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University at Albany Life Sciences Initiatives Win State Funding

UAlbany’s RNA Institute has been awarded $2M to promote biotech translational research, while the East Campus will receive $1M toward the development of a biotech corridor.

ALBANY, N.Y. (December 9, 2011) -- The University at Albany is a beneficiary of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's "Open for Business" grant competition. UAlbany’s RNA Institute has been awarded $2M to promote biotech translational research, while UAlbany’s East Campus will receive $1M toward the development of a biotech corridor.

The RNA Institute Biomedical Translational Research grant will help promote novel, collaborative research ideas for training and job opportunities in the biomedical sector of the Capital Region economy. Monies will be used to support facility renovations, capital equipment, staffing and training initiatives.

The RNA Institute at the University at Albany was launched in June 2010. It brings together leading researchers from higher education and other institutions, and offers advanced facilities for early phase RNA-based drug discovery. RNA has shown promise in research for challenging diseases such as breast and colon cancer, neuromuscular diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and HIV/AIDS.

The RNA Institute is a one-of-a-kind resource for RNA researchers at both public and private institutions across New York state, as well as across the globe. It has a unique combination of physical and intellectual resources with advanced facilities funded in large part by an NIH ARRA award, and entrepreneurial research programs to support a return on investment with both short-and long-term business development models.

Through the biotech corridor initiative, UAlbany will become a focal point in biotechnology research and development in the greater Capital Region -- principally on the University's East Campus biotech hub. The monies will be used for the creation of a biotech research and training facility.

The initiative will also foster a growing biotechnology presence in Saranac Lake, base of the Trudeau Institute, as well as complement the biomedical research strengths of the research institutions and biotechnology companies across the region. The funding will provide resources to the East Campus to upgrade equipment and improve labs and research facilities, grow the presence of biotech companies co-located on the East Campus, and collaborate with the Trudeau Institute to foster the development of a biotech corridor.

The East Campus biotech center provides high-tech laboratories to research companies, creating an environment in which life science technologies can be developed into commercially viable businesses, and fostering the education of a workforce with the skills necessary to sustain such enterprises. The University at Albany's East Campus houses the School of Public Health, and the Cancer Research Center.

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