New York, NY (September 19, 2013) – The New York Genome Center (NYGC) officially launched its scientific and clinical consortium of academic and industry leaders focused on harnessing genomics to advance the understanding and treatment of disease. The announcement was made at the start of NYGC’s inaugural scientific symposium with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaking at a ribbon cutting ceremony.
The two-day scientific symposium kicks off the opening of NYGC’s new 170,000 square foot research facility in Manhattan and brings together leaders of 16 member institutions to discuss the importance of genomics research for the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of human disease.
The symposium features of a number of prominent speakers, including Dr. Harold Varmus, Director of the National Cancer Institute, Marc Tessier-Lavigne, President of The Rockefeller University, Nobel Laureate Dr. James Watson, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and Dr. Tom Maniatis, Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Columbia University and Chair of NYGC’s Scientific and Clinical Steering Committee, as well as panelists discussing Pharmacogenomics, Genomics, Quantified Health, and the Future of Big Data on Patient Care.
“The opening of the New York Genome Center is a major achievement in the City’s ongoing efforts to advance the bioscience sector in New York City – part of our commitment to diversify the city’s economy and create jobs,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The Genome Center’s new facility and its groundbreaking approach to collaboration will help solve some of medicine’s most challenging problems by bringing together the city’s best academic and clinical institutions.”
“We applaud Mayor Bloomberg’s longstanding support and unwavering commitment to the technology and science community here in New York City,” said Dr. Robert Darnell, President and Scientific Director of NYGC. “Modern genomics has the power to transform medicine. NYGC will provide the leadership to change the standard of care of patients from day one. This new facility represents the intersection of the clinic and the lab–translational science. As a physician-scientist, I recognize the importance of uniting these two worlds. The collaboration we’ve formed with our member institutions will not simply just do great science but will work to save lives.”
“Collaboration is essential for solving the most complex and difficult problems in biomedical science,” said Dr. Tom Maniatis, Chair of NYCG’s Scientific and Clinical Steering Committee. “I have been involved from the beginning in a city-wide effort to create a consortium that effectively marshals the resources, identifies the critical questions, and creates the environment to tackle problems that are too big for individual researchers or institutions to solve alone. By bringing together some of the best minds in science and the intellectual diversity represented in New York into the NYGC consortium, we believe that we can push forward the boundaries of biomedical science in an unprecedented manner.”
“No other city in the world has the breadth of scientific talent, healthcare delivery systems, and demographically diverse population that can be found in New York,” said Russ Carson, Co-Chair of NYGC’s Board of Directors. “The New York Genome Center will be a catalyst to promote greater interaction and collaboration among the City’s premier institutions and scientists by integrating basic research, diagnosis, and clinical care. Collectively this consortium has the potential to effectively change the paradigm in medicine by incorporating genomics across the spectrum of their activities.”
The New York Genome Center (NYGC) is an independent non-profit organization that leverages the collaborative resources of leading academic medical centers, research universities, as well as pharmaceutical, biotech, and technology companies. The vision of NYGC is to transform medical research and clinical care in New York and beyond through the creation of one of the largest genomics research facilities in North America, integrating sequencing, bioinformatics, data management, and genomics research.
NYGC represents an unprecedented sharing of data and resources among premier institutions, which will dramatically increase the quality and speed of research outcomes to advance clinical care. The collaborative power of NYGC’s members will help nurture scientific advances leading to accelerate the development of new diagnostics and treatments for human diseases, and provide an engine for life science commercialization in the region.
NYGC’s twelve Institutional Founding Members include the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Columbia University, Cornell University/Weill Cornell Medical College, The Jackson Laboratory, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York University/NYU School of Medicine, North Shore-LIJ Health System, The Rockefeller University, and Stony Brook University. In addition to the American Museum of Natural History, NYGC Associate Members include the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY, and The New York Stem Cell Foundation.
In addition to its scientific and research mission, the New York Genome Center is also committed to educating researchers, clinicians, students, and the general public through lectures and events on topics ranging from the latest advances in sequencing and bioinformatics to the future of genomics and the accompanying public policy and ethical considerations.
To date, NYGC has raised over $140 million in funds from its Institutional Founding Members, from philanthropies such as the Simons Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and Bloomberg Philanthropies, and from strategic relationships, including the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the Partnership Fund for New York City, and New York State’s Empire State Development Corporation.
NYGC can be found online at www.nygenome.org, and on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.