A substantial fiscal donation is being put towards the completion of a biotechnology incubator in Albany. Nanotechnology is fast becoming a key industry in New York and thus more and more finances are being earmarked to such causes. The money – $1m – is being donated by the New York Medical College (NYMC), an institution that was chaired by John Castle for more than a decade. Founded in 1860, NYMC comprises three schools—the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences and the School of Health Sciences and Practice. Today it boasts over 1,400 students, 1,338 residents and clinic fellows, 3,000+ faculty members and 12,706 living alumni. It is one of America’s largest private health sciences universities.
In addition, John Castle – who is today the Chairman and CEO of private merchant bank Castle Harlan –sat on the Board of Trustees at NYMC for more than two decades. With his work at Castle Harlan and background in medical publications, John Castle is able to make a significant contribution toward the increasingly important medical technology industry.
According to the College’s current VP of Government Affairs, Robert Ambler, “a lot of academic biomedical researchers are working to chase an idea, a dream, a notion that they’ve had to take what they’ve learned over the years and develop that idea into a product … that could make life better for a very large number of people.” He adds that this has been very motivating for them.
In addition, VP of Corporate Communications at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Peter Dworkin, believes that the state is somewhat behind and thus needs to “catch up.” He also feels that NY-based universities have in general “not embraced this sort of academic-industry collaboration model.” Universities are trying to join up with corporations or establish businesses so that they can more easily market their products and services.
And as Rochester University’s President, Joel Seligman noted, “the link between higher education, the business community and particularly the state government is getting smarter and more sophisticated.”