jaxfarmington tka 01

Jackson Labs, Farmington, Connecticut

By Mitchell Young

Farmington: The controversial $290 million investment promoted by Governor Dannel Malloy in a major Genomics research facility by Jackson Labs [Jax], is looking pretty good for now. The facility opened in 2014 with an initial employment of 30 scientists and administrators.

Jax [see full release] reports that employment has now reached more than 315, and that “more than 40 percent have doctoral degrees, about half were already residents of Connecticut when hired, and approximately half are female.

The Connecticut facility has received 57 research grants totally $12.6 million in 2016.

According to a Jax report a little more than 60 percent of the hires are directly engaged in research, and the balance of employees work in areas including IT, operations, and support positions. Additionally, the organization reports that it is attracting researchers to Farmington from around the world.

Jax's Lee: "Top scientists from across the globe"

Charles Lee, Ph.D., FACMG, scientific director and professor at JAX, said, “in just a few years, JAX Genomic Medicine has become a scientific powerhouse. We’re proud that top scientists from all over the globe are coming to JAX and joining our quest to improve human health.”

Grant activity is continuing in 2017 , in early May Jax released details of a grant totaling $2,668,127 from the National Institute on Aging, a division of the United States government, National Institute of Health over five years to fund studies of the complex processes involved in both healthy aging and Alzheimer’s disease, in the laboratory of Jackson Laboratory (JAX) Assistant Professor Catherine Kaczorowski, Ph.D.

“Normal cognitive aging and the memory decline of Alzheimer’s disease appear to share molecular pathways,” Kaczorowski says, adding “we expect that by identifying genetic factors and mechanisms underlying normal aging, we will find targets for intervention against Alzheimer’s.”