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GEN News Highlights : Apr 4, 2012

New York Genome Center Gets $3M from Sloan Foundation

Grant will be used to recruit sequencing and bioinformatics personnel.

The New York Genome Center (NYGC) is receiving a $3 million grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The money will go toward building the infrastructure needed to support a large-scale genome sequencing and bioinformatics facility for translational research.

Specifically, the award will make possible the recruitment and support of core bioinformatics and sequencing professionals, part of a team that is expected to number 350 over the next several years. NYGC combines 11 academic institutions with leaders in technology and pharmaceuticals and expects to create more than 500 science-related jobs over the next five years.

NYGC points out that it will not only create hundreds of jobs in a growth industry of the future, but it also will create the genomics and bioinformatics capacity for New York that will allow it to compete globally, diversify the city’s economy by expanding its applied sciences sector, and ultimately drive the development of new diagnostics and therapeutics.

“We are very pleased that the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation recognizes the importance of investing in large-scale genomic sequencing, bioinformatics, data mining, and translational research,” says Nancy J. Kelley, founding executive director of NYGC and principal investigator on the project. “NYGC’s mission and operations align with the Sloan Foundation’s commitment to support unique opportunities that will benefit the New York metro area in ways that advance the Foundation’s interests in science, technology, and economic performance.”

Founded in August 2010, NYGC’s institutional founding members include Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Columbia University, Cornell University/Weill Cornell Medical College, The Jackson Laboratory, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Mount Sinai Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, New York University/NYU School of Medicine, North Shore-LIJ Health System, The Rockefeller University, and Stony Brook University. The Hospital for Special Surgery is an associate founding member.

NYGC’s operations will include: a service center for sequencing operations, bioinformatics, research, an innovation center for testing new technologies, training in bioinformatics and genomics, and commercialization/data mining through sponsored research and licensing opportunities or spin offs. The center intends to become one of the largest genomic facilities in North America, establishing an unprecedented, large-scale collaborative venture in genomic medicine.