Jackson Lab Eyes Florida Expansion



BAR HARBOR — The Jackson Laboratory is evaluating the feasibility of establishing an institute for personalized medicine in Florida. The institute would more directly apply the laboratory’s expertise in genomics and bioinformatics to problems of human health and disease.

 

Drastic reductions in the cost and speed of whole-genome sequencing and a deeper understanding of genetic networks are opening up exciting new possibilities for treating patients based on their unique genetic makeup, said lab president and CEO Rick Woychik, Ph.D.

“We are on the verge of a whole new era in medicine, and we expect to play a pioneering role in the science that will accelerate personalized medicine,” Dr. Woychik said. “Understanding the complex genetics of disease and of the individual will enable physicians to treat patients more effectively, reduce drug side effects, and lower the cost of health care.”

The laboratory is evaluating a potential site for the institute in southwest Florida. However, Dr. Woychik stressed that much work remains to be done before a final decision is made. “The project is still in the talking stages, and there is still a lot of planning that needs to be done. We expect that it will take several months to reach a go or no-go decision.”

“Although we are considering a new branch in Florida, our core operations will stay in Maine,” Dr. Woychik said. “We want to assure our employees, friends and neighbors that any expansion will be designed to complement our existing scientific capabilities here. We will maintain and grow our existing programs and facilities in Maine and California.”

 

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