The Jackson Laboratory, a Maine-based biomedical research institution, has announced a partnership to develop “genetics-based” treatments for heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes at a new 120,000-square-foot research facility in Sarasota County, Florida. Called The Jackson Laboratory- Florida, the project’s partners are the University of South Florida in Tampa, Sarasota Memorial Health Care Systems, Sarasota County, and the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, which, with other community agencies, will “spearhead the creation of a major biomedical village, including research, clinical medicine, education, and residential and retail activity,” around the new facility.

Creating a regional biomedical hub “will build the collaborations essential to breakthrough discoveries, clinical medicine and educational outreach,” said Jackson’s Charles Hewett. “These collaborations will enrich the entire region.” Sarasota County officials will apparently seek voter approval to invest county funds in the project, and a referendum may be scheduled as early as July 2011. See The Jackson Laboratory Press Release, March 2, 201l.