Oct 14, 2004 — Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University broke ground on Oct. 13 for a 201,000 square foot research building at the corner of Morris Park Avenue and Eastchester Road in the Bronx. The new $200 million facility, to be built on property leased from the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation for a period of 99 years, represents an unusual collaboration between a private institution and a public entity.
The new five-story building will be named in honor of Michael F. Price and Muriel Block and her late husband Harold, who have made the two largest gifts in the 50- year history of the medical school. Mr. Price, a pioneer in the mutual fund industry, made a donation of $25 million toward the creation of the Michael F. Price Center for Genetic and Translational Medicine at Einstein. The Price Center will be housed in the new Harold and Muriel Block Research Pavilion. Mrs. Block’s gift, valued at $21 million, is the second largest donation ever received by the medical school.
“We are extremely grateful to Mrs. Block and Mr. Price for their extraordinarily generous gifts,” said Ira M. Millstein, chairperson of the Einstein Board of Overseers. “We are also most appreciative to Jacobi Medical Center, to the Health and Hospitals Corporation and to the City of New York for their cooperation in arranging for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine to lease 10 acres of land from Jacobi Medical Center, nearly doubling the size of the College’s Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus.” Jacobi, a public hospital, is a teaching affiliate of the medical school.
“The research that will take place in the Price Center and Block Pavilion will be at the frontier of biomedical science and has the potential to impact every area of medicine from cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes to genetic disorders, Alzheimer’s disease and many others,” explained Dr. Dominick P. Purpura, The Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean of the medical school. “We will focus on genetic medicine and use our laboratory findings to develop medical advances that will benefit residents of the Bronx, New York City and, in the long term, the entire world,” Dr. Purpura said.
Einstein’s new building represents the largest medical research facility to be constructed in the Bronx since the College of Medicine opened in 1955. Designed by the architectural firm of Payette and Associates, the building will house 40 state-of-the-art laboratories in addition to research support facilities and a 100-seat auditorium. Tishman Construction Company is the construction manager. It is estimated that 400 people will be employed in the new building, which is expected to be completed by 2008.
Located directly opposite Einstein’s Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus, the Price Center and Block Pavilion will significantly increase the size of the Bronx campus from its original 16-acres to 26 acres. The building’s design will further advance Einstein’s long-standing emphasis on fostering scientific collaboration among its faculty and researchers. Each floor will contain “open laboratories” where biomedical researchers may easily consult with one another.
For nearly five decades, the College of Medicine has been a leader in genetics, establishing the first Department of Genetics in any medical school in the country. Recently, researchers at Einstein successfully helped to map the human genome.
The groundbreaking ceremonies for the Price Center and Block Pavilion took place as the Albert Einstein College of Medicine prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2005. Since it first opened its doors to students on September 12, 1955, the accomplishments of Einstein’s scientific investigators and the excellence of its programs in basic and clinical research have been widely recognized. The College consistently ranks among the nation’s leaders in basic research support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The medical school also has earned “Center of Excellence” status from the NIH in five major biomedical fields—brain research, cancer, diabetes, liver disease, and sickle-cell disease.
The College’s student body has grown to more than 1,000 including students at the medical school, at its Sue Golding Graduate Division of Medical Sciences and at its Belfer Institute for Advanced Biomedical Studies. More than 7,000 men and women have earned M.D., Ph.D. and combined M.D.-PhD. degrees at Einstein since its founding nearly 50 years ago.
Additionally, the College of Medicine runs the largest post-graduate medical training program in the country, offering some 150 residency programs to more than 2,500 interns and residents at its affiliated hospitals. Einstein’s affiliates span the entire New York metropolitan area, and include Montefiore Medical Center, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, Jacobi Medical Center, Beth Israel Medical Center and Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center.