Science Market Update

Rockefeller University: $15M Gift, Lab Construction, and Faculty Prize

Posted by Jaimee Saliba on Fri, Mar 09, 2012

Thanks to a $15M charitable gift from the Helmsley Trust, Rockefeller University is establishing a new research center to focus on digestive diseases: the Center for Basic and Translational Research on Disorders of the Digestive System. With research faculty from 20 Rockefeller labs working in the fields of immunology, microbiology, cancer biology, and metabolic disease, the collaborative center will support the training of Ph.D students, postdoctoral researchers, and physician-scientists, as well as provide seed grants for early phase projects and funding for the purchase of equipment.

Medical conditions the new center will study include:

  • inflammatory bowel disorders such as Crohn’s disease and colitis
  • obesity and metabolic disease
  • celiac disease
  • many types of cancer, notably gastrointestinal stromal tumors and colorectal, liver, and pancreatic cancer
[Image courtesy of the Helmsley Trust]

Lab construction continues on the huge, phased, Collaborative Research Center (CRC) building project on the Rockefeller campus.  The CRC is the major capital project at the University, involving a massive renovation of two existing lab buildings and a library, with the addition of a new linking atrium. The complete renovation of the Smith building and the construction of the atrium were completed last year. (See the video on our January 2011 blog for a great tour of the completed spaces.) The final phase, which involves gutting and rebuilding Flexner and Welch Halls, is well on its way, with planned completion in the Fall of 2012. Heads of the laboratories that will be housed in the renovated Flexner building have given input for fine-tuning the designs for their spaces, and finishing work including flooring, cabinetry and fixtures is due to begin any day.

rockefeller research building resized 600

[The Collaborative Research Center Buildings, courtesy of]

The 2012 March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology has just been announced, and the winners are Dr. Elaine Fuchs, head of the Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development at Rockefeller, and her longtime colleague at Harvard Medical, Dr. Howard Green, for their work with stem cells and skin disorders.  A senior March of Dimes representative said this of the contribution made by Fuchs and Green:

“Taken together, the research of Dr. Green and Dr. Fuchs has expanded medicine’s ability to diagnose and understand the basis of many skin disorders, from cancer to inherited disorders to severe burns. Their work has saved the lives of thousands of burn patients and we hope their work with skin stem cells will lead to new ways to prevent and treat birth defects.”

The March of Dimes Prize was established in 1996 as a tribute to the pioneering virologist Jonas Salk. It recognizes researchers who offer hope for the prevention and treatment of some of the most serious birth defects and other human diseases. It is accompanied by a silver medal and a $250,000 cash award.

Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. is a full service event marketing and planning company producing on-campus, life science research tradeshows nationwide for the past 19 years. We plan and promote each event to bring the best products and services to the best research campuses across the country. Twice annually we hold our BioResearch Product Faire events on the Rockefeller University Campus in New York City, with attendees coming from many of the surrounding research institutes, including Weill Cornell.  This year's dates for this popular event are April 26, 2012 and October 17, 2012.  For information on exhibiting, click the button below:

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Tags: Rockefeller University, Northeast, Medical Research, Stem cell research, New research facilities, Life Science Funding, new science wet labs, New York, biology research, BioResearch Product Faire Event, Funding, New York City, new construction, BRPF, charitable giving

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