Rensselaer Receives $7 Million Gift for Biotechnology Research
Gift will be matched with additional $7 million from
Troy, N.Y. — Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has received a
gift of $7 million from Morris "Marty" Silverman that will
accelerate biotechnology research in the Capital Region and
advance the work of regenerative medicine and tissue
engineering, Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson announced
at a press conference today.
Silverman's gift will be matched by an additional $7 million
The $14 million will create the Noble Enterprise
Constellation, a group of distinguished senior and junior
faculty in biotechnology research. It is intended that these
faculty will have academic faculty appointments at Rensselaer
and joint positions at the Wadsworth Center of the New York
State Department of Health.
The Noble Enterprise Constellation will conduct research in
regenerative medicine and tissue engineering, which is the
replacement or rebuilding of damaged tissues and organs for
therapeutic purposes. Scientific research in these fields now
focuses on the understanding of basic molecular and cellular
processes leading to the replacement of full functionality of
tissues, even for complex organs such as the liver, pancreas,
and cardiovascular systems.
"Biotechnology research — especially research in the areas of
regenerative medicine and tissue engineering-holds great
promise for our ability to bring healing and hope to many
millions who suffer. This gift today is of global importance in
our effort to alleviate pain and despair throughout the world,"
President Jackson said. "In addition, biotechnology and its
associated fields will be among the top growth industries of
the 21st century. Advances in biotechnology research will bring
considerable international recognition to the Capital Region,
will attract additional funding for scientific inquiry, and
will promote economic development."
"Mr. Silverman's personal investment in this public-private
partnership for biotechnology research provides a major boost
to scientific inquiry and economic development here in New York
state and, most specifically, in the Capital Region," said New
York State Governor George E. Pataki. "I applaud that
commitment and commend the research excellence at Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute that has won his confidence. This
partnership with Rensselaer and with New York state strengthens
my effort to make certain New York leads in developing the
technology to protect our health, preserve our peace, and
improve our life together," Governor Pataki said.
"It is imperative that we provide the resources to bring to
life our vision for research excellence," Silverman said.
"Through the Noble Enterprise Constellation, world-class
faculty and scientific researchers will find answers to great
problems in human health and will bring international
recognition to the Capital Region's leadership in
biotechnology. The flame we light together today will ignite
progress into the 22nd century," Silverman said.
Silverman, a Troy native and well-known philanthropist, has
helped to transform the Capital Region into a pace-setter in
law, science, medicine, and higher education. Notable among his
efforts are the University Heights project, a collaborative
effort among Albany Law School, Albany Medical College, The
Sage Colleges, and Albany College of Pharmacy to create a
shared 21-acre campus along New Scotland Avenue in Albany.
Silverman also created the Renaissance Corporation of Albany,
was instrumental in changing the name of Albany Airport to
Albany International Airport, and last year established the
Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical
Research, whose first recipient was Dr. Arnold J. Levine,
president of Rockefeller University.
In step with Silverman's vision, Rensselaer, Albany Medical
Center and College, the Wadsworth Center, and the University at
Albany — SUNY have formed the Capital Region Biotechnology
Research Consortium. The consortium will significantly advance
biotechnology research and promote economic development through
industrial partnership in the Capital Region.
With the constellation as an impetus, the Capital Region
Biotechnology Consortium will bring complementary strengths in
key areas such as basic cell behavior; understanding new tissue
growth; imaging cells and tissues using electron microscopy and
terahertz imaging (a technology developed at Rensselaer);
modeling and simulation; and genomics and proteomics.
The consortium calls for joint research proposals, shared
appointments and joint recruiting of faculty and scientific
staff, conferences and symposia, and the sponsoring of visiting
Contact: Patricia Azriel
Phone: (518) 276-6531