New Building To House Cancer Research Center, Create 230 New Jobs

Contact: John McArdle, Marcia White (518) 455-2264 (Bruno)
  Karl Luntta (518) 437-4981 (Univ. At Albany)

Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno today announced that the University at Albany will receive $22.5 million to build a cancer research center at the University's campus in East Greenbush. When the building project is completed it will create 230 new jobs and bring the total number of jobs at the East Campus to more than 1,000. Funds for the project come from the Senate's historic Gen*NY*sis biotechnology economic development program that was included in the 2002-03 state budget.

"The new signature building on the East Campus will bring together research and business development in biotechnology and provide a foundation for the long-term goal of establishing a National Cancer Center designated Comprehensive Cancer Center for the Capital District Region," Senator Bruno said. "The new facility will be another significant leap forward that will enable the campus to grow and, more importantly, will result in the creation of new businesses and jobs. It will further strengthen the Capital District's reputation as an attractive region for biotech and high tech economic development."

Governor George E Pataki said, "This state-of-the-art research center - coupled with U Albany's Center of Excellence and our International SEMATECH initiative - will further secure the Capital Region's role as a worldwide leader in high-tech and biotech research and economic development. In addition to supporting groundbreaking cancer research, this important initiative fits perfectly with our increasingly successful efforts to bring thousands of good paying technology-related jobs to Upstate New York."

"Seven years ago the former Sterling Winthrop facility was abandoned and vacant, now this campus is the focal point of biotechnology and medical science research for all of northeastern New York," Senator Bruno said. "More than 850 people are employed at the East Campus, which is home to 16 companies, including 14 biotech companies, with total revenues of more than $31 million. In addition, the campus is home to the University at Albany's School of Public Health and the Center for Comparative Functional Genomics. It is a tremendous economic success story."

"The Gen*NY*sis program is a perfect example of how university, industry and government collaboration has become increasingly indispensable in advancing science and stimulating economic development," University at Albany President Karen Hitchcock said. "Senator Bruno's visionary leadership and commitment to the University at Albany and Capital Region once again allow us to remain on the cutting edge of high-tech research and development. The state investment announced today strategically positions the University to drive innovation and discovery and promote job creation in New York's Tech Valley for years to come."

The cancer research to be done at the center will be a cooperative effort that links private biotech businesses with academia and government to conduct groundbreaking research and development in state-of-the-art facilities.

The research will involve clinical medical researchers from the Stratton Veterans Administration Hospital in Albany, researchers from the University at Albany Center for Comparative Functional Genomics at the East Campus and a private company -- Taconic Biotechnology -- which is the world's third largest producer of laboratory mice used in biomedical research. In addition, the new building will house small, start-up companies which are related to other areas of cancer research, such as producing vaccines.

The total cost of the project is projected to be $45 million with $22.5 million coming from Gen*NY*sis, including $19 million for building construction, $2.5 million for state of the art research and laboratory equipment, and $1 million for matching federal grants for facilities.

"The Gen*NY*sis program represents the state's most significant investment ever in biotechnology economic development," Senator Bruno said. "It is a rapidly growing field and this investment will build on New York's exceptional life sciences research capabilities to be extremely competitive for biotech businesses and jobs. Working with our world-class research institutions, hospitals and universities, we will be able to build state of the art research and development facilities and leverage additional federal and private investments of more than $1 billion and create thousands of new high-skilled and high-wage jobs throughout the state."

The Senate Majority first proposed the Gen*NY*sis program in December 2000 to ensure that New York State maintains its position as a premier location for life sciences research and technology development. Gen*NY*sis is focused on all stages of the life sciences research and development process, from basic research to applied research to final product, encouraging collaboration between public and private research institutions with emerging as well as established companies.

The 2002-03 state budget includes $225 million in funds for Gen*NY*sis over the next three years. The money is part of an overall $1.2 billion capital program to expand businesses and create new high technology and biotechnology in New York State. The Gen*NY*sis capital funding will be used to help construct new research facilities, incubators, accelerators, bioscience and high-technology parks and purchase equipment. The program is being administered by the New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR).

Each project must submit a business plan to be reviewed by NYSTAR. Each project's business plan must include:

  • a description of the proposed project;
  • a description of the consortium of institutions and organizations involved;
  • the structure and governance of the collaboration;
  • efforts to obtain and administer corporate, federal, and foundation support;
  • the scientific and technical quality of the proposed research;
  • the expected increase in research activity;
  • projections of discoveries from the research sponsored;
  • economic plan to further develop any discoveries;
  • new businesses and jobs within New York State.

Established in 1844 and designated a center of the State University of New York in 1962, the University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages 17,000 diverse students in eight degree-granting schools and colleges. For more information about this nationally ranked University, visit


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