Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a $2 million National Institute of Health (NIH) grant to accelerate biomedical research capabilities across Central New York. The grant was secured by SUNY Upstate Medical University, in partnership with SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), Syracuse University, Cornell University, the University of Rochester and the University at Buffalo.
"This grant will provide a powerful new tool that scientists across Central New York need, filling a void and accelerating local biomedical research," said Governor Cuomo. "Securing high-end equipment is an integral part of the State's innovation economic agenda, and I commend Dr. David Smith and his team at SUNY Upstate for leading this effort that will enhance research projects at six of the finest universities in New York."
The grant will allow for the acquisition of a sophisticated Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometer used in biomedical and biochemical research. Currently there is no such device in Central or Western New York, making access difficult for local researchers who have had to travel far distances to complete vital analysis on sensitive projects.
Additionally, as NIH and the National Science Foundation take into account a researcher's access to equipment when deciding awards, future grant applications in Central and Western New York should be more competitive because of the availability of this high-level spectrometer.
"It speaks volumes about the power of a system when this grant was led by SUNY Upstate, the equipment will be housed at ESF, and its use will be open to scientists from across Central and Western New York," said SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher. "This will be a significant addition to the state's research infrastructure and will help propel Governor Cuomo's innovation agenda."
"This announcement reflects the power of scientific collaboration," said Upstate Medical University President David R. Smith, M.D. "Providing researchers with the tools for scientific discovery need not be defined by campus boundaries as we work on the common goal of finding new treatments for disease."
"Structural analysis of natural and synthetic compounds is very important in the research being conducted by our faculty at ESF and our partnering institutions," said SUNY-ESF President Cornelius B. Murphy, Ph.D. "We are excited at receiving this NIH grant and the promise that the 800 MHz NMR offers to increase research productivity in Upstate New York."
Because of the capabilities of the new NMR spectrometer, experiments and data collection that would have taken days will be reduced to hours, saving time and money. It will help scientists working to understand and treat a number of disease states including neurodegeneration, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and AIDS. It will also support vaccine and biomaterial research.
The NMR, scheduled to be installed in the fall of 2014 and housed in the NMR facility in Jahn Laboratory on the SUNY-ESF campus, will be shared among the six universities and likely be available to researchers elsewhere.