Connecticut legislature approves funding for new Jackson Laboratory research institute

Connecticut legislature approves funding for new Jackson Laboratory research institute

Date: October 26, 2011

Bar Harbor, Maine - The Connecticut legislature Wednesday night approved $291 million in bond funding to build a new Jackson Laboratory center for personalized medicine and systems genomics in the state.

"Today's vote is a strong vote of confidence in The Jackson Laboratory's scientific research and contributions to better medicine," said Jackson President and CEO Edison Liu, M.D. "By combining Jackson's strengths in genetics and genetic technologies with the clinical and scientific expertise of Connecticut institutions, we will accelerate the development of new medical tests and treatments tailored to each patient's unique genetic makeup."

The research center, to be known as The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, will be the next phase of Gov. Dannel Malloy's Bioscience Connecticut initiative to build the biomedical industry in Connecticut. JAX Genomic Medicine will focus on complex genetics of human disease through the intensive use of computational strategies and animal model systems.

"By investing in a smart, strategic project like Bioscience Connecticut, the State sent a clear message around the world that we are ready, willing and able to be a player in this up-and-coming industry," said Gov. Malloy. "We have the infrastructure, the talent and the drive to make Connecticut a leader in biomedical science, and I'm pleased to welcome The Jackson Laboratory to our state."

Plans call for JAX Genomic Medicine to be housed in a 173,500-square-foot building to be erected on 17 acres of land provided by the state, located near the campus of the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington.

The research center is projected to employ 320 people within the first 10 years, and 660 within 15 to 20 years. Thirty senior scientists, or principal investigators, will each head a laboratory research group, supported by scientific services and administrative departments. The center will also dedicate space and staff for translating newly developed research applications into commercial products and services for personalized medicine, such as complex diagnostics or drug development.

The State of Connecticut will provide a total of $291 million in support to JAX Genomic Medicine over 10 years for construction, equipment and research collaborations. The total 20-year capital and research budget for the institute is estimated to be $1.1 billion, with Jackson providing $809 million through federal research grants, philanthropy and service income.

With state bond funding approved, Jackson executives will now develop the details of the project with state officials. Once a contractual agreement is in place, Jackson will begin the design of the JAX Genomic Medicine building and start recruiting scientists to work in interim facilities that will be provided by the UConn Health Center. Construction will begin by early 2013, and the facility is projected to be completed by late 2014.

Jackson officials noted today that the expansion to Connecticut will stimulate continued growth at the Laboratory's main campus in Bar Harbor. Demand for mouse research resources and services should grow as the volume of research increases in the new Connecticut facility. "We believe that our success in Connecticut will prove to be a boon for Maine, as well," Liu said.

The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution and National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center based in Bar Harbor, Maine, with a facility in Sacramento, Calif., and a total staff of about 1,400. Its mission is to discover the genetic basis for preventing, treating and curing human disease, and to enable research and education for the global biomedical community.


Joyce Peterson, 207-288-6058, The Jackson Laboratory

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