Medical Center Announces Second Phase of Research Initiative

New York State to provide $4 million toward construction project and faculty recruitment

February 16, 2000

The University of Rochester's Board of Trustees has approved a $151 million plan to further expand the Medical Center's research programs. The Phase II expansion includes the construction of a four-story, $36 million addition to the recently completed Arthur Kornberg Medical Research Building and the recruitment of an additional 35 research scientists and 125 technicians and support personnel. Governor George Pataki last week announced a $4 million grant from New York State to help fund the project.

The new facilities and recruitment effort are part of a ten-year, $550 million initiative to dramatically expand medical research at the University of Rochester Medical Center. In total, more than 100 research scientists and 500 technicians and support personnel will be recruited. The initiative represents the largest recruitment effort at the University since the School of Medicine and Dentistry was founded in 1924.

The Medical Center reached the first milestone of its research initiative last September with the inauguration of the Aab Institute of Biomedical Sciences and the opening of its headquarters, the Arthur Kornberg Medical Research Building. The $73 million Kornberg Building, located at the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Lattimore Road, was named in honor of a Nobel-Prize-winning graduate of the medical school. The Aab Institute of Biomedical Sciences was named in honor of Rochester entrepreneur Richard Aab, who championed the Institute's development.

The 143,000-square-addition to the Kornberg Building will increase the facility's research space by 50 percent. Construction will begin in late Spring or early Summer, and should be completed by December 2001.

Scientists in the new facility will conduct research in the areas of surgery, medicine, and pediatrics. Their work will complement the research taking place in the Aab Institute. For example, pediatric researchers may work with researchers in the Center for Vaccine Biology and Immunology to develop vaccines against childhood diseases.

Benefits to the Community

The research initiative is attracting some of the nation's top physicians and scientists to the Medical Center - an endeavor that has important implications for the health of the community.

"This initiative will give people in Rochester access to some of the nation's foremost experts in a variety of medical specialties," said Stein. "We're building on an outstanding core of talent that already exists at the Medical Center. The result will be a world-class powerhouse of medical expertise here in Rochester."

In addition, new treatments developed by Medical Center researchers will likely be available to people in the Rochester area first - in some cases years before those treatments are made available at most hospitals around the nation.

"New treatments for diseases are what draw patients to the nation's top medical centers," said Stein. "Many hospitals provide excellent medical care. But the medical centers that are ranked as the nation's best - such as Johns Hopkins and Harvard - are the ones that have solid research programs that find new and better ways to fight disease. The development of our research institute moves the University of Rochester a step closer toward a place among those medical centers."

In addition to bringing new medical expertise to Rochester, the expanded research program will contribute substantially to the Rochester economy. The initiative will create more than 600 high-skill jobs at the Medical Center and will contribute $140 million annually to the local economy by 2008.

Last December, the Medical Center completed a $35 million fundraising campaign to support the first phase of the research initiative. Led by Rochester businessmen Robert Gutkin and Robert Hurlbut, the 5-year campaign goal was reached in just two and a half years.

"We are elated at the support we have received from the Rochester community," said Stein. "It's clear that people view this initiative as a valuable asset to the community. They want to get behind our effort to bring some of the nation's top medical researchers to Rochester."

For Media Inquiries:
Christopher DiFrancesco
(585) 275-3676
Email Christopher DiFrancesco