Milestones are the rule rather than the exception at an institution like Stony Brook University School of Medicine. Recently, however, the pace and magnitude of progress at Stony Brook has been nothing short of extraordinary.
The past nine months have witnessed the passage of NYSUNY 2020 legislation providing a predictable tuition plan, approval of Stony Brook’s $35 million SUNY 2020 Challenge Grant application, the historic $150 million Simons gift and the precedent-setting Ellen Li and Samuel L. Stanley Jr. Endowed Scholarship for economically disadvantaged students in the School of Medicine. The benefits of these remarkable events — for School of Medicine students, faculty, patients and the public — promise to be equally dramatic.
Consider the goals set for the Medical and Research Translation (MART) center, the new life sciences building that is the centerpiece of Stony Brook’s Challenge grant and the Simons gift. An eight-level, 250,000-square-foot building directly connected to Stony Brook University Hospital, the MART and its programs will achieve several important purposes:
Establish a collaborative research hub in the School of Medicine.
Programming will focus on today’s top health issues, including cancer, infectious disease, neurosciences and advanced medical imaging. Among the MART’s facilities will be 25 cancer biology-oriented laboratories, as well as powerful bioinformatics and genomics technologies strengthening Stony Brook’s basic research, translational investigations and supportive core research facilities. And with its proximity to the Hospital, the MART will facilitate collaboration and the cross-fertilization of ideas among clinicians and scientists.
Fulfill a significant medical need on Long Island.
The MART will house a 30-room cancer clinic and a 30-station clinical infusion center — space and facilities that will double Stony Brook’s capacity to provide cancer treatment to the people of Long Island. Physically bringing cancer clinical services and research laboratories together in a true Cancer Center is vital to Stony Brook’s efforts to obtain the prestigious designation of a National Cancer Institute (NCI) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Other steps that will help earn this designation include the recent recruitment of Yusuf Hannun, MD, as director of Stony Brook University’s Cancer Center and continued investment in faculty recruitment.
Accelerate the advancement of biomedical imaging.
The MART’s research endeavors overall will leverage ongoing investments in math, physics, engineering, computational biology and other sciences, and play to the strengths of Stony Brook’s partner institutions — Brookhaven National Laboratory and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. With the creation of the Center for Biomedical Imaging, these intellectual and physical resources will be integrated with a focus on scientific discovery, education and technology development. The result can only accelerate the advancement of imaging diagnostics and continue Stony Brook’s legacy of historic contributions to the field.
Boost medical education.
The MART will feature a 300-seat auditorium, rooms for smaller conferences and new classrooms for students. And because great faculty attract outstanding students and outstanding students attract great faculty, Stony Brook will invest in faculty through increased recruitment and endowed professorships, attract top-notch graduate students by creating new fellowships and fund new merit-based scholarships and need-based aid.
In addition to its far-reaching scientific-medical benefits, the MART will help drive Long Island’s economy by creating 1,200 direct and indirect construction jobs as well as several hundred new specialized research jobs. Enhancements to other Stony Brook departments also will be supported as facilities are reconfigured to accommodate new purposes, such as the Stony Brook Neurosciences Institute that will be located in renovated space within the Health Sciences.