At 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 19, 2013, more than 200 individuals gathered at 101 Avenue of the Americas – home of the New York Genome Center (NYGC), where the center launched its scientific and clinical consortium of academic and industry leaders focused on harnessing genomics to advance the understanding and treatment of disease. Mayor Michael Bloomberg offered keynote remarks at the event and then joined in a ribbon-cutting ceremony, which served to kick off the inaugural scientific symposium set to take place later in the evening and on Friday.
"Our administration's investment in the center is part of our mission to foster innovative economy in New York," said Mayor Bloomberg. "This is great for New York."
The two-day symposium marked the opening of the NYGC's new 170,000 square foot research facility in downtown Manhattan and brought together leaders of 16 member institutions to discuss the importance of genomics research for the detection, diagnosis and treatment of human disease. Tours of the new facilities were offered throughout the two days.
"The convergence of different strengths, ideas and institutions knit together to form a consortium that is the NYGC," said Dr. Robert Darnell, president and founding director of the center. "There is a geyser of information catalyzing the transformation of medicine, and our members have come together in unprecedented fashion to solve this information overflow."
"The consortium came into being with the understanding that medical genomics is too expansive and expensive for one institution to take on alone," added Dr. Thomas Maniatis, who envisioned the center's purpose and formation.
"Collaboration is essential for solving the most complex and difficult problems in biomedical science," added Dr. Maniatis, who also is chair of NYGC's scientific and clinical steering committee.
Einstein's Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean, Dr. Allen M. Spiegel, was among those in attendance at the ceremony and symposium. In April, the College of Medicine became one of twelve founding members of the NYGC. At that time, Dr. Spiegel noted, "Through the unique collaborations that NYGC will allow us access to, opportunities for large-scale genomics studies not previously possible will be expanded dramatically. Working together, we can significantly improve our understanding of genetics and help transform biomedical research with the goal of better understanding disease and improving patient care."
NYGC's twelve Institutional Founding Members include Einstein, 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.
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