Campaign for Discovery Reaches $35-Million Goal

Unprecedented community support helps Medical Center reach 5-year fund raising goal in 2 ½ years.

December 15, 1999

With the awarding of a $1.8 million grant today from the world's most prestigious medical research foundation, the Medical Center's Campaign for Discovery will reach its goal of raising $35 million.

The campaign, launched in June 1997 to help fund an historic expansion of the Medical Center's research programs, was expected to take five years. However, an unprecedented level of support from the Rochester community enabled the Medical Center to reach the $35 million goal in just two and a half years. More than $25 million was contributed by Rochester-area residents.

"The outpouring of support that we have received from the Rochester community has been nothing short of amazing," said Robert Hurlbut who, along with Robert Gutkin, co-chaired the campaign. Both Hurlbut and Gutkin are Rochester businessmen who serve on the board of the University of Rochester Medical Center.

"People have gotten behind this effort with an enthusiasm that we've never seen in the Rochester community," added Gutkin. "They want this effort to succeed."

Proceeds from the campaign are helping to fund the initial phase of a ten-year, $400 million expansion of the Medical Center's research programs, which includes the development of the Aab Institute of Biomedical Sciences and construction of its headquarters, the new Arthur Kornberg Medical Research Building, which opened this September.

The Institute was created to help attract some of the nation's top medical and scientific talent to the University. Approximately 70 medical researchers and 400 technicians and support personnel are being recruited for the Institute, representing the largest recruitment effort at the University since the School of Medicine and Dentistry was founded in 1924. The work of the Institute's researchers will complement the Medical Center's internationally renowned research programs in the areas of aging, cancer, heart disease, oral biology, and vaccine development.

"All of us at the Medical Center are humbled by the community's tremendous support of this initiative," said Jay H. Stein, M.D., the University's senior vice president and vice provost for Health Affairs and CEO of the Medical Center and the Strong Health system.

"The community has sent a very clear message to us," added Stein. "They want a medical center that is one of the very best in the nation. We're committed to delivering on that. By building on the outstanding core of talent that already exists at the Medical Center, we are creating a world-class powerhouse of medical expertise in Rochester."

The initiative will also contribute substantially to the Rochester economy. The Aab Institute will create more than 400 high-skill jobs at the Medical Center and will contribute $100 million annually to the local economy by 2006, according to a study conducted by the Center for Governmental Research. Construction of the Kornberg Building has generated $40 million in labor compensation to area workers.

The $1.8 million grant to the Medical Center that culminated its fund-raising campaign was given by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the world's largest philanthropic organization dedicated to medical research. The grant, the first ever given by the Hughes Institute to the University of Rochester, will fund the purchase of scientific equipment and the recruitment of scientists at the Medical Center.

With an endowment of $12 billion, the Hughes Institute provides funding for medical research at the nation's top universities, and provides individual funding for more than 300 of the nation's top medical researchers.

For Media Inquiries:
Christopher DiFrancesco
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