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New York Pumps $105M into NY Genome Center, Univ. of Buffalo Genomic Medicine Partnership

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The New York Genome Center and the University of Buffalo have received $105 million in state funding to work together in pursuing genomic medicine advances and computational biomedical research, NYGC and UB said today.

The funding, which New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled in his "State of the State" remarks today, will provide $55 million to NYGC and $50 million to the University of Buffalo to create the NY Genomic Medicine Network.

The ambition behind the partnership and investment is to link the New York City biomedical research community with UB's computational infrastructure and its research expertise, and to develop the Western New York region's genomic medicine industry.

NYGC, a consortium of 16 regional institutions that opened in a facility in lower Manhattan in September 2013, said it will match its funding from the state through outside fundraising.

The partners said today that the combination of NYGC and UB's genomic medicine and computational capabilities will advance personalized medicine research and businesses in the state. For example, the NYGC said, UB's New York State Center of Excellence contains over one million medical records from regional patients, and that may be combined on a de-identified basis with genomic data from the NYGC's research programs.

UB said the state money it receives will fund additional capacity at the university, particularly at the Center for Computational Research.

UB said it was selected because of its expertise in high performance computing and genomics and patient data research facilities, including the computational center, the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, and the Institute for Healthcare Informatics, all of which are based at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

The initiative also is aimed at fueling Western New York's biomedical and personalized medicine industry, particularly at the (BNMC).

UB said five companies are already expected to benefit from the partnership by gaining access to supercomputing resources, including Empire Genomics; Lineagen; Computer Task Group (CTG), an IT solutions firm focused on healthcare; Personalized Medicine Pathways (a startup medical diagnostics company formed by CTG and Roswell Park Cancer Institute); and AESKU Diagnostics, a German life sciences firm seeking to establish operations in Western New York.

"The incredibly potent combination of genomic medicine and the analytic power of today's super computers will change our approach to healthcare," NYGC CEO, President, and Scientific Director Robert Darnell said in a statement.