Senator Hwang, Reps. Carter and Perone Tout CT Bio-science Industry During Tour of Jackson Labs

January 29, 2015

Connecticut legislators, from left, state Sen. Tony Hwang (R-28) and state Reps. Chris Perone (D-137) and Dan Carter (R-2) speak with a Jackson Laboratory employee during a legislative open house and tour of the Farmington facility on Jan. 22, 2015.

The visit to the Farmington research center highlights economic and medical significance of bio-science industry.

FARMINGTON – Cutting-edge genomic and cancer research is underway right in our backyard. And on Thursday, Connecticut legislators got a firsthand glimpse into that work during a tour of Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Research.

Located on the campus of the UConn Health Center in Farmington, Jackson Labs is a state-of-the-art bioscience facility whose mission is to discover the genetic basis for preventing, treating and curing human disease, and to enable research and education for the global biomedical community. JAX, as it is known, operates out of a 183,500-square-foot facility that was built, in part, with funds from the State of Connecticut.

“To have Jackson Labs here in Connecticut is a win for every resident of this state,” said state Senator Tony Hwang (R-28). “Not only are their scientists hard at work every day searching for cures for autism and diseases like cancer, this facility puts Connecticut on the map as a world leader in genomic research. It is also a highlight of our ongoing effort to transform Connecticut’s economy in this highly competitive global marketplace and to craft public policy that will create meaningful and high paying jobs.”

Some of Jackson Labs’ employees moved here from Maine, where Jackson Labs is headquartered, and from Washington, among other places. For one employee, who has school-aged children, the decision to move to Connecticut was made easier by the quality education in districts throughout the state. Another employee’s move was motivated in part by the idea that she would remain part of a highly intellectual community.

The two employees are among hundreds that Jackson Labs will have on its payroll in the coming years.

“We are thrilled to be part of Connecticut’s drive for economic development in the biomedical sector,” said JAX President and CEO Edison Liu. “We are committed to finding new ways to improve medical care through genomic science, and we are looking forward to a future of medicine targeted to the unique genomic makeup of the patient.”

Senator Hwang, co-chair of the bipartisan General Assembly Bioscience Caucus, and state Reps. Dan Carter (R-2) and Chris Perone (D-137) were among the legislators on hand for the Jan. 22 tour.

“Connecticut has a unique opportunity to become a leader in bio-science,” Rep. Carter said. “Jackson Laboratory is already demonstrating the value of collaboration with other Connecticut bio-science companies and highlighting the importance of supporting the bio-science initiative as a means to create jobs in our communities.”

Rep. Perone said, “I was happy to have the chance to tour Jackson Labs and learn about the ways in which Connecticut is leading the nation in bio-science research. As Chair of the Commerce Committee, I recognize that Connecticut’s economy is shifting toward the bio-science sector. We must continue to support innovative centers like Jackson Labs that encourage folks to come live and work in our state and work on educating our children to fill these 21st century jobs.”