UCSD has plans for Torrey Pines corner
by University City/Golden Triangle Editor
Published - 10/12/06 - 04:00 PM | 1398 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Major development is in the works for the corner of Torrey Pines and North Torrey Pines roads. The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) has earmarked a parcel of the corner for another J. Craig Venter Institute, a nonprofit research center that strives to understand genomics, the study of nucleotide segments. The original Venter Institute is based in Maryland.

UCSD presented the conceptual plan before the La Jolla Community Planning Association on Sept. 7. The community raised concerns about ingress and egress traffic onto Torrey Pines Road and parking, and asked UCSD to return with a full presentation on the development.

Project plans stipulate that adequate parking be provided for the institute; surface and underground lots would create approximately 140 spaces. The development would also be set back at least 25 feet from Torrey Pines Road, 60 feet from North Torrey Pines Road and 75 feet from the adjacent La Jolla Ecological Reserve.

The development is planned for review as an Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration, which calls for the project to mitigate its environmental impacts or to create conditions in the project that would avoid significant environmental impacts.

The project is expected to go before the regents of the University of California, a board that governs the entire UC system, at its Nov. 15-16 meeting. The project will also need approval from the Coastal Commission. Construction is planned for the fall of 2007 and completion for spring, 2009.

The institute at UCSD would research environmental genomes, synthetic genome development, genomic medicine with an emphasis on cancer genomics, comparative genomics and human genome resequencing and analysis. Policy research on the ethical, legal and economic issues surrounding genomic science and technology will also be pursued.

The university envisions collaborations between the new genome center and its other institutes, such as joining the Venter Institute with the UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences to use genomic information in the development of molecular therapies.

Partnerships have already formed between UCSD and the Venter Institute in Maryland. In December of 2005, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation granted $24.5 million to UCSD, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Venter Institute to collectively create a computational facility to sequence the genetic code of the thousands of microbes in the ocean, an endeavor similar to the mapping of the human genome.
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