Ribbon-Cutting Event Helps Commemorate 25 Years as NYSTAR Research Center
STONY BROOK, N.Y., October 2, 2009 – Stony Brook University celebrated the opening of the new Center for Biomolecular Diagnostics and Therapeutics, commemorating 25 years of translational research and biotechnology development at the SBU Center for Biotechnology. The Center is one of only eight New York State-supported Science, Technology, and Academic Research (STAR) Centers devoted to achieving scientific breakthroughs. Attending the September 22 ribbon cutting and building tour were local and state legislators, faculty, staff and students of the SBU Schools of Engineering and Medicine, University officials and NYSTAR representatives.
According to NYSTAR, the opening of the Center is a major step in bringing the University to the forefront of New York State’s efforts in biotechnology and in creating a biotechnology corridor on Long Island. The Center was constructed with help from a $15.2 million grant from NYSTAR. Faculty in the Center work in diverse fields, including tissue engineering, biomechanics, bioimaging, biosensors, drug design and delivery. Diverse and cutting-edge research includes the development of ultrasound devices designed to diagnose bone disorders and molecular models to enhance skin re-growth.
The Center for Biotechnology has contributed to the development of more than a dozen commercially available biomedical products that have advanced medicine and improved human health with cumulative sales approaching $1 billion. Such products include Periostat, the only systemically administered Food and Drug Administration-approved drug for the treatment of periodontal disease; BasicMint, a novel anti-cavity agent, and ReoPro, a drug that prevents platelets from sticking together and causing blood clots following coronary angioplasty.
“The opportunity to harness the tremendous resources of our academic enterprise to accelerate the discovery, development, and commercialization of life-enhancing technologies has never been greater,” said Samuel J. Stanley, Jr., M.D., President, Stony Brook University. “We are committed to ensuring that the groundbreaking biomedical research that takes place at Stony Brook University ultimately reaches patients.”
“The collaboration of our faculty within interdisciplinary subdisciplines of bioengineering, biotechnology, bioinformatics, biomedical imaging, computational neuroscience, and biological computing are among those that offer the greatest hopes for new diagnostics, new therapeutics and new treatment strategies,” said Yacov Shamash, Ph.D., Vice President, Economic Development, and Dean, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “This collaborative approach constitutes the mission of the STAR Center.”
“The new Center is a central point and bridge between the most innovative biomedical research within both the Schools of Medicine and Engineering,” added Richard N. Fine, M.D., Dean, School of Medicine. “This enterprise will help accelerate the path of some of the University’s top biomedical discoveries toward the marketplace.”
On behalf of Edward Reinfurt, Executive Director, NYSTAR, John Gee, Associate Programs Representative at NYSTAR, said that the unique nature of the Center combines the efforts of engineers, physical scientists, and life scientists to push forward the frontiers of discovery and embodies the “Five I’s” strategy outlined in Governor Paterson’s Bold Steps to the New Economy.
In reference to the Five I’s, a NYSTAR letter commemorating the new opening states: “From the Center’s infrastructure, intellectual capital, investments and anticipated international affairs will spring forth innovation which will drive the New Economy of New York.”
According to Dr. Eric Kaler, Provost, Stony Brook University, the three milestones – the SBU STAR Center building completion, the 25th anniversary of the SBU Center for Biotechnology, and the Re-designation of the SBU Center for Advanced Technology (Sensor CAT) by New York State – “are revolutionizing how universities participate in the process of commercializing discoveries and translating basic science to the bedside.”
Dr. Kaler said the Biotechnology CAT has contributed to the formation of more than a dozen new companies and created more than 600 jobs, with an annual economic impact of more than $125 million.
“As a research university, we are dedicated to pursing excellence in biomedical research, and the availability of state-of-the-art facilities as exemplified by the new Center will undoubtedly fulfill this objective,” added Gail S. Habicht, Ph.D., Vice President for Research at SBU.
New York State Senators John J. Flanagan, Kenneth P. LaValle, and Brian X. Foley, as well as Assemblymen Marc S. Alessi and Philip Boyle, all congratulated Stony Brook University on opening the Center and in leading the way in biomedical diagnostic and therapeutic development on Long Island and in the region.
About the Stony Brook University Center for Biotechnology
The Center for Biomolecular Diagnostics and Therapeutics is a New York State-supported STAR Center and home of the Center for Biotechnology at Stony Brook University, a cooperative research and development partnership between universities, private industry and New York State. The Center’s technology development initiative has contributed to an active pipeline of more than forty commercially promising technologies, the commercialization of more than a dozen novel biomedical products, and the formation of 18 new bioscience companies.
The Center is a leader in New York State’s bioscience agenda and participates in organizations that provide a framework to growing the State’s bioscience industry. The Center was instrumental in the founding of the Long Island High Technology Incubator, the New York Biotechnology Association, the Long Island Life Sciences Initiative, and the New York Bioscience Council. Learn more about the Center at http://www.biotech.sunysb.edu/
Based at Stony Brook University and supported by New York State, the Center for Advanced Technology, or Sensor CAT, is part of NYSTAR and is charged with the mission to help create and retain sensor-related jobs and businesses in New York State.
At the ribbon cutting of the new Stony Brook University Center for Biomolecular Diagnostics and Therapeutics are, from left: Dr. Clinton Rubin, Director, Center for Biotechnology; John Gee, Associate Programs Representative at NYSTAR; Michael Harrison, Long Island Regional Director, Office of Governor David A. Paterson; Senator Brian X. Foley; Assemblyman Marc S. Alessi; Dr. Gail S. Habicht; Senator John J. Flanagan; Senator Kenneth P. LaValle; Dr. Eric Kaler; Dora Myles, Office of NY State Representative Steve Israel; Assemblyman Philip Boyle; Carrie Meek Gallagher, Office of Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy; Dr. Richard N. Fine, Dean, School of Medicine; and Dr. Yacov Shamash, Vice President, Economic Development, and Dean, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
Credit: Sam Levitan