New York, NY (September 17, 2013) - The New York Genome Center (NYGC) announced today that The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) has become an Associate Member, joining NYGC's growing consortium of 16 research and clinical institutions, all working together in new ways to utilize genomic data for better detection, treatment, and prevention of disease.
"Biologists at the NYSCF working with the genomic scientists at NYGC will help address some of the critical roadblocks in stem cell research," said Dr. Robert B. Darnell, President and Scientific Director of NYGC. "Modern genomics has the potential to provide vital missing information to help us learn how to harness stem cells for use in clinical medicine. We've developed techniques and ideas here at NYGC that will greatly synergize with the beautiful and pioneering work ongoing at the NYSCF."
Stem cell biology and genomic analysis are both critical to the advancement of precision medicine. The collaboration between the Genome Center and NYSCF will merge cutting-edge capabilities in human biology with genomic research, creating an optimal environment for translating research into a better standard of care for patients.
"We are excited to work with NYGC as we continue to accelerate cures for the major diseases of our time. This will enable collaboration within the growing biotechnology community in New York," said Susan L. Solomon, CEO of The New York Stem Cell Foundation. "NYSCF has a number of current projects in which additional genomic analysis may play a critical role in better understanding disease susceptibility and risk factors. We hope to work with NYGC to integrate their genomic analysis into our research."
The New York Genome Center provides an "Integrated Genomics Solution", which includes (1) scientific consultation, (2) next-generation sequencing services for exomes, whole genomes, and RNA, (3) bioinformatic analysis of sequencing results using a high performance computing environment, and (4) data storage so that researchers and clinicians can readily access these results.
As an Associate Member, NYSCF will have priority access to these services. NYSCF will also become a member of the NYGC's Scientific and Clinical Steering Committee (SCSC), which provides guidance on research direction and oversees research collaborations and related funding.
NYSCF employs 45 full-time scientists and engineers in its laboratory who are engaged in the most advanced stem cell research and technology development, including creating NYSCF's Global Stem Cell Array, an automated technology platform that for the first time makes it possible to create identical stem cell lines from a large number of patients in a massively parallel process. This is a revolutionary tool that takes the vast amount of information we have learned from sequencing the human genome and puts it into a biological context to accelerate the development of safe and effective medicine. This robotic system creates induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell lines and cell derivatives in a standardized manner from genetically diverse patients and patients with disease. This program will create an array of stem cell lines representing the full range of human genetics and the diversity of the world's population.
"This collaboration will expand our resources to analyze our stem cell samples at the genetic level, as we continue to bring the latest discoveries in genome science to our work to understand, prevent, and eventually cure diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer's, and multiple sclerosis among many others," said Scott Noggle, Director of the NYSCF Laboratory and the Charles Evans Senior Research Fellow for Alzheimer's Disease.
Human variability is what makes finding disease mechanisms and cures so difficult; however, leveraging NYGC's expertise and services to understand the genetic variability and gene expression of stem cell lines will help address why some people are affected by a disease and others are not. The promise of stem cell technology lies in creating human disease models in a dish. Therefore, combining genetic analysis with human iPS cell models creates a powerful tool for discovery.
About The New York Stem Cell Foundation
The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) is an independent research institute founded in 2005 that accelerates cures and better treatments for patients through stem cell research. NYSCF has over 45 researchers in its New York laboratory and is an acknowledged world leader in stem cell research and in developing pioneering stem cell technologies, including the NYSCF Global Stem Cell ArrayTM. Additionally, NYSCF supports another 60 researchers at other leading institutions worldwide through its Innovator Programs, including the NYSCF - Druckenmiller Fellowships and the NYSCF-Robertson Investigator Awards. NYSCF focuses on translational research in a model designed to overcome the barriers that slow discovery and encourage multi-institutional collaboration.
NYSCF researchers have achieved five major discoveries in the field, including: the recent creation of patient-specific bone substitutes from skin cells; the discovery of a clinical cure to prevent transmission of maternal mitochondrial diseases in December 2012; the derivation of the first-ever patient specific embryonic stem cell line (named the #1 Medical Breakthrough of 2011 by Time magazine); the discovery of a new way to reprogram stem cells; and the creation of the first disease model from induced pluripotent stem cells (also named the #1 Medical Breakthrough by Time magazine in 2008).
NYSCF is privately supported and has invested over $100M in the most advanced stem cell and bioscience. NYSCF also collaborates with over 50 leading institutions worldwide including the major New York institutions such as The Rockefeller University, Weill Cornell Medical College, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York University, and Columbia University among others.
About the New York Genome Center
The New York Genome Center (NYGC) is an independent non-profit organization that leverages the collaborative resources of leading academic medical centers, research universities, and pharmaceutical, biotech, and technology companies. The vision of NYGC is to transform medical research and clinical care in New York and beyond through the creation of one of the largest genomics research facilities in North America, integrating sequencing, bioinformatics, data management, and genomics research.
NYGC represents an unprecedented sharing of data and resources among premier institutions, which will dramatically increase the quality and speed of research outcomes to advance clinical care. The collaborative power of NYGC's members will help nurture scientific advances leading to a new era of personalized medicine, accelerate the development of new diagnostics and treatments for human diseases, and provide an engine for life science commercialization in the region.
NYGC's twelve Institutional Founding Members include the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 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, The Rockefeller University, and Stony Brook University. In addition to the American Museum of Natural History, NYGC Associate Members include the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY, The New York Stem Cell Foundation, and the American Museum of Natural History.
To date, NYGC has raised over $140 million in funds from its Institutional Founding Members, from philanthropies such as the Simons Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and Bloomberg Philanthropies, and from other strategic relationships, including the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the Partnership Fund for New York City, and New York State's Empire State Development Corporation.
NYGC can be found online at http://www.nygenome.org, and on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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