The Rockefeller University, with 10 of the country’s leading medical and research institutions, has joined the New York Genome Center (NYGC), which will become one of the largest genomic facilities in North America. The consortium establishes an unprecedented, large-scale collaborative venture in genomic medicine.
The NYGC is a nonprofit, academic consortium, similar to the New York Structural Biology center, but on a larger scale and with a broader scope, says Robert B. Darnell, Robert and Harriet Heilbrunn Professor. Dr. Darnell was a member of the founding board of directors and is now a member of the NYGC’s executive board of directors.
Each founding academic institution contributed $2.5 million, and in return receives reagents and equipment at the lowest possible cost, access to cutting edge technology and priority access to bioinformatics and computational scientists. In addition, scientists and physicians from member institutions will share diverse clinical and genomic data to discover the molecular underpinnings of disease, identify and validate biomarkers and accelerate development of novel diagnostics and targeted therapeutics to improve clinical care. The center will begin operations as early as spring 2012. Its 120,000-square-foot facility, designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects, will be located in Manhattan.
“In the decade since the human genome was sequenced, the application of high throughput sequencing and other genomic tools has led to great advances in identifying the genetic drivers of several cancers and other diseases, and is dramatically accelerating the development of new drugs for these conditions,” says Rockefeller President Marc Tessier-Lavigne. “The New York Genome Center will enable us to apply these powerful tools even more broadly to extend this success to many other diseases.”
Joining Rockefeller are Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Columbia University, Cornell University/Weill Cornell Medical College, 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 Jackson Laboratory and Stony Brook University. The Hospital for Special Surgery is an associate founding member.
“The New York Genome Center represents the largest collaboration to date among New York City-based biomedical and clinical research organizations. It will position its institutional partners to be at the forefront of the rapidly evolving field of genomic science and enhance the city’s position as one of the foremost centers for medical research,” says Russell C. Carson, chair of Rockefeller’s Board of Trustees, who also serves as chair of the New York Genome Center.
In addition to Mr. Carson, Dr. Tessier-Lavigne and Dr. Darnell, leadership of the NYGC includes Rockefeller Trustees James H. Simons and Anthony B. Evnin.