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A Cross-Country Venture

As our sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News reports, Pacific Biosciences' Chief Scientific Officer Eric Schadt will lead the Mount Sinai Institute of Genomics and Multiscale Biology. As part of the collaboration between PacBio and Mount Sinai, GWDN continues, "a Single Molecule Real Time Biology User Facility will be established within the institute, which is the hub of genomics research at Mount Sinai and collaborates with 13 other disease-oriented and core technology-based institutes at Mount Sinai." Luke Timmerman at Xconomy San Francisco adds that the "union of PacBio and [Mount] Sinai is a high-profile effort to bridge the traditional divide between lab research and clinical treatment of patients," saying that both parties are likely to benefit:

For Mt. Sinai, hiring a star like Schadt means it will likely attract more donations, and be able to recruit many more bright young physicians and scientists interested in genomic-based personalized medicine. For PacBio, it hopes to learn how to best position its instrument with customers around the world, after hearing from Schadt how it works in the trenches.

Timmerman also says that, by joining Mount Sinai, "Schadt and PacBio are walking away from a potential partnership with UC-San Francisco, which had been wooing Schadt for months," and that this move raises questions as to the future of the New York Genome Center, "a fledgling effort to bring together a number of New York's top biomedical research centers to create a shared world-class genomics research facility," which, he adds, is still its planning phases.

Over at The New York Times' Prescriptions blog, Andrew Pollack says that under the terms of the collaboration, PacBio will supply the institute with two of its single-molecule, real-time machine prototypes. He adds that the school is "expected to buy at least one of the standard $695,000" PacBio RS sequencers that the company has recently begun to ship.