Published: Mar 02, 2011 5:48 PM EST
Updated: Mar 02, 2011 2:54 PM EST

BAR HARBOR, Maine- Maine's Jackson Laboratory and the University of South Florida plan to create a new research center in Florida's Sarasota County that's the size of a typical Wal-Mart.

The project, dubbed The Jackson Laboratory-Florida, will focus on genetics-based treatments for heart disease, Alzheimer's and diabetes. Other partners on the project include Sarasota Memorial Healthcare System, Sarasota County and the Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

Jackson and the university pulled the plug in January on a similar plan for a research center in Collier County, and announced they were looking elsewhere.

Charles Hewett, Jackson's chief operating officer, says the new location and partners "will build the collaborations essential to breakthrough discoveries." But it'll require public investments. Sarasota County officials indicated they will seek voter approval for the necessary investment of county funds.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)