SARANAC LAKE —
Trudeau Institute will maintain research operations here.
“The Trudeau Institute is committed to Saranac Lake and is dedicated to advancing biomedical research in the region,” Trudeau President Dr. David Woodland said in a statement Monday.
“As we further develop our long-term plan focused on maintaining our status as a premier research organization, our goal is to continue to thrive in the Adirondacks while pushing the frontiers of biomedical science.
“While the decision was made to continue our deep history in Saranac Lake, Trudeau is currently finalizing a growth plan and a path that allows us to adapt to the accelerating pace of biomedical research,” he continued.
“We intend to contact local philanthropists, scientists and members of our community to help us plot a path forward.”
RELIEF TO MANY
Regional and federal lawmakers expressed relief that Trudeau wants to stay in Saranac Lake.
Both U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and State Sen. Betty Little (R-Queensbury) pressed hard to keep the scientific-research facility here, urging decision-makers at Trudeau to build collaborative programs with research-hospital facilities in New York state.
Little sent personal letters to each member of Trudeau’s Board of Trustees and met with top officials several times in recent months.
“I’m very pleased that the Board of Trustees is committed to keeping the Trudeau Institute in Saranac Lake,” she said Monday.
“Obviously, this is great news for the region and a relief to many I have spoken with over the past couple of months. Trudeau is an incredible institution that has an enormously positive impact on our region. I will do everything I can to ensure this institute remains at the forefront of biomedical research.”
Schumer called the decision “tremendous.”
“We are ecstatic at the prospect of another century with the Trudeau Institute right here where they belong, in the North Country, while they remain at the cutting-edge of science, curing disease and saving lives.
“While this is bad news for influenza and other infectious diseases, it is just what the doctor ordered for those who work at Trudeau and the regional economy.”
Saranac Lake’s Mayor Clyde Rabideau said the announcement reflects on the value of community.
“It’s a reaffirmation of the importance of Saranac Lake. A major part of the reason Trudeau Institute was named the top place for post-doctorate work is the location and the community of Saranac Lake. We will continue to play an important role in their future.”
Schumer also promised to help the prestigious research center obtain National Institutes of Health funding.
Some 78 percent of Trudeau’s $17 million budget comes from federal grant programs — many supported by National Institute, which is undergoing a major shift in funding focus from sheer research to programs that test medicines for use in treating human disease.
“I am very happy for Trudeau Institute’s Dr. David Woodland and Mayor Rabideau,” Schumer said, “and I will continue to honor my commitment and do all that I can to help Trudeau grow and establish partnerships with clinical research facilities in New York and beyond.”
Civic leaders weighed in with offers of sustained support.
“The continued commitment of Trudeau Institute to our region is most welcome and appreciated,” Garry Douglas, president of the North Country Chamber of Commerce, said in an e-mail to the Press-Republican.
“At the same time, we all need to redouble our efforts to work with our friends at Trudeau to address their changing needs so they can, in fact, remain competitive and successful here.”
Improvements to infrastructure are necessary, including new broadband fiber optics, better access to affordable housing and sustained pursuit of funding for research, he said.
Woodland expressed gratitude for a fast decision from Trudeau’s Board of Trustees.
“I want to thank the board for their attention to this process and their swift decision-making. I also want to thank our legislators for their offers of support. We intend to continue this important discussion, as Trudeau needs the support of our federal and state government in order to grow while meeting our mission of improving human health.”
Trudeau officials said nothing further about the study conducted by an outside firm, which looked at options for re-purposing the Saranac Lake facilities, expanding research programs and possibly building a for-profit component to the work done there.
Research at Trudeau is among leading-edge science in the search for causes and cures of immunological diseases, such as influenza and tuberculosis.
Scientists here are working to develop a flu vaccine that protects against all types of flu at once.
E-mail Kim Smith Dedam at:
SARANAC LAKE —
Trudeau Institute will maintain research operations here.
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