Jackson genetic lab plans touted on Marco Island

— A group of Marco Island business and organizational leaders liked what they heard during a pitch on the proposed genetics research complex planned for eastern Collier County.

The revolutionary medical possibilities — personalized medicine through people’s genetic codes revealing predisposition to diseases — were explained by Maine-based Jackson Laboratory’s CEO Rick Woychik and Vice President for Advancement Michael Hyde.

But it was the business and commercial offshoot that caught the attention of many of the attendees at the Thursday meeting hosted by county Commissioner Donna Fiala at IberiaBank on Marco Island.

Chamber of Commerce President Vip Grover was bullish after listening to the presentation.

“In principal, I don’t think there are any cons,” he said. “I think that whenever you have an opportunity to get a growth industry like this to start and operate in your county, you have to try to take advantage of it.

“It’s an incredible opportunity for this county to bring in something that is not tourist or housing related ... it’s a great opportunity for us to diversify.”

Grover said the opportunities for other industries and other growth to come as a result of the foundation being here could be an “incredible boon” for the county.

“It’s something we really need to look into,” he said, “and if there’s any way for us to do it, we do it.”

Fiala echoed that sentiment, saying that the county simply had to embrace the laboratory, which will require state, local, and private funding to the tune of about $710 million.

The 50 acres the facility would comprise on Oil Well Road would be donated by Barron Collier Co.

Hyde and Woychik spoke at length about the laboratory’s proposed local database, which would contain people’s genetic information and medical history, and allow the investigation of variations in human genomes and how the variations correlate with variations in disease.

Woychik said he believes health care in America right now is more a case of “sick care,” and he referred to a statement made earlier this week by president and chief executive officer of the NCH Healthcare System, Dr. Allen Weiss, that personalized medicine will alter medical care from a “repair shop to a prevention shop.”

The establishment of the facility locally would also mean local physicians could be part of the research process, Hyde said.

Among the attendees were civic, business and organizational leaders from Marco Island.

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Comments » 5

happy6 writes:

maybe the first patient can be ISSLER...then MONTE....and then for the control test....ARCERI.
surely they will find that they all came from a monkey related to the MOSS's....and fed by JOEL.

ejburger writes:

Shadow, the monkey you speak of has a higher IQ than you!

lauralbi1 writes:

EJ: You are so right. But don't let these people get to you. I surely do not.
Their blogs reflect a personal frustration due to their not being able to get their way.
The same as Ed Foster and Mario Sanchez causing all this EPA stuff when it had already passed. Egotistical vindictiveness.
These blogs are meaningless, as proven at the polls. The next election there are 4 seats up for election on the Council. I already know of 4 candidates that are running (2 incumbent) that will continue to receive the majority vote and will continue to run Marco Island in the vision of the majority.
Do not worry and certainly do not concern yourself over these insignificant blogs.
Actually I find it very telling and entertaining. Many of them will be printed during the next campaign to show "the other side" and what they think and have to say. Let's not discourage these blogs by any means !!
Ed Issler

marcoislander writes:

i believe marco city council are already genetic mutants along with ed issler and they need to be closer to their experiments gone wrong

ChuckKiester writes:

MarcoIslander. I think you may be on to something. First of all, one has to be a bit of a masochist if not, indeed, absolutely crazy to even run for city council. Can't speak for the other councilors but I need all the help I can get. . . I even was crazy enough to run for re-election (only under threat from my wife who said that you will run for re-election or else you will have to go out and get a real job). I love reading these blogs first thing in the morning especially if they include a certain amount of tongue-in-cheek statements. I just wish Ed had a sense of humor. In a more serious vein, the blogs provide me with a perspective I cannot achieve elsewhere regarding the pros and cons of any given issue facing our city so I thank you for your interest in our island, even though we all have differing views. Chuck Kiester

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