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Governor Jeb Bush and FAU Launch Center of Excellence
Florida Atlantic University welcomed Governor Jeb Bush as he and FAU President
Frank T. Brogan formally launched the Center of Excellence in Biomedical and
Marine Biotechnology at FAU's SeaTech campus on September 23. Funding
for this Center was awarded earlier this year by the state's Emerging
Technology Commission (ETC) and will be used to develop a world-class research
The Center of Excellence will combine the scientific expertise of several academic
institutions, including lead institution FAU, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution,
Florida International University, Nova Southeastern University, the Smithsonian
Marine station and other biotechnological industries in South Florida.
"The biomedical technology industry is one of the most viable, rapidly
growing industry sectors in the world," said Governor Bush. "The
aim of the state grant for the Center of Excellence is to make a significant
impact in stimulating the Florida economy and training a highly skilled workforce
that will help build Florida's future."
The recommendation to fund this Center was made in February by the ETC, a group
of leaders in the technology field appointed by Governor Bush to identify cutting-edge
research initiatives in Florida.
FAU's proposal was one of three selected by the ETC for $10 million in
funding, out of a total of 18 proposals from universities throughout the state.
The funds will allow FAU's Center to propel the discovery, development
and commercialization of new medicines and other bioproducts by utilizing unique
marine resources along with cutting-edge technology aimed at combating diseases
such as cancer, cardiovascular and aging-related illnesses.
"These potential discoveries are of great significance, especially to
Florida's aging population," said FAU President Brogan. "As
we aggressively pursue the search for new drugs, the Center will also benefit
our students through stronger academic programs and support of world-class research
The Center combines the expertise of marine biotechnology groups, pharmacologists
and functional genomics researchers at FAU and its partner institutions. "This
grant will enable our biomedical faculty and graduate students to study organisms
from the coastal waters of southeast Florida and the Caribbean, and to work
with researchers in other disciplines and at nearby institutions to develop
a truly world-class research center," said Dr. Larry Lemanski, FAU's
vice president for Research and Graduate Studies. "By bringing scientists,
engineers and businesses together to concentrate on finding new drugs, today
we are much closer to realizing the ocean's true potential to combat disease."