UR Reacts to State Funding for New Research Initiative

January 16, 2008

Officials from the University of Rochester reacted to Governor Elliot Spitzer’s inclusion of $50 million in funding for the University’s Clinical and Translational Science Building in his Upstate State-of-the-State address today in Buffalo.

“I am delighted at this demonstration of support from Governor Spitzer for what will be a pivotal project in advancing medical science and economic development and job creation in the Greater Rochester community,” said University of Rochester President Joel Seligman.  “The Governor, Speaker Sheldon Silver, Senator Joe Bruno, and our delegation in Albany are to be applauded for their commitment to strengthening university research and building a new economic foundation for the region.”

In October 2006, the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry was one of the first twelve institutions nationwide chosen by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to receive a Clinical and Translational Science Award.  This $40 million award, the largest NIH grant in the University’s history, places the Medical School among a group of leading academic medical centers that will shape the future direction of biomedical research.

Last year, the University announced that it intended to create an “academic home” for the new Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) that will enable the Medical Center to bring necessary technologies, trained personnel, and resources together under one roof.   The Medical Center plans to break ground on the new 150,000-square-foot Clinical and Translational Sciences Building in the spring. 

The Center for Governmental Research estimates that the project will result in the creation of 600 new jobs both inside and outside the University and an annual economic impact of $30 million.  The construction phase of building will create an additional 850 jobs.  The project is one of the centerpieces of a strategic investment in clinical care, research, and education at the Medical Center that will be announced later this week. 

“This support from the state will help cement the University’s national leadership in this critical new realm of science,” said David Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., the dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry and director of the CTSI.  “Not only will these resources ultimately lead to better health, they will also strengthen the University’s role as a catalyst for regional economic development by propelling growth in employment and research funding and the development of new technologies with commercial potential.”

The new facility, one of the first of its kind in the nation, will create an integrated home for clinical and translational science and will serve as the hub of a network of personnel and resources dedicated to moving new technologies quickly into the clinical realm.  The building will serve as a home for the Upstate New York Translational Research Network, a consortium of ten major medical institutions from Albany to Buffalo that will foster research collaboration on a regional scale.   The building will also be home to several leading clinical research programs, including a clinical trials center that oversees some of the largest studies of neurological conditions in the world. 

“The scientific advances in the past decade have necessitated that we fundamentally change the way we conduct biomedical research,” said Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D., CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center.  “This generous support from the governor and the leadership in Albany will allow the Medical Center to accumulate the technologies and scientific talent necessary to accelerate the process of translating the basic discoveries made in the lab into new ways to understand, prevent, treat, and cure diseases.”

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