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WATCH: NY med schools seek more investment to retain top biomedical researchers



Medical Schools in New York State are asking the legislature to include $50 million for faculty development in the state budget. University leadership calls the NYSTAR Faculty Development Program an investment needed to grow programs that will attract high-profile entrepreneurial biomedical researchers.

Jo Wiederhorn, president of the Associated Medical Schools of New York - AMSNY- says state medical schools can’t keep world-class researchers without the most up-to-date research lab technology and talented support staff.

Wiederhorn said, while each school already puts money toward attractive recruitment packages for the best researchers, they could use more help. "We will continue to support this because we also believe this is very important. We would just like to get some help as other schools within states have gotten help from their states."

Doctor Stephen Dewhurst, Vice Dean for Research at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, is concerned without an investment from the legislature New York Medical Schools won't be able to compete with programs offered in other states.

"The fact is that other states are ahead of us in this enterprise. So, Texas, for example, has been picking off faculty from the state of New York and recruiting them to the state of Texas. And we'd like to be able to do the same thing in turn. We'd like to be able to recruit the best and the brightest right here to New York State, and to this community," said Dewhurst

Doctor Michael Cain, Dean of School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at SUNY Buffalo, says the funding creates the infrastructure needed for the research that leads to new industry.

“If we want the United States and we want the state of New York to continue to be leading the world in these areas, people need to be aware and there needs to be funding of this pipeline and this faculty development program is a key piece in that pipeline,” explained Cain.

According to AMSNY, the budget allocation is an investment that will bear fruit in the form of additional grant funding from federal and private donors, and associated economic development.

"We're always talking about what the economic benefits are, but we can't forget that there are also health outcomes related to this type of research as well," said Wiederhorn.

A final vote on the state budget is due by the end of the month.

Michelle Faust, MA, is a reporter/ producer whose work focuses strongly on issues related to health and health policy. She joined the WXXI newsroom in February 2014, and in short time became the lead producer on the Understanding the Affordable Care Act series. Michelle is a reporter with the health collaborative Side Effects and regularly contributes to The Innovation Trail. Working across media, she also produces packages for WXXI-TV’s weekly news magazine Need to Know.
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