March 18, 2013
Bio-IT World Staff : Nancy J. Kelley, the founding executive director of the New York Genome Center (NYGC) and the person most responsible for conceiving and bringing the ambitious institute to fruition, is stepping down from her leadership role.
She will remain an advisor and a member of the Board of Directors.
“Working with the New York Genome Center and all of its supporters and partners has been an extraordinary experience,” said Kelley in a statement released today. “This is an exciting time in science and medicine. The Center is now well positioned to become a world-class collaborative center for translational genomic research under the strong leadership of [Bob] Darnell… I will always value my experience there.”
Kelley “was instrumental in nurturing NYGC from an idea to a reality, to the inestimable benefit of scientific research and New York City,” said Russ Carson and Ivan Seidenberg, co-chairs of the NYGC Board of Directors, in a statement. “We are extremely appreciative of her vision, persistence, and accomplishments, and we look forward to continuing to work with her as an advisor and a member of NYGC’s Board of Directors."
As Kelley detailed in a lengthy interview with Bio-IT World in 2011, she saw the faintest possibility of building a world-class genomics institute in the middle of Manhattan and ran with it. Working with Columbia University professor Tom Maniatis and a number of key administrative and philanthropic supporters, Kelley forged a coalition of 11 founding institutions, including most of the major research and clinical centers in and around New York City.
NYGC was officially launched in 2011. Many of the center’s foundational elements, including its Pilot Laboratory at Rockefeller University, the NYGC Innovation Center, and key technology partnerships, were established under her leadership. Kelley also oversaw the selection and build out of NYGC’s permanent facility at 101 Avenue of the Americas in New York City, which is scheduled to open this summer.
Late last year, NYGC appointed Rockefeller University physician scientist Robert Darnell as president and scientific Director.
Reached by Bio-IT World, Kelley declined to comment on the record other than to say she is looking forward to taking some time off. It is unlikely that NYGC will be her last contribution to the biomedical enterprise.
Ed Note: The Bio-IT World Conference in April 2013 will include a session on building out the IT infrastructure at NYGC.