GOVERNOR CORZINE JOINS OFFICIALS FOR STEM CELL INSTITUTE OF NEW JERSEY GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY
Christopher Reeve Pavilion Unveiled
New Brunswick, N.J. (October 23, 2007) – Governor Jon S. Corzine today joined state and local dignitaries for the groundbreaking ceremony of the Stem Cell Institute of New Jersey and unveiling of the Christopher Reeve Pavilion.
“This groundbreaking is symbolic not only for the soil we unearth today but for the new treatments and cures to be discovered in the state-of-the-art facility to be built on this site,” said Governor Corzine. “The Stem Cell Institute of New Jersey will serve as the nexus of cutting edge scientific breakthroughs that will improve and save the lives of millions of our fellow citizens. As we build this institute, we are building on a long-standing commitment to ensure that New Jersey is a world leader in the stem cell revolution.”
Part of the ceremony included the unveiling of the Christopher Reeve Pavilion. Reeve, a native New Jerseyan, was a passionate advocate of stem cell research funding. His mother, Barbara Johnson, attended today’s event.
“It is only fitting that Christopher Reeve’s legacy will be memorialized here in a place where the hope that he carried with him for so long may one day translate into real life therapies for people struggling with the incurable,” said Senate President Richard J. Codey. “This is an incredible day for the people of New Jersey and the world over who will benefit from the breakthroughs that may emerge here.”
Located adjacent to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and across from the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the facility will encompass 160,000 square feet in a multi-story tower across five floors when completed. The Institute is a joint venture between Rutgers University and the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
“With today’s groundbreaking of the first of many stem cell research facilities in New Jersey, we continue down the path of discovering cures and healing human suffering,” said Assemblyman Neil Cohen (D-Union). “We are at a critical juncture in the history of science and New Jersey is seizing the moment by providing the facilities where the best and brightest minds can unlock the promise of stem cell therapies. Patients throughout New Jersey and around the world will reap the benefits of these unprecedented investments in stem cell research.”
Last fall, Governor Corzine signed into law a bill providing $270 million to build research facilities. In June, nearly $9.2 million in predevelopment funding was approved for the Stem Cell Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick, the first to be approved from the $270 million authorized under legislation signed by Governor Corzine.
New Jersey’s stem cell research initiative is a multi-faceted effort to create and build a vibrant stem cell research community that will develop innovative treatments for patients and generate economic opportunity and job growth in New Jersey.
A report released yesterday by Rutgers University indicates that New Jersey stands to gain nearly $2.2 billion in economic benefits from its stem cell research investments. The study also estimates that the state can expect to benefit from approximately 30,000 new jobs and $115 million in additional state revenue from New Jersey’s stem cell research initiative.
In addition, in July, Governor Corzine signed the New Jersey Stem Cell Research Bond Act, a $450 million bond referendum that will provide financing for stem cell research grants to eligible institutions over a 10 year period. The Stem Cell Research Bond Act, upon approval by voters in November, authorizes the sale of State general obligation funds in the amount of $450 million over 10 years.
The research grants will be awarded by the Commission on Science and Technology subject to evaluation by an independent research review panel and in consultation with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority concerning commercial viability of the projects.