Monday, July 14, 2008

University of Albany, Albany Med to collaborate on Institute for Biomedical Education and Research

One of the nation’s oldest medical schools in Albany is turning to academia for help in its fight against cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease, and a new biomedical research facility at the University at Albany’s East Campus will serve as the staging ground for that collaboration.

Officials from Albany Medical Center and UAlbany announced today a partnership that will combine their research and educational operations in a physical location for the first time in the history of the 169-year-old hospital and 164-year-old school.

Combined, Albany Med and UAlbany expect to garner more National Institute of Health grants for research. Albany Med also plans to broaden its medical doctorate offerings by pairing them with professional doctorate, master’s and bachelor’s degree programs.

“Today marks the beginning of the collaboration,” Albany Medical Center President and Chief Executive Officer James Barb said at a news conference at the Gen*NY*sis Center for Excellence in Cancer Genomics. Gen*NY*sis is the East Campus’ newest 113,000-square-foot facility, which opened in 2005.

The two institutions on Friday entered a memorandum of understanding, which said they will work together to bring the 110,000-square-foot Institute for Biomedical Education and Research at UAlbany’s East Campus.

“This is going to be world class in every way,” state Sen. Joseph Bruno, R-Brunswick, said at the news conference.

Bruno called the biomedical institute “a done deal,” with $42 million in capital funding already set aside for the East Campus project in the state’s current fiscal year budget. Hospital and university officials could neither specify how many jobs the new facility would host nor when it would open.

However, Barba said the biomedical institute would be an economic driver and likened it to the Georgia Research Alliance, a partnership between research universities, businesses and state government that has helped attract 90 startup companies and create 40,000 technology sector jobs since its founding in 1990.

The biomedical institute will continue the East Campus’ 12-year-old transformation from a pharmaceutical research complex abandoned by the Sterling Winthrop Co. The 87-acre campus now also houses 20 public and private entities and employs 1,000.

By James Schlett
Gazette Reporter

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