Stony Brook University on Thursday won a $500,000 grant for a drug development center on campus.

The board of directors of Empire State Development, the state’s primary business-aid agency, agreed to reimburse some costs for the $5 million center.

Much of the expense is for a high-powered microscope to be used by university researchers to create new drugs.

The cryo-electron microscope, the first of its kind on Long Island, will be used to “screen, model, engineer and manufacture new drugs and repurpose approved drugs for advanced therapeutic treatments,” according to the grant application.

ESD officials said the microscope will also aid in the development of products by local drugmakers.

The drug development center is housed in 1,544 square feet of the university’s Centers for Molecular Medicine and Biology Learning Laboratories .

The project supports “Long Island’s life sciences and biotechnology cluster” of businesses, said Cara Longworth, ESD’s regional director. “Investments like this allow Long Island to remain at the forefront of biomedical and pharmaceutical research.”

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She also told the agency’s board that the new center will help prepare Stony Brook students for jobs with the region’s drugmakers, who already look to the university for bench chemists and other occupations.

The project has led to the hiring of two faculty members, according to Longworth.

The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council recommended the state funding two years ago as part of its support for building an innovation economy based on ideas coming from Brookhaven National Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Stony Brook and other research institutions.

In recent years, the Island has become a center for the production of generic prescription and over-the-counter medicines.

More than 13,000 people work in large plants owned by Contract Pharmacal Corp. and LNK International Inc., both in Hauppauge, Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLC in Hauppauge and Yaphank, PL Developments in Westbury and other industry players.