December 20, 2006
Contact: Melissa Campbell
Phone: (973) 972-4564
UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School Acquires Public Health Research Institute
NEWARK — UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School and the Public Health Research Institute of the City of New York, Inc. (PHRI) have finalized an agreement to incorporate PHRI into UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School.
“The acquisition of PHRI will further strengthen the University's already significant research capabilities in the study of infectious disease and serve as a critical step forward towards our future national leadership in this critically important field,” said University Interim President Dr. Bruce C. Vladeck.
The move enhances New Jersey Medical School’s growing infectious disease program, officially joining 18 PHRI researchers with a cadre of 33 NJMS faculty who now collectively comprise significant federally-funded research in tuberculosis, malaria, parasitic infections, HIV, immunology, and bio-defense.
“PHRI is a natural fit for NJMS at this time,” said Dr. William Gause, PhD, Senior Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Medicine. “In the last two years, New Jersey Medical School has made great strides in advancing its position in the field of infectious disease through the recruitment of faculty, the successful grant application between PHRI and NJMS to build an NIH-designated Regional Bio-defense laboratory, and increased federal funding.”
The NIH-funded Regional Bio-defense Laboratory, which will be built as an addition to the PHRI wing of the ICPH Building, will be one of 11 regional bio-containment laboratories across the country. Researchers at the RBL will focus on diseases caused by agents of bioterrorism and newly emerging infectious diseases.
PHRI an independent, not-for-profit research organization founded in 1941 by New York City Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia, moved to Newark in 2002 to join the International Center for Public Health, an infectious disease research consortium comprised of The Global TB Institute of New Jersey Medical School the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, the School of Public Health and PHRI.
For nearly seven decades, PHRI scientists have made seminal discoveries in the fields of virology, bacteriology, immunology and biochemistry. Currently, as one of the few private research institutions focused on infectious diseases research, PHRI is considered a leading center for TB research, a distinction that will be enhanced now that the institute is part of a public university system.
PHRI Center Director Dr. David Perlin, PhD, said that “the ICPH research facilities are among the best in the country and PHRI scientists have enjoyed an outstanding working relationship with NJMS since moving to Newark in 2002. As part of NJMS, PHRI looks forward to further enhancing the research excellence in infectious diseases and basic sciences on the Newark campus.”
PHRI investigators have projected research revenue of $12.7 million for 2007 derived from research grants and contracts, including more than $8 million in NIH support. These leading scientists in areas such as tuberculosis, HIV, fungal infections, drug resistance and diagnostics are now New Jersey Medical School faculty members in the departments of Medicine, Biochemistry and Microbiology. In addition to pursuing their research, they will also teach medical students and graduate students.
In fiscal year 2005, New Jersey Medical School received $55.9 million in NIH funding, an increase of 20 percent over the previous year. The addition of PHRI to New Jersey Medical School will increase the school’s overall NIH funding by more than $8 million, which is expected to increase its national ranking to 55th from its current position of 64th out of 123 medical schools.
Founded in 1954 as the Seton Hall College of Medicine and Dentistry, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School was the state’s first medical school. Today, it is part of UMDNJ, the nation’s largest health sciences institution. More than 5,500 students attend the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and a school of public health on five campuses. Annually, there are more than two million patient visits at UMDNJ facilities and faculty at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, a mental health and addiction services network.
UMDNJ is the nation's largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 5,500 students attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and its only school of public health, on five campuses. Last year, there were more than two million patient visits to UMDNJ facilities and faculty at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, a mental health and addiction services network.