May 27, 2010
The Lieber Institute for Brain Development, a new neuroscience research Institution focused on basic research about the causes of schizophrenia and related developmental behavioral disorders including the development of new diagnostics and treatments, announced today that it will establish a permanent research facility at the Science & Technology Park at Johns Hopkins, next to Johns Hopkins Hospital and Medical Institutions. The Lieber Institute for Brain Development also will be the home of the Maltz Research Laboratories.
The decision of the Lieber Institute to locate its new research facility in Baltimore results from an extended effort initiated in 2007 that involved consideration of other states and academic institutions to land this organization. The Governor’s Office, Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, Johns Hopkins University, East Baltimore Development, Inc., the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, Baltimore Development Corporation, Abell Foundation and Forest City Science + Technology Group collaborated to present an attractive package of proximity to the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Medical Institutions campus plus access to cutting-edge research tools, neuroscientists, patients, state-of-the-art research space and quality of life for research scientists. Johns Hopkins was one of four top-ranked US medical research institutions – including University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, and Columbia University – that was considered as home for this research facility.
“The arrival of the Lieber Institute to Baltimore and Maryland is further confirmation of the growth and importance of Maryland’s healthcare institutions and life science industry as a major cluster and critical mass in the U.S.”, said Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley.
It helped that Johns Hopkins Hospital is ranked number one in the country for more than 14 years in a row according to U.S. News & World Report, and is one of the U.S. leading centers for brain diseases and neuroscience research. Hopkins is also the number one recipient of NIH research funding in the U.S., further attesting to it research prowess. To further increase its leadership in neuroscience, Hopkins established its Brain Science Institute (BSI) in 2007, with an annual research budget of $120 million. BSI, has 4 of the top 25 neuro-scientists in the U.S., and will be co-located with the Lieber Institute in 855 N. Wolfe Street, establishing a formidable Baltimore cluster for neuroscience collaboration in drug and diagnostic development. The Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute recently expanded to include a Neuro-translation lab and development team hired from the pharmaceutical industry to accelerate the development of new neuroscience-based drugs emerging from Johns Hopkins.
“The Lieber Institute’s decision to locate next to Johns Hopkins is a recognition of the University’s prowess in the research of mental disorders, an increasingly important array of diseases that profoundly impact not only the daily lives of many Americans but individuals around the world. The Lieber Research team complements Hopkins own neuroscience researchers in this field very nicely, and together will make significant inroads on this disabling disease.” said Hopkins President Ron Daniels.
The location of the Lieber Institute’s research facility in Maryland also facilitates a partnership with the nearby National Institutes of Health, including the National Institute of Mental Health. In fact, leading the partnership between the Lieber Institute and the NIH will be Daniel R. Weinberger, MD, renowned expert in schizophrenia research at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) where he is the director of the Genes, Cognition and Psychosis Program. Dr. Ronald McKay, who leads a stem cell research program at the NIH that was among the first to show that stem cells may provide new cell therapies for degenerative diseases, will join the Lieber Institute as its Director of Basic Science.
The Lieber Institute will develop new strategies for the treatment and prevention of developmental disorders of the nervous system. While the disease focus is schizophrenia and related conditions, it is expected that discoveries will have much broader implications, including aging, neurodegenerative disorders, and even for cancer. It is one of the few private research institutions funding the development of new therapies and diagnostics with its own research facility and scientists.
According to the World Health Organization, four of the ten most disabling diseases of world societies are psychiatric. These diseases represent an enormous economic burden but, more importantly, they involve great personal cost for affected individuals and their families. Treatments for mental disorders are inadequate in most cases and prevention is largely nonexistent. Schizophrenia is a devastating disorder for most people afflicted by the disease, and very costly for their families and society with an estimated cost in the U.S. of $62.7 billion (2002). The leading theory of why people get schizophrenia proposes a genetic predisposition combined with environmental exposures and/or stresses during pregnancy and childhood that contribute to or trigger the disorder. It is thought that many genes could be involved in schizophrenia risk.
The Lieber Institute joins a growing cluster of institutional organizations and life science companies at the Science + Technology Park at Johns Hopkins including: the Johns Hopkins Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Hopkins Brain Science Institute, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute; several private biotech companies (Biomarker Strategies, Iatrica, and Champions Biotechnology); the preclinical contract research organization Sobran, and laboratory services company Spectrum Biosciences.
About the Lieber Institute
The Lieber Institute was conceived as a new approach to exploit the unprecedented opportunities that now exist for scientific progress in the field of human brain development. It is an independent institution, with substantive partnerships with National Institute of Health Institutes, together with Johns Hopkins University and with other outside institutions.
The institute will emphasize areas of research that can lead to important and unique discoveries related to its mission and goals. Initial intramural laboratories will focus on five projects with specific goals and deliverables expected for each: 1) Stem Cell Biology related to genetic pathways associated with schizophrenia and autism and focused on strategies for restorative medicine; 2) Developmental Neurobiology in human brain, in animal tissues and in cell models related to genetic pathways associated with schizophrenia and related disorders; 3) Neurogenetics/Bioinformatics and Epigenetics critical to guiding the other projects; 4) Imaging of risk associated genetic networks across the human lifespan and related to normal cognitive and emotional development; and 5) Drug Development based on exploiting breakthroughs from the other projects.
The Lieber Institute plans to work closely with the Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute (BSI), founded in 2007, to bring together both basic and clinical neuroscientists from across the Johns Hopkins campuses. The Lieber Institute will initiate a collaborative drug discovery program with the BSI under the Direction of Solomon Snyder, M.D., former Director of the Johns Hopkins University Department of Neuroscience, who will be a founding faculty member of the Lieber Institute.
The Lieber Institute for Brain Development was conceived by Constance E. and Stephen A. Lieber of Mamaroneck, New York, who have provided the initial funding for this historic Institution. Additional start-up financing has been provided by Milton and Tamar Maltz of Palm Beach and Cleveland. The Lieber family has been at the forefront of philanthropic support for mental Illness research for 30 years. In 1987, they established the Lieber Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Schizophrenia Research, awarded annually by NARSAD, formerly the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression. This prize was the first of five prizes awarded annually by NARSAD, each is the premier award for research in mental disorders. The couple has been active in funding mental illness and schizophrenia research at Columbia University and has been honored with the Award for Distinguished Service from the Columbia-Presbyterian Health Sciences Advisory Council. In the late 1990s, the couple founded the Lieber Center for Schizophrenia Research at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Lieber Professorship in Psychiatry. In early 2007, Columbia expanded the reach of the Lieber Center by establishing a clinic and day treatment center in midtown Manhattan. Constance E. “Connie” Lieber served as president of NARSAD from 1989 to 2007. NARSAD is a private, not-for-profit public charity organized for the purpose of raising funds for scientific research which focuses on the cause, cures, treatments and prevention of severe psychiatric brain and behavior disorders, such as schizophrenia and depression. NARSAD has raised and distributed over $250,000,000 in private grants for mental illness research. Mrs. Lieber is on the National Advisory Council of the National Institute of Mental Health and was a board member of the World Federation for Psychosocial Rehabilitation and the National Mental Health Leadership Forum. Mrs. Lieber is also a member of The Rockefeller University Council, the Advisory Council of Columbia University’s Department of Psychiatry and the National Advisory Council for Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. Stephen A. Lieber currently serves as co-chief executive officer and senior portfolio manager of Alpine Woods Capital Investors, LLC. Mr. Lieber founded Lieber and Company in 1969, Evergreen Asset Management Corporation in 1971 and Saxon Woods Advisors in 1999. Saxon Woods merged with Alpine Management and Research in 2003 to form Alpine Woods. Mr. Lieber is currently Chairman of the Board of NARSAD. He has served as chairman of Columbia University’s Psychiatric Advisory Board. Milton Maltz founded Malrite Communications Group Inc. in 1956 and served as its Chairman and CEO until the Company was sold in 1998. Under his direction, Malrite became one of the most successful operators of radio and television properties in the country with stations stretching from New York to Los Angeles. As a respected and active member of the broadcast industry, and a member of its Hall of Fame, Mr. Maltz created the National Association of Broadcasters' Task Force for Free TV, served on its Political Action Committee and was a Director of the Radio Advertising Bureau and Vice-Chairman of the Independent Television Association. In 1998, Mr. Maltz was the recipient of the University of Cincinnati's distinguished Frederic W. Ziv Award for outstanding achievement in telecommunication. In 1985, he was the recipient of the prestigious Dively Award for entrepreneurship from the Harvard School of Business. He was instrumental in the founding and development of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Today, Mr. Maltz is using his years of entertainment experience and expertise to develop distinctive entertainment projects around the country. A recent project is the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. He currently serves on the Board of the CIA Officers Memorial Foundation.
Tamar Maltz has served on the boards of the Montefiore Home for the Aged, and Friends of the Aaron Garber Library. She has been a longtime contributor to basic scientific research in the field of mental illness through NARSAD and serves as a director of that organization. She received the "Trailblazer of the Year" award in 1994 from the Planned Life Assistance Network for creating social and recreational opportunities through the Jewish Community Center for individuals suffering from mental illness. Other major philanthropies include the renovation of Severance Hall, home of the Cleveland Orchestra, and the new plays initiative of the Cleveland Play House. Mrs. Maltz and her husband have been actively involved in the development of the Jupiter Theatre, a new and modern facility which has been named after them. The Maltz Jupiter Theatre opened Feb. 29, 2004.
About The Community
The Science + Technology Park at Johns Hopkins is one component of the transformation of the community being overseen by East Baltimore Development Inc. The New East Side project, named a Smart, Green Growing Initiative by Governor Martin O’Malley, is providing new and historic-rehab residential units as well as life science, office and retail space. Customized technical training programs, provided by East Baltimore Development Inc., are enhancing skill levels, enabling more of Baltimore’s workforce to meet the requirements of companies locating in the Park. In the development, 215 new and renovated housing units have already been delivered to the market. Another 300 units are planned, along with a 560-bed graduate student housing project. Altogether, 1,000 new residents will live in Phase 1 of the development. A new K-8 community school opened in September 2009, and 3 parks are also planned.
The success of the project is a result of collaboration among the neighborhood, the State of Maryland, the City of Baltimore, East Baltimore Development Inc., The Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Johns Hopkins Institutions, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, The Goldseker Foundation, and Forest City–New East Baltimore Partnership and its subdevelopers. Their goal is to revitalize the community and create skilled-workforce opportunities for new and existing residents in East Baltimore.
About Johns Hopkins Medicine
Johns Hopkins Hospital, ranked the Number 1 hospital in the United States every year since 1992 by U.S. News & World Report, provides a diverse and inclusive environment that fosters intellectual discovery, creates and transmits innovative knowledge, improves human health, and provides medical leadership to the world. With more than 30,000 employees and close to 100,000 hospital admissions annually, its medical scientists receive more federal research support each year than counterparts at every other American medical school. Its School of Medicine is ranked one of the top two in the country.
About the Park & the Developers
The Science + Technology Park at Johns Hopkins, which is being developed by The Forest City-New East Baltimore Partnership, is part of an ambitious, mixed-use development in the area of East Baltimore immediately north of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. The first phase of the development includes the 1.1-million-square-foot Science + Technology Park, over 850 housing units for mixed-income buyers and renters, and a variety of retail services. The Partnership consists of the Forest City Science + Technology Group and Presidential Partners, LLC, a minority-business consortium of Baltimore-based developers. In addition to the Partnership’s development activities, the overall East Baltimore redevelopment initiative is generating new job opportunities.
Presidential Partners is a consortium of award-winning developers and builders specializing in mixed-use projects. Presidential Partners includes Banks Contracting, Lambda Development, Legacy Harrison Enterprises and The Wilkinson Group. Presidential Partners has earned recognition for top-notch strategic planning and an enviable ability to spot and spark urban revitalization. Combined, they offer nearly a century of industry experience and innovative collaboration (www.presidentialpartnersllc.com).
Forest City Science + Technology Group (www.forestcityscience.net) operates a portfolio of 2.4 million square feet of life science/technology office space, with more than 8 million square feet in the planning or development stages. Its properties are in major markets including Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Chicago and Denver.
Forest City Science + Technology Group is a division of Forest City Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: FCEA) (NYSE: FCEB), an $11.7 billion NYSE-listed national real estate company. The Company is principally engaged in the ownership, development, management and acquisition of commercial and residential real estate and land throughout the United States.
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