For Immediate Release
Contact: Susan Preston
UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Groundbreaking Ceremony Held for New $72 Million Child Health
A groundbreaking ceremony
for a new $72-million Child Health Institute of New Jersey, a
state-of-the art biomedical research facility for diseases that
affect children, took place on Monday, Oct. 28, in New Brunswick.
The institute, part
of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School of the University of
Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), will house 150,000
square feet of research laboratories, a pediatric clinical research
center, and academic offices and patient care facilities for the
Department of Pediatrics.
Dr. Harold L. Paz,
dean of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, hosted the ground-breaking
event. Also speaking were Mr. Harvey Holzberg, chairman of the
UMDNJ Board of Trustees and president of Robert Wood Johnson University
Hospital; Dr. Stuart D. Cook, UMDNJ president; Mr. Roland Machold,
vice chair of the Child Health Institute Board of Trustees; Congressman
Frank Pallone, Jr., (D-6th District); Mr. Mark Broadhurst, district
director for Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11th District);
James Cahill, mayor of New Brunswick; Mr. Roger Fine, vice president
and general counsel for Johnson & Johnson and chairman of
the Foundation of UMDNJ Board of Trustees; Dr. Daniel Notterman,
chairman of the Department of Pediatrics of the UMDNJ-Robert Wood
Johnson Medical School; and Dr. Robert Trelstad, acting director
of the Child Health Institute.
Also expected to participate
were students from the Health Sciences & Technology High School
of New Brunswick, St. Peter Elementary School, and the Mario Gonzalez
Child Development Center.
The Institute will
be linked physically and programmatically with the clinical services
at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and its Bristol Myers
Squibb Children's Hospital, the medical school's new Cardiovascular
Institute and The Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Faculty from
the Center for Advanced Biotechnology & Medicine and the Environmental
and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, joint programs of
the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Rutgers University,
will also collaborate on research projects.
Dr. Paz noted that
the new facility "will be a model in modern translational medicine,
bringing medicine from the bench to the bedside seamlessly. The
real winners are the children and families who will benefit from
the important discoveries and compassionate care."
Mr. Holzberg said,
"This Institute is part of a plan to create a center for excellence
in developmental biology and pediatric care."
Dr. Cook said, "The
Child Health Institute is an important addition to UMDNJ-Robert
Wood Johnson Medical School and offers the hope for preventing
and curing many chronic diseases affecting our greatest resource,
our children. This building is part of a $518 million statewide
capital construction program, an investment by UMDNJ to enhance
biomedical research and education in New Jersey."
Mr. Machold said "We
expect great things to happen at the Child Health Institute over
the coming years especially at the interface of basic biology
and clinical care. We look forward to expanding our understanding
of the complex process of development."
Mayor Cahill applauded
the project as another example of "the on-going revitalization
of New Brunswick and a reinforcement of the City's identity as
the Healthcare City. The Child Health Institute is not simply
a think tank. It is a jobs program. Building new high tech facilities
creates jobs throughout the region. The research enterprise is
an economic engine. Not only will there be construction jobs,
but also there will jobs for scientists, technicians, management,
and office support personnel."
The Institute's mission
is to improve child health and quality of life by discovering
the causes of childhood diseases and how disordered development
leads to illnesses which can continue into adulthood. It will
provide scientific and administrative core resources to support
research programs encompassing genes, development and the environment.
Fourteen new faculty will direct teams of visiting scientists,
postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and technicians for a
full complement of about 130 employees.
The building is a development
project of the University in partnership with the New Brunswick
Development Corporation (DevCo). The building and its programs
are funded by resources from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation,
the Johnson and Johnson family of companies, the federal and state
governments as well as individual donors.