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Mayo Clinic, U. Minnesota Plan to Build New Statewide Genomics Centers

NEW YORK, March 27 - The Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota have begun shopping around a proposal to create a pair of genomics-research centers in the state.


Though the project is still in the very early stages, the partners hope to create the Minnesota Biotechnology and Genomic Centers, which will share real estate at the university and at the Clinic.


"We are exploring concepts to established some sort of Minnesota initiative in the area of biotechnology and genomics," said Chris Gade, a spokesman for the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. "We still have to work out ... the specifics of that proposal."


Before they can determine when the centers can be created--or even what the research logistics between them might be--the partners must first secure some capital. So far, they have approached the Minnesota governor for financial help, Gade told GenomeWeb. He added the Mayo Clinic also has been "exploring a variety of funding options to make it happen," and stressed that philanthropy is "for sure" one of the options.


Gade said that while the project does not yet have a timeline, "the group views this with urgency; they recognize that this is a field of medicine that is moving forward rapidly, and what we are trying to do is to deploy the assets of these two organizations in Minnesota [that] best ... address the needs."


Some certainties have emerged, though. For example, the partners expect the centers to cost around $80 million. It is also known that the Mayo intends to erect a building on its campus to house its branch of the center. It was still unclear whether the university planned to follow suit. Also known is the fact that the Centers' two branches would recruit scientists, share equipment, and cooperate to obtain research grants from the National Institutes of Health.


Officials from the Mayo and the university are to meet with Minnesota's governor next week to hash over the plan.

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