The Associated Medical Schools of New York requests $50 million to support economic growth of the biomedical sector; NY’s medical schools will match funding 2:1

(New York, NY) – The Associated Medical Schools of New York calls on the state to invest $50 million in the new New York Fund For Innovation in Research and Scientific Talent (NY FIRST.)

This investment in research will support the creation of new laboratories at New York’s 16 medical schools—laboratories that are significant economic drivers. The $50 million state investment in research will be matched 2:1 by the medical schools, resulting in an overall investment of $150 million.

The $150 million research program will boost economic development and health advances by furthering drug discovery and accelerating commercialization of research. New York’s medical school laboratories are already generating intellectual property and numerous startup companies that boost local economies and create jobs.

“New York State’s medical schools have the potential to further contribute to the state economy and create thousands of additional good-paying jobs,” said Jo Wiederhorn, President of AMSNY. “Based on historical evidence, a $50 million investment from the state will result in a significant boon to the state economy.”

NY FIRST has clear potential to create and sustain thousands of high-skilled, high-wage jobs. AMSNY estimates that a $1 million investment by the state (matched 2:1 by the recipient medical school) would enable the creation of one world-class laboratory with approximately 8-10 employees. A $50 million annual investment by the state, then, would yield 4,000-5,000 direct jobs over 10 years. Wages for such jobs average $70,000 per year.

The precursor to NY FIRST (the NYSTAR Faculty Development Program) had an impressive 7:1 return on investment. From 2002 to 2009, a $36 million investment by New York State enabled the recruitment and retention of entrepreneurial scientific talent who, during that period, leveraged their awards into more than $250 million in additional federal grants and private philanthropy. This measurement does not include the value of intellectual property and startup/spinout companies those scientists developed, or return on investment between 2010 and today for the 80% of recruited researchers that remain in NY.

Startup and spinout companies born from medical school labs represent a significant economic driver with tremendous potential for growth. For example, in January, Dr. Lewis Cantley, a researcher based at Weill Cornell Medicine, launched Petra Pharma as a result of work done in his lab. Dr. Cantley is a serial entrepreneur recruited to Weill Cornell Medicine from Harvard in 2013. He has made breakthrough discoveries in cancer research and, while at Harvard, launched Agios Pharma, now valued at $2.4 billion. He estimates that his latest venture, which was launched with $48 million in Series A financing, will employ an additional 25 people by the end of 2016.

In addition to the substantial economic benefit, investment in NY FIRST would facilitate the development of, and access to, new cures by increasing the number of labs conducting groundbreaking research. New York medical schools have in the past contributed significantly to medical research. For example, research that led directly to the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine was conducted at the University of Rochester.

According to AMSNY, there’s a significant urgency to having the state make this investment now. That’s because other states have made medical research a very clear economic development priority. States such as Minnesota, Indiana, Nevada and Utah – each with only one medical school, in contrast to New York’s 16 – are appropriating tens of millions of dollars to their medical institutions to support bioscience infrastructure. More aggressive bioscience investors, such as California, Texas and Massachusetts, are allocating billions of dollars for the same purpose.

These states recognize the potential of biomedical laboratories as economic drivers, and are seeing huge returns. The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) brought 100 top-level researchers to the state who are searching for effective treatments for cancers, and put more than 1,000 college- and graduate-level students into those labs to train the next generation of researchers. More than 4,700 direct jobs have been created in Texas as a result of CPRIT and $250 million in CPRIT product development research awards have catalyzed at least $910 million in private sector follow-on investment.

New York’s 16 medical schools could facilitate similarly huge economic growth in the biomedical sector with a $50 million investment from the state.


The Associated Medical Schools of New York (AMSNY) is a consortium of the 16 public and private medical schools throughout New York State. AMSNY’s mission is to promote high quality and cost-efficient health care by assuring that the medical schools of New York State can provide outstanding medical education, care and research. The combined total of New York’s medical schools economic impact equals more than $85.6 billion. This means $1 in every $13 in the New York economy is related to AMSNY medical schools and their primary hospital affiliates. For more information on AMSNY, please visit: