoors that's one of the best attractions in Maine. I think there are many aspects of that they would enjoy in Florida."

Bennett learned the news from a Jackson Lab colleague Wednesday and e-mailed me some simple words on the announcement: "Great news."

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