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Lee-Collier-Charlotte
Business Observer Wednesday, Jul. 21, 2010 8 years ago

Jackson partners with USF

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Jackson Labs will work with the University of South Florida to grow in Collier County.

Jackson Laboratory, a Maine-based nonprofit research institute that plans to establish a campus in Collier County, will partner with the University of South Florida to help realize the hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact that officials are expecting.

The process of bringing Jackson to Collier has made headlines due to the organization's hefty price tag — to open a lab facility in Southwest Florida, the firm needs $380 million. (See our “Costly Clusters” story for further detail.)

But the County remains hopeful that the deal will pay major dividends for the local economy, and a relationship with USF may help.

The two organizations will focus on the development of personalized medicine, where prescriptions and treatments are determined not just by a patient's symptoms, but by their genetic makeup, or genome, as well.

Stephen Klasko, dean of the USF College of Medicine, said Jackson's reputation sparked the school's interest. “The Laboratory's longstanding expertise in mammalian genetics and its cutting-edge genomics research are known around the world,” Klasko said.

On the other side, Jackson Labs hopes to gain from USF's established medical entrepreneurship programs, which were highlighted in a February issue of the Business Review.

The ceiling for Jackson's potential economic contributions may have been set by the Washington Economic Group, a research organization that estimated the new Jackson facility could create 7,500 jobs and $500 million in economic activity for Collier within 10 years.

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