The Masonic Medical Research Laboratory and Mohawk Valley Health System are exploring a possible affiliation.

It was announced Friday that the two organizations are in the early stages of exploring a partnership. One of the possible outcomes is locating a portion of the Utica-based Masonic research facility in the new hospital that’s proposed by MVHS for downtown Utica.

“We are thrilled about the potential for this once-in-a-generation opportunity for collaboration between our two nationally recognized institutions,” said David F. Schneeweiss, president of the laboratory’s board of directors.

“There is incredible work being done at MMRL and we are looking forward to the opportunity to integrate that work with the clinical work at MVHS,” said Scott H. Perra, president/CEO of MVHS. “This partnership means great things for the people of our community and throughout the country.”

Although the scope and specific details of the affiliation need to be finalized, a major highlight is examining the establishment of research space located within the proposed hospital that will allow Masonic laboratory researchers and MVHS clinical staff to collaborate in ways that were previously hindered by physical separation.

The ultimate goal would be establishing an environment where Masonic Medical Research Laboratory scientists and researchers working behind the lab bench and MVHS clinicians working at patients’ bedsides could collaborate and create new and innovative research and clinical benefits for the Mohawk Valley and beyond.

MVHS is currently preparing the application to access $300 million in state funding to help pay for the new hospital, which would combine the acute care services currently offered by St. Elizabeth Medical Center and Faxton-St. Luke’s Healthcare. The application is due Jan. 31. There will be no new hospital without the state money.