Says money will help universities recruit top researchers
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Medical schools in New York State would have an easier time attracting the talents of top researchers if they had more funding at their disposal, according to state Sen. Marty Golden, who said he plans to continue pushing for legislation to smooth the way for them.
Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-southwest Brooklyn), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Science, Technology, Incubation and Entrepreneurship, said the senate passed a bill he introduced in the recently completed legislative session that would establish the New York State Biomedical and Biotechnological Translation Research and Entrepreneurship Initiative. The bill would allow medical schools to apply for state funds to assist in the recruitment and retention of top research scientists.
It would allow the state’s medical schools to remain competitive with institutions in other parts of the country, Golden said.
He called on the State Assembly to pass the bill when the legislative goes back into session.
“New York State must be proactive in creating a lab to market program at public and private medical schools in New York State, while ensuring that our medical schools can maintain and recruit top tier researchers and scientists,” Golden said.
“To greatly increase the presence of biomedical and biotechnological jobs and companies, we must create an opportunity for our state to partner and support our private and public medical schools,” he added.
California, Texas, Massachusetts and Connecticut are investing heavily in active recruitment of top researches and scientists, Golden said. To create an entrepreneurial culture in New York State, medical schools should collaborate with existing state programs, such as Business Incubators, Hotspots and Startup-NY tax free zones, to start public-private partnerships, speed the commercialization of research and increase the depth of the research community, he said.
The State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center issued a statement to the Brooklyn Eagle about the importance of taking steps to advance its mission.
“The world-class research at SUNY Downstate Medical Center helps advance our knowledge of complex medical issues in order to improve the health and well being in Brooklyn and around the world. Downstate is supportive of policies, including Start-UP NY, that allow us to expand our research capacity and create jobs to further support our public mission," said Downstate President Dr. John F. Williams. "We thank Senator Golden for his continued support and recognition of SUNY’s research and scientific endeavors.”
Assemblyman Joseph Morelle (D-Monroe County) is the assembly sponsor of the bill.
“University driven bioscience research and development continues to be a significant economic driver for New York. However, we have yet to realize our full potential. This legislation seeks to make strategic investments in our institutions of higher learning so as to further expand our biotechnology footprint and create new, long-term jobs,” Morelle said when he introduced the bill earlier this year. “Furthermore, as an industry that can play a key role in the revitalization of our economy it is critical that we step-up our efforts to ensure a recent shortage of federal investments to do not negate the positive growth we have experienced thus far."
If enacted, the legislation would provide state matching funds to five-year plans, developed by applicants, to bolster commercialization efforts at the schools and improve relationships with pharmaceutical, biomedical and biotechnical companies.