PHOTO CREDIT: BME.SUNYSB.EDU

SBU’s Clinton Rubin, above, chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and director of the Center for Biotechnology, is the principal investigator for the newly-announced plans to establish a research hub to turn biomedical discoveries into commercial products for patients. PHOTO CREDIT: BME.SUNYSB.EDU

Stony Brook University’s Center for Biotechnology plans to establish a research hub after winning a $3 million award from the National Institutes of Health. The hub will be a joint effort between Stony Brook University, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Brookhaven National Laboratory to turn biomedical discoveries into commercial products that help to better the health and care of patients.

Stony Brook University’s Long Island Bioscience Hub will be “designed to identify promising basic science and invest in the development of that idea towards [sic] applied goals to demonstrate feasibility of ideas to improve health and society,” Stony Brook University’s Clinton Rubin, Ph.D., the principal investigator for this project, said.

Rubin is also a SUNY distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering as well as director of the Center for Biotechnology.

The Center for Biotechnology’s mission is “to develop bioscience innovations into next-generation biomedical products, facilitate new company formation and expansion, and support the overall growth of the bioscience industry in New York State through specific programmatic offerings and the development of bioscience-specific business infrastructure,” according to the center’s website.

The NIH-REACH [Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub] will “provide qualified institutions with the initial investment and resources to nurture innovators to develop high priority early-stage technologies,” according to the NIH website.

“The NIH-REACH program requires technology development, intellectual property, licensing and commercialization,” Rubin said.

The competition was nationwide, but only three universities were granted the award. The other awarded universities that received grants were the University of Louisville and the University of Minnesota.

The application process for a grant from the NIH takes about 10 months. Rubin described the process as “brutal.”

Applicants must be a university or other research institution, according to the NIH website. The NIH only accepts one application per institution.  Nearly 100 universities applied for this grant, Rubin said.

“The review panel must have recognized the great potential of commercializing biomedical technologies from Stony Brook University, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Brookhaven National Laboratory,” Rubin said.

Stony Brook University will receive $1 million per year for three years.

The NIH requires each hub to provide appropriate funding, resources and expertise required for early-stage technology, as well as skills development, hands-on experience, educational and networking activities. It is also assumed that once an institution becomes granted an award, it will become self-sustaining.

Rubin said this journey has been “a great partnership with the Stony Brook University faculty, the Office of Tech Transfer, the VP for Research, and the VP for Economic Development.”