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Jackson Lab's Genomic Medicine Institute Beats Hiring Goals, Pursues Grants Ahead of Move-in

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine in Connecticut, a key cog in the state-backed Bioscience Connecticut initiative, has exceeded hiring plans and expects to move into its new Farmington facility in October, and its staff is applying for and receiving research awards and contracts, Gov. Dannel Malloy's office said on Monday.

In its annual report for 2013, JGM said its investigators applied last year for $60 million in research funding from the National Institutes of Health and other agencies, and its scientific director Charles Lee recently won a $7.5 million grant from South Korea to collaborate on a cancer genomics and mouse modeling grant.

Malloy said that the grant proposals, hiring, contracting, and partnerships detailed in JGM's report for 2013, its first full year of operation, shows that the investments the state made "to stake a claim in the global biomedical market are already paying off."

At Malloy's urging, the state legislature agreed to provide $291 million in 2011 to bring the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, an offshoot of Bar Harbor, Maine-based Jackson Laboratory, to Connecticut. The agreement came just months after Jackson Lab gave up trying to convince Florida to agree to provide $100 million to situate the lab in two proposed sites in Naples and Sarasota.

Under the plan, Jackson Lab is expected to provide $809 million to the center over time through its funding, federal research grants, and service income that it generates. The centerpiece of JGM will be the 173,500-square-foot facility currently under construction at the University of Connecticut Health Center Campus, which will house 30 principal investigators and their staffs. Jackson has estimated that the JGM will employ around 300 people over the first 10 years and about 660 people within 15 to 20 years. The agreement with the state calls for about 90 of those positions to be senior scientist jobs.

In its annual report, JGM said it has exceeded its hiring target for the year and now has 79 employees on payroll, including 48 PhD-level senior scientists and an annual wage average of $124,700 for its employees. JGM's postdoctoral program currently hosts 17 fellows, according to the report.

JGM also noted that in 2013 its scientists submitted three patent applications for DNA analysis and stem cell technologies and four peer-reviewed articles were generated by the Genomic Medicine faculty.