HUDSON SQUARE — Mayor Mike Bloomberg joined the city's leading scientists Thursday to cut the ribbon on a high tech laboratory designed to advance disease treatment through DNA research.
The New York Genome Center — a new 170,000 square-foot space on Sixth Avenue near Canal Street — will give scientists the opportunity to isolate the genes for diseases by mapping DNA, collecting data and conducting research in hopes of ultimately saving lives.
“New York has always been a laboratory of innovation,” said Bloomberg, who donated $2.5 million to the institute. “With the opening of this new home for the genome center, the pace of innovation in what is already one of the city’s fastest growing industries, commercial life sciences, is going to accelerate.”
The five-floor facility features lab rooms, freezers containing RNA samples and several other test areas and data storage spaces.
NYGC researchers from the city's top institutes like Rockefeller University, Columbia, Albert Einstein College of Medicine also hope to educate students and New Yorkers on everything from sequencing DNA to plotting the future of genomics through a series of lectures and events.
Dr. Robert Darnell, the president and scientific director of the NYGC, said that the facility hopes to foster cooperation between scientists and make their data far more accessible.
“Every major regional academic and medical center in the city has come together in an unprecedented fashion here to provide a solution to this information crisis,” he said.
In short, Darnell said the possibilities are endless.
“I would like to commit this institution to fundamentally changing the way we understand and treat human disease,” he said. “We can save people’s lives today in 2013.”