NUTLEY, NJ -- New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy joined Hackensack Meridian Health executives and VIPs at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the state-of-the-art Center for Discovery and Innovation (CDI). The CDI facility is part of the ON3 complex, which also houses the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall, on the former location of Hoffman La Roche corporate headquarters.

"This was truly a momentous day for Hackensack Meridian and for the State of New Jersey," said the CEO of Hackensack Meridian, Bob Garrett. "We really truly are going to be doing groundbreaking research with the idea of curing many chronic diseases that are affecting humankind today."

The CDI houses three institutes of research focusing on regenerative medicine, multiple myeloma, and a center for cancer and infectious diseases.

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"CDI is going to bring groundbreaking technologies to work for patients," said CDI Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President, David Perlin, Ph.D. "We're going to be able to explore why patients are diseased, why they don't respond, why they respond well, and we're going to put all that together to improve therapy."

Perlin continued, "The opportunity to have a molecular science institute that can explore these insights into biology and make it work for patients is just fantastic."

During the ribbon-cutting ceremony and public remarks, Governor Phil Murphy was joined onstage by Garrett and Perlin, as well as Andrew Pecora, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Outcomes Matter Innovations, LLC, Sol J. Barer, Ph.D., Founding Chair, Center for Discovery and Innovation Board of Trustees, David S. Siegel, M.D. Ph.D., Founding Director of the Center’s Institute for Multiple Myeloma, and John Carroll, Site Head for Roche New York and Chair of Roche New York Site Leadership Team.

During the remarks, Pecora, leader of the center's Regenerative Medicine Institute, spoke about growing up in the local area and how meaningful it is to have the CDI facility based in Nutley. 

"What's different about us is that we really take care of our community," said Siegel, "and this is the opportunity to change their lives."

Many of CDI's laboratories were enhanced and expanded from the inherited Hoffman-La Roche facility, which was built in Nutley in 1929. Many of their labs house state-of-the-art analysis and diagnostic systems including a MALDI Mass Spectrometry Imager--the only one of these systems in the Northeastern U.S.

"On behalf of all of us whose lives have already been helped because of painstaking persistent research," said Governor Murphy, "I thank everyone here for your hard work, and for your future countributions to the health and well-being of the nine million folks who call this great state their home."

For more information about the Hackensack Meridian Health Center for Discovery and Innovation, visit: https://hmh-cdi.org/

Video produced by East Main Media: Avery Federico, Cameraman; Brian Brodeur, Producer/Editor