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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 19, 2005

Schumer, Clinton Announce Congressional Panel Backs $11.5 Million For New York City Defense Projects

Schumer, Clinton: Defense Projects are Vitally Important for the New York Economy and National Security

Washington, DC -- U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton today announced that the Joint House and Senate Conference Committee approved $11.5 million for military projects in New York City, including $1 million for Columbia University Medical Center/Mailman School of Public Health Northeast Biodefense Center Completion Project; $1 million for New York Structural Biology Center (NYSBC); $1 million for New York University’s Center for Catastrophe Preparedness and Response; $1 million for NYU’s Consortium on Preparedness; $1.5 million for the American Museum of Natural History’s Institute for Comparative Genomics and $6 million for New School University’s Parsons Institute for Information Mapping (PIIM). The House has approved the bill. The Senate is expected to work on the Defense Appropriations bill this week. If the bill is passed, it will be sent to the President for his signature.

"New York City has always been on the cutting edge of innovation, and New York companies have a strong tradition of contributing to our national defense," said Schumer. "As the men and women of our military bravely serve our country all over the world, the funding for these New York City defense projects will vastly improve national security technology and will give our armed forces an even greater edge."

"New York City has already proven to the world its leadership in cutting-edge research and technology," Senator Clinton said. "This new funding will help protect our troops, both at home and abroad, and is an important investment in our local academic institutions."

$1 million in federal funds will go to the Columbia University Medical Center/Mailman School of Public Health Northeast Biodefense Center Completion Project. In 2003, the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University and the New York State Department of Health Wadsworth Center led a consortium of twenty-eight institutions in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut in establishing the Northeast Biodefense Center (NBC), one of eight NIH regional centers of excellence in biodefense and emerging infectious diseases. The Columbia facility is the New York City base of the NBC. It also supports biodefense activities for the Departments of Health of New York City and New York State, as well as the World Health Organization Laboratory Network by providing surge capacity and access to unique diagnostic and pathogen surveillance technologies. Funds will be used to purchase equipment and to expand laboratory facilities for these new civil support functions as well as completing a new BSL 3 animal facility for research into vaccines and therapeutics for biodefense and emerging infectious diseases.

$1 million in federal funds will go to the New York Structural Biology Center (NYSBC). The NYSBC is a leading center in magnetic resonance spectroscopy, equipped with the most advanced grouping of spectrometers in the nation. Through collaborative efforts, NYSBC researchers and their counterparts at the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) are able to take advantage of the superior instrumentation and expertise at NYSBC to validate protocols that monitor the fate of chemical and biological warfare agents in battlefield and civilian environments such as concrete, asphalt, soil and water.

$1 million in federal funds will go to New York University’s Center for Catastrophe Preparedness and Response. New York University’s Center for Catastrophe Preparedness and Response supports 10 research projects that help meet the needs of the Department of Homeland Security, local preparedness efforts, and first responders. Representative CCPR projects include: Large Scale Emergency Readiness project to improve the nation’s preparedness for a large-scale attack on an area such as New York City; Program on Law and Security to examine the legal dimensions of counter-terrorism and security at the national and international levels; and the International Center for Enterprise Preparedness to strengthen the private sector preparedness through the world’s first major academic center dedicated to private sector crisis management and business continuity. Over the next year, CCPR intends to expand its efforts in these and other areas.

$1 million in federal funds will go to New York University’s Consortium on Preparedness. The Consortium on Preparedness will involve a number of facilities including the NYU School of Medicine, the NYU Hospitals Center, the New York City (NYC) Health and Hospitals Corporation, Bellevue Hospital, and the Veterans Affairs (VA) New York Harbor Health System, New York campus. The goal of the Consortium on Preparedness will be to plan for large surges in patient populations; education and train medical and health personnel for possible events; provide psycho-social support; and conduct research in the areas of bioterrorism and preparedness. Funding will be needed for support staff, equipment, information and telecommunication investments, as well as emergency preparedness and security needs.

$1.5 million in federal funds will go to the American Museum of Natural History’s Institute for Comparative Genomics research to advance national security goals. The American Museum of Natural History, one of the nation’s foremost research and public education institutions, is home to the Institute of Comparative Genomics, with preeminent programs in molecular biology, computation, and comparative genomics that are particularly equipped to advance Department of Defense (DOD) research priorities to benefit homeland biodefense and the nation’s security. In partnership with DOD, the Museum seeks to contribute to the Institute’s singular capacities to advancing genomic science and the understanding and response to threats of bioterrorism. It will leverage its participatory share with funds from nonfederal as well as federal sources and will use requested funding to advance into the next phase of its study of the evolution of pathogenicity, which is critical to constructing a general model for studying emergent infectious diseases.

$6 million in federal funds will go to New School University’s Parsons Institute for Information Mapping (PIIM). PIIM is a research institute dedicated to supporting analysts and decision makers through state of the art visualizations and the practical application of information and visualization theories. The FY 2006 funding would complete, jointly implement and deploy the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency’s (NGA) Geospace and Media Tool and Modular Integrated Knowledge System supporting Emergency Operation Centers, among other uses.

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