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NY Genome Center Signs 20-Year Lease in Lower Manhattan, Opens Pilot Lab at Rockefeller, Hires 30


The New York Genome Center has signed a 20-year lease for 170,000 square feet of space in a high-rise in downtown Manhattan, the institute said today.

The center, which has hired 30 staffers to date, also recently opened a pilot lab, housed at Rockefeller University, which is providing sequencing and analysis services until the new facilities are ready.

The NYGC headquarters will occupy seven floors within the building, a 23-story, 425,000-square-foot office tower at 101 6th Avenue near the entrance to the Holland Tunnel. Construction for the center's facilities will begin this month at an estimated cost of $47 million and is expected to be completed by mid-2013.

The building, which was constructed in the early 1990s, is newly renovated and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver-certified. Edward J. Minskoff Equities, the building's landlord, will contribute almost $9 million in tenant improvements.

The new facility will have sequencing, bioinformatics, and research labs as well as an Innovation Center for new technologies and computing infrastructure. It will also include a ground-floor auditorium and café, training facilities, and administrative offices.

The center is currently developing plans for a CLIA-certified lab at the new headquarters, which is scheduled to open sometime in 2013 after the facility is operational.

In addition, the NYGC has established an offsite data center at the Sabey Intergate.Manhattan facility at 375 Pearl Street at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, about a mile from its future headquarters. According to the center, the Intergate.Manhattan is New York City's only purpose-built data center and has a highly secure location that is guarded by both the New York Police Department and Department of Homeland Security personnel.

At its new location, the NYGC will initially have 100 employees, a number that is expected to grow to more than 500 over its first five years of operations.

According to a NYGC spokesperson, the center has already placed an order for an undisclosed number of Illumina HiSeq 2000s, which will be upgraded to HiSeq 2500s when that platform becomes available. In addition, it plans to install an undisclosed number of MiSeqs as well as "other technologies."

The center plans to announce in the near future what other technologies and vendors it is considering for its sequencing labs and Innovation Center.

Pilot Lab at Rockefeller

The NYGC’s current employees, about half of whom are sequencing and bioinformatics professionals, were hired using a $3 million grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (GWDN 4/4/2012).

Earlier this month, the center opened a pilot lab at Rockefeller University, one of its institutional founding members, which primarily offers human whole-genome sequencing, exome sequencing, and RNA-seq sequencing services, along with bioinformatics services and data storage. Priority for these services is given to the center's founding members.

The pilot lab, led by the NYGC's senior vice president of sequencing operations, Kevin Shianna, is currently equipped with two Illumina HiSeq 2000s, to be upgraded to HiSeq 2500s, and has room to expand. The NYGC rents the space from Rockefeller, and the lab operates independently of the university's own facilities.

Earlier this year, the center announced its first project, a collaboration with the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and Illumina to study the genomes of 1,000 Alzheimer's disease patients (GWDN 2/16/2012).

Founded in August 2010 and officially launched last fall (IS 11/8/2012), the NYGC is an independent non-profit institute that plans to become one of the largest genomic facilities in North America.

The center has 11 institutional founding members: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Columbia University, Cornell University/Weill Cornell Medical College, the Jackson Laboratory, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York University/NYU School of Medicine, North Shore-LIJ Health System, Rockefeller University, and Stony Brook University. The Hospital for Special Surgery is an associate founding member.

In addition, it currently has two corporate collaborators, Illumina and Roche.

To date, the NYGC has raised more than $115 million from its institutional founding members; philanthropies such as the Simons Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and Bloomberg Philanthropies; and other strategic relationships, including the New York City Economic Development Corporation and the New York City Investment Fund.