State Senator Gayle S. Slossberg (D-Milford), long-standing vice-chair of the legislature’s Public Health Committee, was a guest Monday on Yale University’s new West Campus for a tour of the school’s fledgling stem cell and bioscience research facilities. Yale’s West Campus is the former Bayer facility, located along the Orange/West Haven border.
The 136-acre campus boasts 1.5 million square feet of laboratory, office, and storage space. Yale officials said at present about 300 people work there with plans for that number to grow to as many as 1,500 or more eventually.
“Today’s tour underscores for me the wisdom of Connecticut’s investment in bioscience and emphasizes the exploding potential in this emerging area: genome analysis and DNA studies are already contributing to what’s called personalized medicine, which will have a huge impact on overall public health in the very near future,” Slossberg said. “This cutting edge research is already paying dividends in treatment of certain cancers, helping doctors know with increasing certainty which patients will respond to particular medications.”
Slossberg was an advocate for the 2005 state law that commits $100 million over ten years to help underwrite stem cell-related medical research. This funding is at present supporting more than 100 individual research projects at three in-state institutions: Yale, the University of Connecticut, and Wesleyan University.
“The research underway here is described as a bridge between what’s happening already in doctor’s offices and health clinics statewide and what the healthcare industry must do in response to this clinical experience,” she said. “Yale’s expansion into the heart of the community I represent coupled with the state’s investment elsewhere are complementary parts of the vision we have for Connecticut to be a leader in the biomedical field, to the benefit of local residents and the statewide population.”
“Yale’s presence goes hand in hand with our recent decision to expand the UConn Health Center and bring Jackson Labs to our state – the close proximity of these facilities will only lead to greater collaboration and innovation,” Slossberg added. “It’s very exciting to see what has transpired in our backyard in a relatively short period of time and more exciting still to consider the expansion yet to come.”