FARMINGTON, Conn. — Jackson Laboratory’s $111 million Connecticut campus opened Tuesday with a dedication ceremony featuring lab officials, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy and top scientific leaders.
The new Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine sits on a 17-acre site on the campus of the University of Connecticut Health Center. The 183,500-square-foot facility will house 300 researchers, technicians and support staff within 10 years. Currently there are 150 employees.
UConn President Susan Herbst also was in attendance Tuesday, along with the president of the American Society for Human Genetics and the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute.
“Genomic medicine represents the next great frontier in the quest to improve human health,” Jax president Edison Liu, M.D., said at the opening ceremony. “With this new facility, we are poised to play a leading role in opening up that frontier and bringing the benefits of scientific discovery into the lives of patients.”
While lab officials are excited for the opening of the Connecticut facility, they continue to focus on expanding operations on the Bar Harbor campus and see the latest expansion as benefitting the company overall, vice president Mike Hyde told the Islander Wednesday.
“A lot of people tend to think of this as an either-or operation, and that is simply not the case,” Hyde said. “What we do in Bar Harbor becomes more and more important every day. We plan to expand and grow in Bar Harbor at the same time we expand and grow in Farmington. A rising tide lifts all boats.”
The lab in Bar Harbor, with 1,254 employees, and Jax California, with 199 employees, have helped the organization become a world leader in mouse genetics, Mr. Hyde said. In Connecticut, we are adding the dimension of human genomics to that base, he said. The work there will complement what already goes on here and in California.
“People in Farmington are looking for clues for detecting, treating and preventing disease inside the human genome … but they still have to verify their findings, and they still have to do that with mice,” Hyde said. “And we have greater expertise in the mouse world than anybody. So, the two do go hand in hand.”