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Report Shows University of Massachusetts Research Tops $400 Million, Ranks Second in Massachusetts In University Life Sciences Research

UMass Life Sciences Research Expenditures Near $250 Million; University Leads Massachusetts in Life Sciences Graduates

BOSTON-A report released today in advance of the BIO International Convention shows that the University of Massachusetts is a state and national leader in research and development with $404 million in research expenditures in Fiscal Year 2006. The 16-page report highlights the depth and breadth of life sciences research, education and industry partnerships at the University of Massachusetts and notes that for the first time, research expenditures at the University of Massachusetts topped $400 million Fiscal Year 2006, including nearly $250 million in life sciences research.

For more than two decades, the University of Massachusetts has ranked third among Massachusetts academic institutions in total research expenditures, following MIT and Harvard University.

In addition, across its five campuses, with nearly 59,000 total enrolled students, the University of Massachusetts graduates 11,000 students a year and accounts for nearly one in every five bachelor's degrees in the life sciences awarded in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts-more graduates and more life sciences degrees than any other academic institution in Massachusetts.

University of Massachusetts President Jack M. Wilson says the report underscores the University's world-class research and its importance in helping Massachusetts retain its national and international leadership in the life sciences and biotechnology. "University of Massachusetts researchers are among the best in their fields in the world. The research conducted at the University's five campuses is about scientific innovation and technological breakthroughs as well the University's role as a reliable partner to entrepreneurs and innovators to help them move brilliant science from laboratory to market. I am also proud of the high quality education the University's students across all disciplines, including life sciences graduates, receive to prepare them for the 21st century workforce."

In the report, Wilson describes several of the University's new life sciences initiatives including its stem cell work and proposal for a Stem Cell Institute, the Massachusetts BioManufacturing Center, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Talent Initiative, and the RNAi Therapeutics Center. The RNAi Therapeutics Center will build upon the groundbreaking work of University of Massachusetts Nobel Laureate Craig Mello, Ph.D. and colleagues by conducting clinical and translational research to test the underlying mechanisms of disease processes. The report also discusses life sciences education at UMass and the important role of the University of Massachusetts in fueling the pipeline of talent the life sciences industry needs.

Mello, who is featured prominently in the report, expresses his pride in being a part of the University of Massachusetts and his excitement in the potential for RNAi related research to alter disease-causing genes to let people live healthier lives. "I'm proud that RNAi is already changing the scientific landscape, offering new tools in the effort to better human health. With continuing university, governmental and societal support, I believe we can do much more."

The report also includes the perspective of leaders from the biotechnology industry. Henri Termeer, President and CEO of Genzyme lauds the research at UMass, saying, "Even before the Nobel Prize, UMass had emerged as a leading research university in the life sciences. It has become a critical piece of the state's R&D infrastructure."

The latest available National Science Foundation (NSF) data from Fiscal Year 2004 indicates that Harvard University was first among Massachusetts academic institutions with $351 million in life sciences research, UMass was second with $211 million, Boston University third with $164 million, followed by MIT and Tufts. In NSF's Fiscal Year 2004 national data, as in past years, the University of Massachusetts was among the top forty academic institutions included in the survey. Since the last NSF survey, University of Massachusetts research expenditures have grown to $404 million with life sciences research expenditures approaching $250 million. University of Massachusetts technology licensing income is also growing, surpassing $28 million in Fiscal Year 2006.

President Wilson is expected to visit the University of Massachusetts booth at BIO International on Tuesday, May 8 and he will attend various BIO related events, including an Association of University Research Parks meeting on May 5 and a luncheon on May 9 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center with UMass Nobel Laureate Craig Mello, Ph.D.

The new report titled, "The University of Massachusetts and the Life Sciences: World-Class Quality and Global Impact" is available at:

Contact:  Robert P. Connolly, 617.287.7073; Libby DeVecchi, 617.287.7023


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