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Personalized Medicine Program Being Launched At UConn Health Center

Collaborative effort will work to develop new medical treatments tailored to each patient’s unique genetic makeup.

The Connecticut Health Center is getting a new roommate of sorts: Jackson Laboratory of Bar Harbor Maine is launching a billion-dollar personalized medicine project on the campus of the University of Connecticut Health Center.

The collaborative effort between the state of Connecticut, the University of Connecticut and Yale University and the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine will work to develop new medical treatments tailored to each patient’s unique genetic makeup.

“I’m thrilled and regard it as an affirmation of our commitment to a major investment at the UCONN Medical Center,” Maynard said.  “The Governor took a lot of criticism for an investment on that scale in these challenging times but, as he explained to our caucus, these are the kinds of major public investments we have to be willing to make to attract top talent and private investment to our state.”

Discussions going both ways

They certainly are the kinds of investment the governor intends to make, said Colleen Flanagan, spokeswoman for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. 

“Companies are in discussions with the Department of Economic and Community Development and the Malloy Administration constantly. And those discussions go both ways – as in the case of Jackson Laboratory, the administration reached out to them,” Flanagan said. “Other companies, upon consideration of moves, expansion or other issues, reach out to DECD.”

According to Malloy’s office the total 20-year capital and research budget for the institute is projected to be $1.1 billion, with Jackson Laboratory providing $809 million through federal research grants, philanthropy and service income, and the State of Connecticut contributing $291 million ($192 million in a secured construction loan and $99 million in research partnership participation). For every $1 dollar the state is spending on this project, Jackson Laboratory will spend $3.

Strategic links key to selecting UConn location

“Without the State of Connecticut’s investment in its Bioscience Connecticut program, which strategically links Storrs, Farmington, New Haven and points in between, we would not have chosen Connecticut for our new Genomic Medicine facility,” Edison T. Liu, M.D., JAX’s president and CEO said in a press release. 

Flanagan said the Jackson Laboratory decision will help create, 842 construction jobs, 300 permanent direct jobs in 10 years; 600 permanent direct jobs within 20 years. In other words, it will help create more than 6800 permanent jobs total, she said.

“With this announcement, we’ve firmly planted our flag – We are reinventing Connecticut to lead in the 21st century economy,” Flanagan said.

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