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Nassau County Senate Delegation Breaks Ground for Biotechnology at CSHL

(l-r) Nobel Laureate/CSHL Chancellor James D. Watson, NYS Senator Dean Skelos, Empire State Development Chairman Charles Gargano, NYS Senator Carl Marcellino, CSHL President Bruce Stillman
( l-r) Henry Mund, Empire State Development/Long Island; Charles Gargano, Chairman, Empire State Development; Nobel Laureate/CSHL Chancellor James D. Watson; CSHL President Bruce Stillman; NYS Sentator Dean Skelos, Deputy Majority Leader; NYS Senator Carl Marcellino; John Cleary, CSHL Honorary Trustee; CSHL Chief Operating Officer Dill Ayers; Harry Anand, Trustee, Village of Laurel Hollow

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory President Bruce Stillman and Chancellor James D. Watson welcomed Senator Dean Skelos; Senator Carl Marcellino and Charles A. Gargano, Chairman of Empire State Development, at a groundbreaking ceremony today to begin construction on The Center for Bioinformatics at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, solidifying the efforts to boost the biotech industry on Long Island and celebrating the economic and employment opportunities created by this funding for all Long Islanders.

“ With the completion of the Human Genome Project and the significant expansion of our work in human genetics, the need was evident for a center to house our work in bioinformatics (the application of computer science to biology and medicine) and biomathematics. These programs, designed to decipher the information in the human genome and analyze genomic and clinical data to understand human disease, have already had an impact in our cancer and neuroscience research,” Dr. Stillman said. “Our new center for bioinformatics will coalesce these programs, bringing our scientists — all leaders in these fields — together and allowing us to appoint new scientists as we expand this important area of research.”

On September 24, 2002, Governor George Pataki and a Long Island Senate Delegation comprised of Senators Skelos, Marcellino and Senators Charles Fuscillo, Kemp Hannon and Michael Balboni obtained more than $48 million in New York State funding for the biotechnology industry on Long Island. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory was the recipient of $20 million of funding from this initiative, to create a bioinformatics center on its Laurel Hollow campus.

“ Cold Spring Harbor Lab’s new bioinformatics center will promote both scientific discovery and the creation of high-paying new jobs,” said Senate Deputy Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos (R-Rockville Centre). “By providing the technology needed to analyze the landmark research completed by the Human Genome Project, this new facility will enable Cold Spring Harbor scientists to make historic advancements in the search for cures and bolster the region’s thriving biotechnology economy.”

Other recipients of the $48 million – funded through the Senate’s “Gen*NY*sis” initiative and other State economic development programs – include OSI Pharmaceuticals, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Research Institute; academic partners at Hofstra University, SUNY Farmingdale and Molloy College; and the Broad Hollow Bioscience Park, a collaboration between Farmingdale State University and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory that provided an incentive to retain OSI Pharmaceuticals on Long Island. The projects will augment existing research capacity, enhance educational opportunities and expand available commercial/laboratory facilities, building upon the region’s tremendous biotech strengths and bolstering the region’s position at the forefront of biotech research and economic development.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is a private, non-profit basic research institution. Under the leadership of Dr. Bruce Stillman, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society (London), more than 330 scientists at the Laboratory conduct groundbreaking research in cancer, neurobiology, plant genetics, and bioinformatics. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is one of eight National Cancer Institute-designated basic research centers in the U.S. and the only such center in the tri-state area.

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