New York’s 16 Medical Schools Call on State Legislature to Earmark $50 Million of Life Sciences Funding; Offer to Match State Investment in Biomedical Research 2:1

(New York, NY) – The Associated Medical Schools of New York is urging the New York State Legislature to dedicate $50 million of the $650 million allocated to the life sciences sector in the 2017-2018 Executive Budget, to the state’s 16 medical schools. That investment would enable medical schools to create high paying jobs and generate more medical breakthroughs. In a visit with members of the state legislature on February 14, 2017, deans from Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry reiterated that the medical schools have offered to match the state investment 2:1.

The $50 million would be available for all 16 medical schools across the state in create new biomedical researchlaboratories. The State funds would be used for laboratory construction, purchase of high cost analytic equipment and other expenses related to the recruitment and retention of scientific talent. New York State is home to more medical schools than any other state in the nation, and those medical schools contribute an estimated $85 billion to the state economy, while making groundbreaking contributions to medicine.

New York has been a hub for medical discovery, not only producing world-class cures, but also giving state residents’ access to clinical trials that have improved and saved the lives of many. Cures discovered by researchers at New York medical schools include first successful pediatric heart transplant (Columbia) first widely used vaccine against bacterial pneumonia (Downstate), the drug most prescribed for people suffering from relapsing multiple sclerosis (Buffalo), and the HPV vaccine (Rochester), .

“There is a covenant between academic medicine and government because the mission of these institutions is to ensure the State’s residents have access to the latest healthcare advances. These schools also create thousands of well-paying jobs with benefits. With the State Legislature’s support, and the generous investment made by Governor Cuomo, we can ensure that academic medicine in New York State continues to make a strong contribution to our economy, as well as advancing health within our communities,” said Jo Wiederhorn.

The past decade has seen an unprecedented investment by many states in biomedical research, but New York State has fallen behind. States like California, Massachusetts and Texas, and more recently Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Oregon, Virginia, Utah and others are appropriating billions of dollars to enable their research institutions to poach scientists and entire laboratories. These laboratories are effectively small businesses within academic institutions; they typically employ 8-10 people, develop valuable intellectual property and lead to the formation of new bioscience companies. They also strengthen the communities in which they are formed by bringing in high paying jobs and an increased tax base.

AMSNY has proposed the state invest the $50 million in NY FIRST, a program that would create and sustain thousands of high-skilled, high-wage jobs over a 10-year period. A $1 million investment by the State (matched 2:1 by the medical school recipient) is estimated to enable a school to recruit one world-class laboratory with approximately 8-10 employees. A $50 million annual investment by the State, could potentially yield 4,000-5,000 direct jobs over 10 years.

“Supporting New York State’s medical schools would have an impact well beyond simply funding more science,” saidLee Goldman, MD, MPH, Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine, and Chief Executive of Columbia University Medical Center. “Supporting our biomedical infrastructure not only can advance our scientific understanding, it will also improve health and stimulate the state’s economy.”

“New York State’s medical schools are a vital resource for research advances that touch the everyday lives of New Yorkers,” said Carlos N. Pato, dean of SUNY Downstate Medical Center’s College of Medicine and senior vice president for research. “Here at Downstate, we were pioneers in developing MRI and open-heart surgery. Today, we are conducting important research on the causes of genetic and memory disorders, as well as on the best ways to treat stroke and heart disease. An investment in New York State’s medical schools is an investment in the health of all New Yorkers.”“With a dramatic, new building soon coming online, an important factor in the resurgence of downtown Buffalo, it is an extraordinarily opportune time for the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB to be recruiting new talent,” said Michael E. Cain, MD, vice president for health sciences at UB and dean of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. “By making Buffalo and New York State more attractive to the nation’s best physician-scientists, NY FIRST will boost the economic health of our state while also helping us provide better health care to residents throughout New York.”

“New York State is a global leader in biomedical research and innovation, but we are at risk of falling behind and losing some of our brightest scientific minds as other states make substantial investments in talent and infrastructure,” said Mark Taubman, M.D., CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC). “Theresearch enterprise at URMC, which is comprised of more than 3,000 individuals, not only has a direct impact on the region’s quality of care, it serves as an engine of technological innovation and economic growth.”

A similar program that existed in New York between 2002-2009, The Faculty Development Program (FDP), resulted in a significant 7:1 return on the State’s initial $38 million investment.