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MMRI plans new laboratory in Utica

By Traci DeLore (


UTICA, N.Y. — The Masonic Medical Research Institute (MMRI) plans to build a new state-of-the-art laboratory in Bagg’s Square, where it purchased nearly 1.7 acres of city-owned land, according to a release from the city.

The site, located where Division and Whitesboro streets meet, includes eight separate vacant parcels. Details of the sale were not disclosed.

Maria Kontaridis is the executive director of the Masonic Medical Research Institute (MMRI) in Utica. MMRI has purchased nearly 2 acres of land in Utica to build a new lab that will accommodate growth at the institute. (File photo credit: Masonic Medical Research Institute)

“With the sale of this land, the vision for its future is now being realized,” Utica Mayor Robert M. Palmieri said in the release. “Years ago, the state invested its funds to remediate the site for the purposes of economic development. The investment of this magnitude proposed by the Masonic Medical Research Institute furthers the growth of not only Bagg’s Square, but that of downtown Utica and the greater Utica region as well.”

The project, contingent on securing the necessary funding from state and federal stakeholders and a fundraising campaign, would expand its work in life-science research and accelerate commercial-development endeavors and venture-capital investment in the Mohawk Valley.

“MMRI has a long history in the east Utica neighborhood,” MMRI Executive Director Maria Kontaridis said. “Our life-changing research in heart disease, diabetes, and autism is significantly expanding, and our plan is for greater synergy with our community institutions including the Mohawk Valley Health System, Bassett Healthcare, Hamilton College, Utica University, Mohawk Valley Community College, and SUNY Polytechnic Institute.”

Over the past five years, the lab has recruited scientists and their teams to its Utica lab, resulting in exponential growth. The proposed new facility will accommodate the continued growth of MMRI and allow for an additional 100 new scientific and administrative positions.

MMRI, headquartered at 2150 Bleecker St., will announce more details about its plans in the coming months.

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