Gov. Malloy: Connecticut Investment in Bioscience Continues to Pay Dividends
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Launching New State-of-the-Art Genomics Research Center in Branford, Will Create 142 Jobs
(BRANFORD, CT) - Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that a new, state-of-the art genomics research facility is being established in Branford by the renowned Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Mount Sinai, a leader in biomedical research, medical and scientific training and patient care, is expanding into Connecticut and anticipates creating 142 new full time jobs over the next five years.
"We are investing in industry leaders like the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai so that Connecticut can continue to compete and win in the 21st Century economy," said Governor Malloy. "Beyond the economic growth and good paying jobs with good benefits that the field of bioscience generates, advancements in the research, development and discovery of cutting-edge new personalized medicine offers hope to people with serious illnesses and means a better quality of life for people around the world. We are proud of the bioscience cluster we are building with top institutions leading the way and conducting this important work right here in Connecticut."
As part of the State of Connecticut's strategic economic development plan, the Malloy administration is targeting the bioscience industry in order to position Connecticut as a global destination for the research, development and commercialization of leading scientific work that will improve health and wellbeing.
"Our new state-of-the-art genomics facility in Branford enables us to rapidly run high throughput, DNA sequencing of large volumes of patient samples, and will leverage the multimillion dollar investment made by Mount Sinai to advance the new era of genomic medicine. With this extraordinary new capability, we expect to rapidly advance our translational research findings and development of new clinical tests in major disease areas such as cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer's," said Eric Schadt, Ph.D., the Jean C. and James W. Crystal Professor of Genomics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Founding Director of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology. "Connecticut offers an incredible talent pool of biomedical expertise and leading institutions such as Yale, UConn Health, and Jackson Labs that we hope to form significant collaborations with. We thank Governor Malloy and the Connecticut DECD for their phenomenal support and partnership to help accelerate our growth."
The state Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) is providing a $9.5 million low-interest loan in support of the project, which will include the new 16,500 square foot laboratory in Branford. If Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai achieves the job creation milestones set for the project, the loan provides forgiveness provisions of up to $7.25 million.
"I appreciate the commitment that Governor Malloy is making to Branford and to the needs of our local taxpayers," said Branford First Selectman James B. Cosgrove. "Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is an important new employer in our Town and this funding commitment by the State is key to their ability to expand jobs here."
"This is a significant step in building the biosciences, not only here in this region but throughout the state -- that is a part of our economic future," said State Senator Ed Meyer (D-12).
"We enthusiastically welcome the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to Branford! This new biomedical research facility strengthens Connecticut's standing as a center of genomics research and complements the other strategic investments we have made in medical research," said State Rep. Patricia Widlitz (D-98). "DNA sequencing is the key to advancing personalized medicine and future cures for so many devastating diseases. Congratulations to Governor Malloy and the DECD team for bringing this world renowned facility to the shoreline!"
"The genomics research facility being built in Branford by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai provides further proof that Connecticut is the place to be for bioscience innovation," said State Rep. Lonnie Reed (D-102). "Our state is quickly achieving the kind of critical mass needed to attract more complimentary companies, grow more jobs and save more lives. I applaud Governor Malloy for all he has done to recruit and incentivize this sector. Connecticut has what it takes to be a national and international hub for bioscience and technology and I could not be happier that Branford is playing such an important role."
"The addition of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai facility in the state is another big win in our long range plan to strengthen and expand our bioscience sector," said DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith. "We are creating a critical mass of industry leaders in the state - great organizations like Yale, UConn Health, Jackson Labs and now, Mount Sinai. The interplay between these important and growing industry players will help create a robust ecosystem that will help drive Connecticut's economy for decades to come."
Genomic research is transforming the field of medicine from an approach that applies broad definitions based on collections of observed symptoms and clinical findings to one that harnesses sophisticated predictive models of disease built with specific genetic and molecular information measured in individual patients. Genomic Medicine is a new approach to improve healthcare by analyzing massive data arrays obtained from genetic sequencing of individual DNA, RNA, blood, tumor, and other samples - using specialized supercomputers and cutting edge algorithms. This wealth of information can define a patient's condition with unprecedented precision and enable unique treatments tailored to each patient's situation. Such unique treatments designed for specific patients increase efficacy, reduce side effects and unintended outcomes, and enable individuals - in consultation with their personal physician - to take steps to mitigate or avoid illness and maximize quality of life.
Founded in 1963 in New York City, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is now a world leader in driving the new era of Genomic Medicine to better diagnose, treat, and prevent disease. Mount Sinai's existing Genetic Testing Laboratory in New York grew by 150 percent from 2010 to 2013, setting the stage for this much needed expansion in Connecticut.