BioCT, the life sciences trade association for Connecticut, is thrilled to announce independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) as its newest member organization. In addition to this exciting development, BioCT is honored to welcome Charles Lee, Ph.D., FACMG, director and professor at The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, to its Board of Directors.
Dr. Charles Lee brings a wealth of expertise and achievements in the field of genomics. His journey began at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he
discovered widespread copy-number variation in the human genome—an essential finding that impacts susceptibility and resistance to disease. Dr. Lee’s subsequent research has paved the way for more accurate genetic testing for conditions such as autism, birth defects, and cancer.
Jodie Gillon, BioCT’s CEO, expressed her delight at this alignment with JAX and Dr. Lee: “I was in touch with Jackson Labs before I took over as CEO of BioCT as I could not imagine representing the Life Sciences ecosystem in CT without the voice of one of our largest and most prominent institutions. I am elated that Charles himself has agreed to join our tremendous Board of Directors—it signals our growth and direction as we finalize strategies to increase value to our members and the state overall.”
Lee’s international impact in biomedical research is matched by his commitment to helping the local community. In 2020, Governor Ned Lamont appointed Lee to the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Task Force, and with Lee’s leadership, JAX played a pivotal role in the state’s COVID response, supporting approximately 23 percent of all COVID-19 PCR tests for over 80 partners including hospitals, nursing homes, educational institutions, and first responders.
Indeed, JAX has been a crucial part of the state’s growth in the life sciences industry. In 2022, JAX’s total economic impact to Connecticut is estimated to total $119 million in business output, $94 million in earnings, and 1,120 jobs – figures that continue to grow in 2023. A significant employer, in 2022, JAX paid $34 million in wages to 370 Connecticut workers, with an average salary 16 percent higher than the state average. JAX’s research and educational programs – which bring unique STEM opportunities to the next generation of scientists in Connecticut – brought more than $42 million in federal grant funding to Connecticut in 2022 alone, and the nonprofit’s strong collaborations with Connecticut institutions including UConn, Connecticut Children’s, Hartford Healthcare and Yale, are strengthening the ties and impact of JAX research directly to providers and patients.
Stanley Choy, Chair of BioCT’s Board of Directors, joined in BioCT’s excitement, stating, “We are thrilled that Jackson Laboratory is joining our board. Jackson Laboratory is a global leader and their quest to improve human health is crucial to Connecticut’s life sciences ecosystem. We are so fortunate to have them join BioCT’s board and I look forward to working with them.”
The collaboration between BioCT and JAX marks an important step forward in realizing BioCT’s mission to catalyze and market the growth of Connecticut’s life sciences industry, and to foster and promote Connecticut as a nationally recognized hub for innovation, ultimately improving patient lives – and JAX’s mission to discover precise genomic solutions for disease and empower the global biomedical community in its shared quest to improve human health.
About The Jackson Laboratory
The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution with a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center and nearly 3,000 employees in locations across the United States (Maine, Connecticut, California), Japan and China. Its mission is to discover precise genomic solutions for disease and empower the global biomedical community in the shared quest to improve human health. For more information, please visit www.jax.org.
For more information about BioCT and its initiatives, please visit bioct.org.