Passed Florida budget includes funding for proposed Jackson Laboratory research facility

Date: May 3, 2010
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Tallahassee, Fla. -- The Florida legislature has voted to approve the state's budget, which includes a $50 million appropriation for the Innovation Incentive Program as part of a three-year commitment of $130 million to establish a branch of The Jackson Laboratory in Collier County. (Update, 5/30/10: Governor Charlie Crist signed the budget into law.)

Last week, Jackson President and CEO Rick Woychik, Ph.D., described Florida state funding as "an important first step" in advancing the development of a branch of The Jackson Laboratory in Florida. He noted that the project will require institutional partnerships, matching funds and approval by the Laboratory's Board of Trustees in order to proceed.

The Florida institute would be the second Jackson Laboratory facility to be built outside Maine. Since 2001, when The Jackson Laboratory--West was established in West Sacramento, it has moved to new, larger quarters in Sacramento and now employs 102 people. The Laboratory's headquarters campus in Bar Harbor campus added 281 new jobs during the same period, and Laboratory officials project further growth of 200 jobs in Maine over the coming 5-10 years.

As envisioned, the new Florida facility would employ about 200 people. In collaboration with their Bar Harbor colleagues, scientists there would investigate the genetic basis of diseases including cancers, heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease, as well as normal development and aging.

Florida planners envision that Jackson's research facility in Collier County would serve as an anchor tenant for a larger research and education community that would significantly bolster Southwestern Florida's economy in the long term.

The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution with a mission to discover the genetic basis for preventing, treating and curing human diseases, and to enable research and education for the global biomedical community. A National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center, the Laboratory is also the world's source for more than 5,000 strains of genetically defined mice, is home of the mouse genome database and is an international hub for scientific courses, conferences, training and education.

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Contact(s): Joyce Peterson, 207-288-6058

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Media Relations, Communications Office
The Jackson Laboratory
600 Main Street
Bar Harbor, Maine 04609-1500
Phone: 207-288-6058 (journalists only)
Main Jackson Laboratory phone: 207-288-6000
Fax: 207-288-6076
Email: news@jax.org