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Health Center Today, February 14, 2011

Cell and Genome Sciences Building Dedicated by Gov. Malloy

By Carolyn Pennington

Photo of Gov. Dannel Malloy

Gov. Dannel Malloy addresses elected officials, university trustees and directors, researchers, and the media in the Cell and Genome Sciences Building’s Grossman Auditorium.

Photos by Peter Morenus

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was on hand to officially dedicate the Cell and Genome Sciences Building at the University of Connecticut Health Center on Monday, February 14. Equipped with the latest technologies, the nearly 120,000-square-foot research facility has united University scientists in accelerating discoveries that ultimately could lead to novel therapies treating a broad range of diseases.

The building was designed specifically to encourage collaboration among the more than 100 scientists housed there who are engaged in high-tech research across a diverse array of disciplines, from cell biology, chemistry and genetics to physics, mathematics and computer science. Now with greater opportunity to work together more closely, the scientists are bringing together their specific fields of expertise to enhance Connecticut’s role as a leader in stem cell research.

"What’s occurring here is exactly the type of prudent, strategic and beneficial investment Connecticut needs," said Gov. Malloy. "Stem cell research is a prudent investment because it applies our limited resources in an area that promises significant returns on that investment in terms of bioscientific discoveries and economic growth. And it’s a beneficial investment that will improve the health of the people of our state and our nation while simultaneously supporting existing Connecticut companies, creating new companies and increasing high quality jobs in Connecticut."

"Because of the state’s action in 2005 to commit funding to stem cell research and training programs with $100 million over 10 years, Connecticut has been put on the map as a place where innovative and groundbreaking research in stem cells is being conducted," said UConn President Philip E. Austin. “We are already making strides unlocking the power of stem cells that will lead directly to therapeutic advances in so many areas.”

Photo of Dr. Cato T. Laurencin

Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, vice president for health affairs and medical school dean, gives remarks at the dedication of the Cell and Genome Sciences Building.

The facility houses the UConn Stem Cell Core Lab, the R.D. Berlin Center for Cell Analysis and Modeling, the Department of Genetics and Developmental Biology and the Technology Incubation Program that is assisting in the commercialization of UConn research and providing incubator space for start up businesses.

"I am very confident that the work that is already in progress here in the Cell and Genome Sciences Building will lead to a vast number of tomorrow’s advances," said Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, vice president for health affairs and dean of the UConn School of Medicine. "Thanks to wise state investments, we have created the perfect environment for learning and collaborating."

"Our goal is to maximize the state’s investment in stem cell research by establishing an infrastructure to support scientists in their quest of turning discoveries at the bench into therapies for diseases such as autism and cancer and to advance the field of regenerative medicine," says Marc Lalande, associate dean of research planning and coordination. "Having these programs in the same building along with researchers applying a broad range of cutting-edge approaches is intended to speed up cell research significantly at UConn."

Congressman Christopher Murphy, state legislative leaders, and researchers from Yale and Wesleyan Universities were among those attending the dedication.

Photo of Marc Lalande

Marc Lalande, associate dean for research planning and coordination, speaks at the Cell and Genome Sciences Building dedication.

Photo of ribbon cutting

Gov. Dannel Malloy concludes the formal dedication ceremony for the Cell and Genome Sciences Building.