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UMass President's Statement About Massachusetts House Life Sciences Bill's Strong Support for UMass

More than $200 Million Proposed for New UMass Facilities

BOSTON- The following is a statement from University of Massachusetts President Jack M. Wilson regarding the Massachusetts House's life sciences proposal released today. The Bill would provide substantial funding for University of Massachusetts projects.

"I want to thank Speaker DiMasi and the House for the strong support for the University of Massachusetts contained in the life sciences legislation proposal. The Governor and the Legislature have recognized the University's important role as an innovation engine for the Commonwealth, and we are gratified for this funding for new, cutting-edge facilities across the UMass campuses," said Jack M. Wilson, President of the University of Massachusetts.  "This bill is an investment in the Commonwealth's future. I am confident that you will see this investment paying off in cures for diseases, in the creation of new jobs and new companies, and in maintaining the Commonwealth's role as the life sciences capital of the world."

Wilson continued, "We will leverage state support with industry partnerships, partnerships with other academic and research institutions and private donations to continue to advance the Commonwealth's research and innovation activities. I look forward to working with the Governor, the House and the Senate in our ongoing effort to maintain the Commonwealth's position as a global research and innovation leader."

In addition, the bill would create a $40 million Dr. Mello Small Business Grant program, named in honor of UMass Medical School's Craig Mello, PhD, the co-recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

President Wilson also commended the "insightful and determined efforts" of Rep. Daniel E. Bosley, House chairman of the Legislature's Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, and Rep. Michael J. Rodrigues, co-chairman of the Legislature's Biotech Caucus.

BACKGROUND
The proposed legislation contains $90 million in proposed capital funding for UMass Medical School's proposed Advanced Therapeutics/RNAi Center, $95 million to create a life science center at UMass Amherst, $11.4 million in funding for UMass Dartmouth's Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Center and $5.7 million for a stem cell bank and registry at UMass Medical School. The bill would also provide $30 million in graduate-level scholarship funding.

Yesterday, Governor Patrick joined legislative leaders at UMass Lowell to announce $4 million in funding for the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center located at that campus.

Note: In Fiscal Year 2006, research expenditures at the University of Massachusetts exceeded $400 million including nearly $250 million in life sciences research, making the University second in Massachusetts among academic institutions for life sciences research expenditures.

Contact:           Robert P. Connolly, 617-287-7073
                       Libby DeVecchi, 617-287-7023

 

2/14/08

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Communications Staff Directory

Robert P. Connolly
Vice President for Strategic Communications and University Spokesperson
617.548.0238 (cell)
617.287.7073 (office)
rconnolly@umassp.edu

Ann Scales
Director of Communications
617.838.3963 (cell)
617.287.4084 (office)
ascales@umassp.edu

JoAnn Conley
Communications Coordinator/Writer
617.287.5538 (Office)
jconley@umassp.edu

Jan Brogan
Senior Writer
617.287.4027 (Office)
jbrogan@umassp.edu

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