New Center of Excellence Tenant's Research to Help Treat Muscular Dystrophy

Inspired by his grandson, JB’s Duchenne muscular dystrophy diagnosis, Jeff Harvey, Tonus Therapeutics co-founder and chief financial officer, along with Frederick Sachs, University at Buffalo (UB) Distinguished Professor, Thomas Suchyna, Research Assistant Professor, and Philip Gottlieb, Research Associate Professor, all from UB’s Department of Physiology and Biophysics, partnered to develop a therapy for muscular dystrophy. Establishing Tonus Therapeutics in 2009, the group began to work together based off of initial research Sachs and his team first came across nearly 10 years ago, studying the effect of venoms on mechanosensitive ion channels.
As one of several forms of muscular dystrophy, Duchenne is the most lethal, rapidly getting worse over time causing respiratory problems in addition to severe and increased limb-muscle weakness. The absence of the dystrophin protein is due to a defective gene commonly found in males. Dystrophin helps muscle cells maintain their shape structure. Without that protein, cell membranes tear apart more easily and cause the muscle to contract abnormally. According to Sachs, when this hwp-contentens, the body “starts digesting muscle from the inside out.”

A UB spin-off company, having made the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences (CoE) its home headquarters, Tonus Therapeutics will continue its quest to develop drugs that help distribute and control the transfer of mineral substances like calcium to cells through the tiny conduits known as mechanosensitive ion channels. These channels, which Sachs co-discovered in 1983, connect the inside of a cell with its outside. Normally, in healthy cells the channels are closed, but when a cell is stretched or contorted, the channels open and let calcium and other substances into the cell.

Using GsMTx4, a peptide that scientists at UB discovered in the venom of the Chilean rose tarantula, Tonus Therapeutics will use the FDA “orphan drug” designation to move forward with the development of a therapy for muscular dystrophy. The designation of GsMTx4 comes with recognition from the government agency that the peptide is a promising method of treatment for a rare disease like muscular dystrophy. Research shows that GsMTx4 is capable of staying in the body for a long time without breaking down. This means it could be possible to deliver low doses infrequently, reducing costs for patients. The company has gathered preliminary data showing that GsMTx4 is nontoxic in mice and did not disturb heart function in mice or ferrets or isolated human heart muscle.

In November, Tonus Therapeutics licensed UB patents relating to GsMTx4 through UB’s Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach (UB STOR).

Harvey stated that “Being located in a hub of research activity in Buffalo, close to other entrepreneurs and biotech startups, is important to [Tonus Therapeutics].” He also stated that “The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus is extremely important to us because it provides ready contact with experienced entrepreneurs and potential clinical and commercial partners, including those within the [CoE].”

The CoE, a part of the 400,000 sq. ft. Buffalo Life Sciences Complex, houses more than 100 scientists with biological, physical and computational expertise. The CoE’s efforts aims to leverage its research resources, helping to create new technological advantages for health care and life sciences industry sectors, partnering with and supporting biomedical, research and development companies like Tonus Therapeutics. Marnie LaVigne, UB associate vice president for economic development stated that “Tonus benefits from the technological and business resources available here, and their continued growth will be an asset to Western New York’s economy.”

Prior to their move into the CoE, the Tonus team benefited from other UB resources and partnerships. Harvey is a graduate of the UB School of Management’s High-Tech Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership program, and Tonus received funding through the UB Center for Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technology (UB CAT). The Children’s Guild Foundation and the John R. Oishei Foundation have provided additional funding.

Learn more about Tonus Therapeutics below:

Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus Work Begins with ‘Conventus’ – Buffalo News Story

Published: 12/17/2012, 08:08 PM

Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus work begins with ‘Conventus’

$90 million structure to be finished by 2015

BY: Henry Davis /News Medical Reporter

The transformation of Main Street along the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus is about to get started.

Fencing went up Monday, and construction is expected to begin soon on a major medical office building on the block bounded by Main, High, Ellicott and Goodrich streets.

The major tenants will include doctors associated with the University at Buffalo medical group known as UBMD and many services connected to a new Women & Children’s Hospital, which will abut the office building being developed by the Ciminelli Real Estate Corp.

The $90 million building is planned to be just less than 300,000 square feet over six floors, but it could grow to seven floors, depending on interest from additional tenants, said Denise Juron-Borgese, the project manager.

The developer has named the building “Conventus,” which is Latin for coming together and reflects the building’s planned connecting walkways with nearby facilities, including the Research Institute on Addictions and the anticipated new UB Medical School building.

“Our building is the hub that will be connecting the other buildings,” said Timothy Vaeth, vice president of development at Ciminelli.

Vaeth and Juron-Borgese said Ciminelli is moving ahead with work in anticipation of final site plan wp-contentroval in January by the city Planning Board. In addition, the developer in January will seek sales and property tax abatements for the project from the Erie County Industrial Development Agency.

Women & Children’s Hospital, a part of Kaleida Health, is moving from its longtime Bryant Street location in the Elmwood Village to the downtown Medical Campus. Groundbreaking for the new facility, which will be renamed the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, is expected in the spring, with completion in early 2016.

UB officials have said they plan to relocate the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences from the South Campus to the Medical Campus by 2016 in a project estimated to cost $375 million.

The Ciminelli project will begin with remediation of the site through the state’s Brownfield Cleanup Program, which provides tax credits for cleanup and redevelopment of properties with environmental issues.

Ciminelli needs to remove a lot of the soil, which contains elevated levels of petroleum hydrocarbons as a result of the site’s history as a gas station for many decades. Both Kaleida Health, which owns the land, and Ciminelli, the developer that will lease the land, are responsible for the cleanup.

The project marks the first major private investment on the downtown Medical Campus and is the most expensive single building Ciminelli has developed.

Completion of the building, which will include two levels of underground parking for 318 vehicles, is scheduled for spring 2015.

The pediatric outpatient surgery center in the new children’s hospital will use space in the Ciminelli building, with the Ciminelli building acting as the “front door” of the surgery center, Vaeth said. The second and third floors of the Conventus building will connect seamlessly to the pediatric hospital, he said.

Kaleida Health also will use the Ciminelli building for a number of other children’s services, including a pharmacy, a laboratory and clinics, including dialysis, therapy infusion and the Robert Warner Rehabilitation Center.

“Physicians [at Women & Children’s] wanted to leverage the accessibility of the Ciminelli building to Main Street. This is where people can check in, and it keeps congestion away from other facilities,” said Robert Bragg, vice president of campus development at Kaleida Health.

Young patients will enter through the Ciminelli building and receive surgery in the new children’s hospital, which will connect to Buffalo General Medical Center across Ellicott Street through a second-floor walkway and a tunnel for utilities and support services. Work on the tunnel, assuming city wp-contentroval, is scheduled to begin early next year, Bragg said.

The building, which was designed by Kideney Architects of Amherst, also will include limited retail business on the first floor, mainly to serve the tenants, such as, potentially, a bank branch and a food store. Plans for a hotel were abandoned in favor of devoting the space to medical use, Vaeth said. However, he said, it’s likely the Medical Campus will need more hotel rooms in the future as development expands.

Research from UB and Immco Diagnostics Leads to Early Detection of Sjogren’s Syndrome

Patients suffering from the painful autoimmune disease, Sjogren’s Syndrome, will soon be able to be properly diagnosed much earlier, thanks to the discovery of novel antibodies by researchers at the University at Buffalo (UB) and Immco Diagnostics, Inc. The breakthrough, described in a paper in the December issue of Clinical Immunology, will allow patients to be treated sooner when they are much more likely to benefit. The new diagnostic test will be available to physicians in early 2013.Ambrus-Shen
“Sjogren’s patients get diagnosed too late,” says Julian L. Ambrus Jr., MD, professor in the Department of Medicine in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, an immunologist at Buffalo General Medical Center and senior author on the paper.  “They go to the doctor because their eyes are dry or they can’t swallow, but by that time, their salivary or tear glands are already dead. They’re way past the point where they can generally benefit from any treatment.”

The new antibodies were seen in 45 percent of patients who met most of the clinical criteria for Sjogren’s except for the antibodies currently required for diagnosis, called Ro and La. At least one of the novel antibodies is present in 76 percent of patients who have had symptoms for less than two years and who also lacked the two antibodies required for definitive diagnosis, which wp-contentear late in the disease.

“The vast majority of patients we tested who have early symptoms of severe dry mouth and dry eyes also have these antibodies,” says Ambrus.

The journal highlighted the research paper with an editorial by Robert I. Fox, MD, PhD, of Scripps/Ximed, considered one of the world’s top Sjogren’s Syndrome scientists.

Considered one of the three most common autoimmune diseases, Sjogren’s Syndrome affects more than 4 million Americans, 90 percent of them women; last year, Venus Williams, the tennis champion, announced that she had the disease. Symptoms are dry eyes and dry mouth so severe that they are painful. Despite its high incidence, Sjogren’s is not well-known and can take years to diagnose; once diagnosed, it is often too late to effectively treat it.

Beyond the chronic pain associated with not being able to produce tears or saliva, the disease is associated with additional, systemic consequences, such as mild kidney and lung disease. Five to 10 percent of Sjogren’s patients also will develop lymphoma, cancer of the lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that is continually produced in Sjogren’s Syndrome.

The discovery of novel antibodies grew out of a strong collaboration between UB and Immco, which in 2006 resulted in a new, far superior animal model for Sjogren’s Syndrome.

“Our animal model has completely changed how people think about this disease,” says Ambrus. “Sjogren’s disease in our animal model marches along in exactly the same way that the human disease does, reproducing every stage of the disease.”

Labs studying Sjogren’s around the world have now adopted the new model developed at UB and Immco, which is based in Amherst.

Once the new antibodies were detected in mice, the scientists started testing human patients at Buffalo General Medical Center. The researchers found the same antibodies in humans even at early stages of the disease.

UB has filed a patent on the biomarker-based method and licensed the technology to Immco, which has developed a new diagnostic tool based on the research.

“We believe this is one of the most undiagnosed autoimmune diseases,” says William Maggio, Immco’s chief executive officer.

The new diagnostic tool his company developed for Sjogren’s Syndrome has significant proprietary value. “We will be the only company in the world to offer and market this test across any platform,” he says.

And because Sjogren’s Syndrome presents with various symptoms, unlike other autoimmune diseases, this diagnostic test will be marketed to several different types of physicians, including dentists, oral surgeons, ophthalmologists and rheumatologists.

The assay will undergo validation by the New York State Department of Health. Once complete early next year, physicians will be able to start using the test. Patient samples from around the nation will be sent to Immco for testing. Immco also is developing a diagnostic kit for customers to be marketed internationally.

“If the market is as successful as we anticipate, then it will lead to more employment opportunities locally,” says Maggio.

Already, the UB and Immco scientists have begun collaborating with several international groups working on Sjogren’s Syndrome, giving them access to many more patients.

“Sjogren’s patients are miserable,” says Lakshmanan Suresh, DDS, vice president, research and development at Immco and clinical associate professor in the Department of Oral Diagnostic Sciences in the UB School of Dental Medicine. “They cannot taste anything, they often have serious tooth decay, and they feel as though they have sandpaper or grit in their eyes all the time. If we can find the antibodies early, then we can start to develop therapies to target them. The first step though, is to make the diagnosis.”

“This is a very good example of how research and industry collaborate to produce something that will bring a lot of good to the health-care industry and it’s hwp-contentening here in Buffalo,” says Maggio.

The UB researchers recently received a $450,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study how the immune system becomes dysfunctional in Sjogren’s disease.

Last summer, the project also received funding from UB’s Center for Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technology, one of 15 centers across New York State funded by the Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation to support university-industry collaboration in research, education and technology transfer.

Along with Ambrus, Shen and Suresh, co-authors on the Clinical Immunology paper are Jingxiu Xuan, PhD, research assistant professor in the UB Department of Medicine and Matthew Lindemann, PhD, director of assay development, Przemek Kowal, PhD, director of biopolymers, and Kishore Malyavantham, PhD, director of scientific initiatives, all from Immco.

Ellen Goldbaum (UB);; 716.645.4605

RPCI Receives Leapfrog Top Hospital Recognition for 3rd Straight Year

Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) has been named to The Leapfrog Group’s annual Top Hospitals list for a third consecutive year. One of only three National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in New York state, RPCI is the only New York facility to be named a Leapfrog Top Hospital for 2012.
The Leapfrog Top Hospital designation puts RPCI in a class representing less than 8% of eligible hospitals. In all, 67 urban facilities, 13 rural institutions and 12 children’s hospitals earned the designation this year. The Leapfrog Group, a coalition of public and private employers, selects hospitals for the designation based on an annual national survey measuring performance in areas such as error prevention, Intensive Care Unit staffing and complex, high-risk procedures.

“The Leapfrog Top Hospital distinction is by far the most competitive award a hospital can receive. Leapfrog holds hospitals to the highest standards on behalf of our purchaser members and their employees,” said Leah Binder, President & CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “By achieving the Top Hospital accolade, Roswell Park Cancer Institute has demonstrated exemplary performance across all areas of quality and patient safety that are analyzed on the Leapfrog Hospital Survey. This hospital stands out as one consistently providing safe, high quality care, and I would be comfortable sending my family to Roswell Park for care.”

RPCI has frequently been recognized for high-quality care and overall excellence. The Institute was again recognized in U.S. News & World Report’s 2012-13 Best Hospitals list for Cancer Care and also this year was re-certified for a three-year period by the Joint Commission, an independent accrediting body.

“We are extremely proud to receive the Leapfrog award for the third consecutive year. Roswell Park participates in a number of quality assessment programs every year — many of them, like the annual Leapfrog survey, on a voluntary basis,” said Roswell Park Medical Director Judy Smith, MD. “Through this process we can evaluate the work we do and look for opportunities for further improvement; it is an invaluable opportunity for a thorough, unbiased review by an informed outside organization.”

Annie Deck-Miller;; 716-845-8593

Innovation Center Kicks Off Series to Help Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses

A key mission of the Innovation Center is to offer resources necessary for small businesses and entrepreneurs to grow. The Growing Your Knowledge & Network for Small Businesses series sponsored by First Niagara, will begin on Wednesday, December 12th at 9 a.m. until 10 a.m. This monthly series is an extension of the BNMC’s efforts to continue to promote growth for small- to medium-sized companies. This series provides important information for companies as industry experts – often successful entrepreneurs themselves – share knowledge relevant to running a successful business.
Topics include taxes, human resources, networking etiquette, branding and much, more. Learn about  the latest industry trends and developments as you hear from professionals in the field. This series is open to tenants withint the Innovation Center and also members of the comunity.

Attendees of the Growing Your Knowledge & Network for Small Businesses sessions will be entered into a raffle to win an iPad or other prizes. Interact and network with fellow entrepreneurs and professionals as you engage in dialogue about need-to-know information for small businesses.

Each presentation is free, but space is limited and registration is required. To register, visit

Wednesday, December 12th

Do Taxes Matter? presented by Daniel Tirone, Daniel Tirone, CPA. Learn about the basics of tax management.

Wednesday, January 9th

Basic 101 HR Information presented by Holly Nowak, Alcott HR Group. Learn about human resources best practices.

Wednesday, February 13th

Business Development Incentives in New York: Maximizing Your Benefits  presented by Cory Van Deusen V, Lumsden & McCormick, LLP. Learn about tax credits and incentives.

Wednesday, March 13th

Social Media and Your Business presented by Robin Wilson, The Wilson Edge.

Wednesday, April 10th

Branding Consistency presented by Rob Wynne, Wynne Creative Group. Learn about adding character to your business, helping to make it stand out.

Wednesday, May 8th

First Niagara: Five Key Areas Where Businesses Suffer Losses presented by Karen Fenzl.

BHSC's Therapeutic Playground Opens for Children with the Support of Donors


Left to right: Joe Cozzo, President & CEO, Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center; Alexandra Wehr, Sr. Relationship Manager, KeyBank,  Marie Hare, Vice President of Community Affairs, KeyBank, and Gary Quenneville, President (Western New York District), KeyBank.

Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center (BHSC) installed a new therapeutic playground after 2 years of planning and months of construction. The playground project received a supportive boost by the KeyBank Foundation. Additional support came from the Buffalo Sabres Foundation, the Rotary Club of Buffalo, the DreamCatcher Foundation, the Buffalo Bills Youth Foundation and nearly 100 other individual donors from the Western New York community.

Located at 50 East North Street on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, the playground will help to stimulate the senses of the more than 200 children who attend the school. BHSC provides innovative programs and cutting edge capabilities aiding in the diagnosis and treatment of communication disorders, literacy, autism, and learning challenges.

The playground was designed by a team of physical and occupational therapists with the goal of having each piece on the playground help to meet the diverse needs of the students at BHSC in need of speech, hearing or educational services. The therapeutic playground structure consists of a large multicolored play system built on a safe rubberized surface that can accommodate the different needs of students.  The new playground offers a cohesive, natural environment where children are content and comfortable while they develop social skills at a level wp-contentropriate for them. The playground offers multiple varieties of sensory play experience so that children of all abilities are able to play and learn. By supporting the sensory needs of all children, the playground enhances individual development in ways that cannot be achieved by standard methods.

Every day, students at the BHSC learn, grow, and have fun while on the campus grounds. “Play is a very important part of the childhood experience. Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center recognizes that that act of playing is where children are able to explore, discover, create and imagine, while learning about the world around them firsthand,” said Jospeh Cozzo, President and CEO of the BHSC.

BHSC offers audiology, early childhood, speech language, and pathology services, in addition to a number of specialized programs for children and adults. Learn more about BHSC:

UB Purchases First Properties for School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

UB Takes Historic First Step to Acquire Downtown Buffalo Properties on which New Medical School will be Built

The University at Buffalo today announced the purchase of land at 960 Washington St., the first of several parcels it is assembling to make way for construction of the new $375 million University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

The lot is one of three properties, located in the Main/High streets area, which UB hopes to acquire by the end of the year for its historic project to relocate the medical school from the UB South Campus to the downtown Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

“In moving our medical school downtown, where it will be ideally aligned with local hospitals and other key life sciences partners, UB is staying true to our roots in more ways than one,” said UB President Satish K. Tripathi.

“Building healthier communities has always been a vital focus of our academic mission — from our early days as a small private medical school serving the City of Buffalo in the 19th century, to our 21st century role as a major public research university that enriches the quality of life both locally and globally.  The acquisition of this land is a timely and important next step as we move forward with this critical next phase of UB 2020.”

UB planners have selected HOK to design the state-of-the-art medical school and biomedical sciences center. Ground will be broken for the new UB facility in September 2013. One of the world’s leading architectural firms, HOK has a global portfolio of health sciences facilities and academic buildings and an international reputation for sustainable design.

The $375 million project, funded in part by NYSUNY 2020 legislation signed into law last year by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, is a key component of the UB 2020 plan for academic excellence, which is intended to benefit students, faculty, staff and the Western New York community. The new medical school will sit at the corner of High and Main streets, in the center of the region’s emerging biosciences corridor, a short walk from hospitals, research centers and incubators that nurture new bioscience start-up companies.

The acquisition was executed by UB Foundation Services Inc. (UBFS).

“This is an exciting step in an effort to create a world-class medical school on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.  We are proud to facilitate this purchase on behalf of the university and its medical school,” said Robert Denning, chairman of the UBFS board.

UBFS paid $1.2 million to acquire the parcel from Evergreen Real Estate, whose partners are developer Michael Joseph and businessman Kevin Brinkworth, which has owned the property since 2005. Real estate firm CBRE Buffalo worked with the UBFS to broker the property transaction.

The University at Buffalo Foundation noted that Joseph served on its board from 2002 through 2008, prior to when UB began contemplating relocation of its medical school to the downtown site.

FNUB Inc, an affiliate of the University at Buffalo Foundation, is continuing negotiations on other properties to accommodate the first phase of the medical school project.  Separate discussions continue between UB and the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority regarding the Main-Allen Transit station, which the university would like to incorporate into the medical school building.

John DellaContrada;; 716-645-4601

GO Bike Buffalo Receives National $50,000 Grant from Play Streets®

GO Bike Buffalo has announced that they have received a $50,000 grant from Play Streets®, an initiative created to help prevent and combat childhood obesity by the Partnership for a Healthier America and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
As 1 out of 10 cities chosen to receive the award, Buffalo will continue on its journey to create a city where alternative modes of transportation, healthy communities, and the education of the future generations are a top priority.

In addition to GO Bike Buffalo, collaborators include BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, the City of Buffalo and the Common Council. The award will help to make the City of Buffalo a place where children can play in the streets safely as they are provided with more options the stay active and healthy.

The President and CEO of BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, Alphonso O’Neil-White, stated that “BlueCross BlueShield sees Play Streets® as a transformative program that will improve the health of our region and inspire people to make healthy choices.”

For one year, Buffalo, including the other 9-city award recipients (Minneapolis, MN, Savannah, GA, Durham, NC, New Orleans, LA, Omaha, NE, York, PA, San Francisco, CA, Chicago, IL, and Caguas, PR) will host Play Streets® events that will result in closing designated streets to traffic making the play-friendly road open to the community. In addition to the funds, each awardee will receive technical assistance, and communications and marketing support from the Partnership for a Healthier America, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, and local Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to help promote the events that will take place in each community.

GO Bike Buffalo’s efforts to create healthy, environmentally sustainable, community-friendly transportation options in the City of Buffalo have not gone unnoticed. The non-profit organization’s dedication to local initiatives like the Complete Streets, GO Buffalo, Buffalo Green Code, Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities, and more has made a substantial impact in the community.

Justin Booth, Executive Director of GO Bike Buffalo stated that “GO Bike Buffalo is proud to introduce Play Streets® to the City of Buffalo in partnership with the Health Kids, Healthy Communities initiative to create safe, accessible and healthier communities by opening our streets so individuals and families can come together to participate in fun, healthy activities.”

A major contributor of childhood obesity is inactivity. It is recommended that children take part in physical activities for at least 1 hour per day. According to the Project HOPE. Child Obesity Policy Brief: The Pervasive Effects Of Environments On Childhood Obesity, 1 out of every 5 children (15 million) in America do not have access to a playground. In that same policy brief, more than a third of the children in this country are said to have no access to recreation centers in their immediate communities. Play Streets® is an effective solution that offers a high-impact way to encourage more physical activity in neighborhoods that often lack open space.

 The grant will help to promote walking and cycling this summer and will hopefully pave the way for continued and more frequent Play Streets® support in the future.

Visit to stay up-to-date on the progress and events that emerge from the award.



RPCI Completes Phase 1 for Development of Clinical Sciences Center with New Era Donation

With the help of a recent $1.5 million donation from New Era, Roswell Park Cancer Institute‘s (RPCI) Clinical Sciences Center (CSC) has reached its Phase 1 development goal.
The Making Room to Save Lives: The Campaign to Build a Greater Roswell Park is a result of RPCI’s growing patient population. Since the campaign began back in June 2011, it received a $10 million donation from Circle of 10 – a collaborative  gift from 10 well known business and philanthropic leaders in Western New York. RPCI patients even gave a $1 million gift that was included in the initial gift of $10 million. A total of 435 donors contributed to Phase I of the Making Room to Save Lives campaign.

The 11-story, 142,000 sq. ft. CSC to be built on Michigan Avenue and Carlton Street will literally make room for the increasing need for cancer services offered at one of the nation’s leading cancer centers.

RPCI’s President and CEO, Donald L. Trump, MD, FACP, stated that “Over the past five years, we have seen a nearly 40% increase in patients and we have seen an almost 60% rise in outpatient wp-contentointments over the past decade.” New Era’s gift has made the process involved with meeting the needs of patients more tangible.

Connected to the main RPCI entrance, the CSC will serve as the location for patients to be screened for cancer and manage outpatient treatments. Its administrative offices will also operate out of the builing. Within the CSC will be a new Chemo-Infusion Clinic that will be twice as large as the present clinic; a Breast Center that will offer community mammography services; a new Mammography Center; an Adolescent and Young Adult Clinic; and a Patient Education/Survivorship Center for RPCI’s patients and their families. The CSC will have additional state-of-the-art office facilities and space for clinician-scientists to analyze data from clinical studies.

A supporter of cancer research, prevention and education as one of its four key platforms, New Era’s gift to Roswell Park continues a long tradition of philanthropy.

“At New Era, we strongly believe in giving back to the communities that we work and live in. One important way we do this is by engaging in partnerships and signature programs that focus on finding a cure for cancer,” said Christopher Koch, CEO of New Era.

The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation raised $40 million for Phase 1 to begin the process of building the CSC. Construction for Phase I is scheduled to begin in Spring 2013.  An additional $10 million will be raised in Phase II for the Center’s “build out” and shell space requirements.

Rendering by FxFOWLE Architects


November = Lung Cancer Awareness Month

It is natural to think of family, food and the things one is most thankful for when November rolls around. Raising awareness for lung cancer during the month of November is important to think about as well. While only 1 out of every 10 smokers will get lung cancer, it is still the number 1 cancer killer of men and women in the country, killing nearly 150,000 people per year. It is the second-most diagnosed cancer in men and women as well.
Its cause: smoke inhalation. Smoking tobacco or any kind of drug is the highest risk factor for lung cancer. Secondhand smoke causes nearly 50,000 deaths of nonsmokers every year according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Lung cancer has increasingly become a disease that is not just associated with smokers. Other risk factors include exposure to radon, asbestos, polluted air, and an existing lung disease.

According to Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) Associate Professor of Oncology and Director of Collaborative Research in the Department of Medicine, Mary Reid, PhD, between 60% and 70% of patients with lung cancer are diagnosed too late, making surgery a non-option. As efforts increase to create more early screening options, the probability of prolonging life increases dramatically.

RPCI Lung Cancer Screening

Through its High-Risk Lung Cancer Program, RPCI offers lung cancer screening for those who meet the criteria below:

  • Previously treated lung, oral, throat and/or esophageal cancer
  • Smoking more than a pack of cigarettes a day for at least 20 years or the equivalent
  • Chronic lung disease, such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis or chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD)
  • Occupational-related asbestos disease
  • A family history of lung cancer in a first-degree relative
  • History of substantial secondhand smoke exposure

Tests used to detect lung cancer in its early stages are Bronchoscopy and Low-Dose Chest CT Scan (LDCT).

RPCI Lung Cancer Treatment

The Thoracic Lung Cancer Center at RPCI offers specialized comprehensive care for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer. Lung cancer patients treated at the Thoracic Center receive the the latest and most efficient treatment and surgical procedures, including Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS). VATS is a minimally invasive surgery that enables the surgeon to remove tumors in openings no bigger than 1-inch in diameter using a small video camera.

Cessation Programs

The New York State Smokers’ Quitline is free and confidential. Services include telephone counseling, a starter kit of free nicotine replacement, medications for eligible smokers, access and referrals to local smoking cessation programs and more.

RPCI offers a smoking cessation program, Just Breathe, helping smokers to quit using customized plans, in addition to providing behavioral counseling,  and pharmacotherapy.

Learn more about lung cancer on RPCI’s website.

RPCI’s Mary Reid, PhD

The Jobs of Buffalo's Future Growing – WKBW News Story

Story by Kendra Eaglin, WKBW

November 4, 2012 Updated Nov 4, 2012 at 11:42 PM EST(WKBW)


Gone are the days of 12 hour shifts milling flour in what was once the world’s largest flour mill or sweating in the Queen City’s massive iron and steel factories. Buffalo’s coveted labor jobs of the forties and fifties have now been at least partly replaced by hi-tech and high paying jobs in the medical sciences and research fields. And unlike the old manufacturing jobs experts say these jobs are immune to being phased out. It’s the wave of the future. “If you look at medical research overall those jobs are not going to go away,” said Dr. Timothy Murphy, Director of the University at Buffalo Clinical Translational Research Center. Why? Because the U.S. has an aging population now and healthcare is something everyone needs.

Dr. Murphy leads the Clinical Translational Research Center in the new Gates Vascular Institute building that opened just two months ago.

“Translational research refers to research whose goal is translate basic science observations and basic science knowledge into real new drugs, new treatments, new preventions, new vaccines and so forth to improve healthcare,” stated Dr. Murphy.

Sixty percent of the building at the Clinical Translational Research Center is already occupied with about 150 jobs and they’re expected to fill the remaining 40 percent of the building in the next two years.

“These kinds of jobs will be research technicians, there’ll be graduate students, so called post doctoral fellows, research coordinators, study nurses, administrative people, bio statisticians,” said Dr. Murphy.

Buffalo’s medical corridor resembles the culture of the internet start-up companies crowded in California’s Silicon Valley but instead of competing to create the next best website researchers here are competing to discover the next big medical breakthrough.

And that’s exactly what hwp-contentened at Empire Genomics. This week the cancer research lab announced a new test in the treatment of blood cell cancer bringing 50 new jobs to its Michigan Avenue facility.

“We look forward to playing a role in this age of genomic based medicine and growing our company in western New York,” said Dr. Norma Jean Nowak, Founder of Empire Genomics.

As the Queen City is now on the cutting edge of science UB is moving forward with plans to relocate its school of medicine and biomedical sciences downtown. Its dental, nursing, pharmacy and public health schools will soon follow.

All this growth has generated new business and housing development.

Local real estate agent Rob Maloney says College Street, a small west side street, long forgotten is now experiencing a rebirth.

“This is a great example of a property in this neighborhood. The last time it turned over was in the 90’s it turned over at $65,000 and now it’s listed at $189,000,” said Maloney.

And there’s no shortage of people who want to live here now.

“We’re getting multiple offers on these properties three and four offers at a time and often times they’re selling either at or most times above the asking price,” explained Maloney.

The experts say medical technology will lead the Buffalo economy for a long time to come. Really, it’s been in the background here for longer than most people realize.

“Buffalo and western New York gave the nation and the world cancer research. Chemotherapy was developed here in 1904. Roswell Park Cancer Institute is the first comprehensive cancer center in the entire nation,” said Congressman Brian Higgins, D- Buffalo 27th District.

UB’s School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences will move to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus in 2016. UB is also spending $26 million dollars to build a center for remedial and vocational programs downtown, that project should be completed in 2013.

Research Shows Effectiveness of New Biomarker to Measure Prostate Tumors

New Research Uncovers Promising New Biomarker for Aggressiveness of Prostate CancerRoswell Park-led effort found increased levels of serum glutamate in both primary and metastatic prostate tumors

Research out of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) supports the adoption of a new biomarker to measure the aggressiveness of primary prostate tumors. A team of investigators from three institutions, led by Shahriar Koochekpour, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Cancer Genetics, Urology and Oncology in RPCI’s Department of Cancer Genetics, has for the first time produced data showing that levels of serum glutamate, a naturally occurring nonessential amino acid that plays a key role in cancer metabolism, are increased in patients with primary and metastatic prostate cancer.

Collaborators included James L. Mohler, MD, Gissou Azabdaftari, MD, and Kristopher Attwood, PhD, from RPCI; Robert L. Vessella, PhD, from the University of Washington School of Medicine; and Oliver Sartor, MD, from Tulane Cancer Center and the Tulane University School of Medicine. In a study involving 366 men, the team measured serum glutamate levels in 60 healthy adult males, 197 with primary prostate cancer and 109 with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer — cancer that progresses following androgen depletion therapy.

“Comparing normal, primary and metastatic prostate cancer tissues, we discovered that glutamate receptor is expressed at very high levels in primary and metastatic tumors, but at very weak or undetectable levels in benign prostate tissues,” notes Dr. Koochekpour. “And serum glutamate was detected at increased levels proportional to Gleason score, the standard index for rating prostate cancer aggressiveness and prognosis in patients with primary tumors.”

The researchers also demonstrated, for the first time, that glutamate deprivation significantly decreases the growth, migration and invasiveness of prostate cancer cell lines, suggesting potential clinical wp-contentlications. They also report that the glutamate antagonist riluzole (Rilutek), a well-tolerated oral medicine used for mood and anxiety disorders, depression and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), induces cell death while inhibiting the progression and motility of human prostate cancer cells.

“We detected one major difference between African-Americans and Caucasians in the study,” Dr. Koochekpour notes. “In African-Americans, serum glutamate levels were higher among those men with metastatic disease than in those with primary prostate cancer, and we didn’t see that trend in Caucasian men. This finding may implicate a role for glutamate metabolism in inter-racial disparities of prostate cancer.”

Dr. Koochekpour and colleagues are currently conducting a preclinical study assessing the effectiveness of riluzole in preventing growth of human prostate cancer cells in animal models, and hope to build on these results in the clinical setting within the next 12-18 months. The paper, “Serum Glutamate Levels Correlate with Gleason Score and Glutamate Blockade Decreases Proliferation, Migration, and Invasion and Induces Apoptosis in Prostate Cancer Cells,” was published October 16 in Clinical Cancer Research and can be accessed at

Annie Deck-Miller;; 716-845-8593

BMG is the 1st Physician's Group Outside of Northeast Ohio to Join Quality Alliance

As one of the oldest and largest multi-specialty physician groups in the state of New York, Buffalo Medical Group, P.C. is the first organization to join the Cleveland Clinic Community Physician Partnership’s Quality Alliance that is outside of northeast Ohio.
Improving the quality of care, the Quality Alliance program couples independent physicians with Cleveland Clinic physicians, aiming to implement thorough and reviewed best practices and evidence-based clinical protocols in order that the best possible care can be given to patients. Cleveland Clinic is an academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education.

The Cleveland Clinic Community Physician Partnership designed the network to bring about the improvement of the quality and consistency of clinical care; reduce costs and increase efficiency; and provide access to expertise, data and experience. The alliance meets these goals through physician-led review of patient care, physician-developed clinical protocols, mechanisms assuring adherence to those protocols, and common data collection and reports. With over 900 independent physician members, the Alliance is one of the third largest networks in the nation of its kind striving to standardize and improve the quality of care.

“Partnering with the Cleveland Clinic Community Physician Partnership and Quality Alliance is a logical extension of BMG’s commitment to providing exemplary care for our patients” said Irene S. Snow. M.D., Medical Director of the BMG.

Chief Medical Officer of Cleveland Clinic’s Community Physician Partnership & Quality Alliance, Tarek Elsawy, M.D., stated that “The Buffalo Medical Group is the right type of partner, as it has demonstrated through its highly engaged culture of quality and commitment to process improvement.”

BMG is committed to providing the best comprehensive care for patients, having achieved the highest level of recognition by the National Committee for Quality Assurance for Patient Centered Medical Home – the first health care provider in WNY to do so. BMG has also been recognized for its care for diabetes patients by the same committee. BMG adds more than 100 primary care, specialty care and sub-specialty physicians to the program.

Cuomo Seeks to Boost Organ and Tissue Donations in NYS with Lauren's Law

With the help of Unyts, one the leading  procurement organizations in the nation, Western New York has one of the highest organ and tissue consent rates in the country. New York State, though, is the 3rd state with the lowest consent rates for organ and tissue donations in the U.S. With 113,000 people on the national waiting list for organ and tissue donations, 9,700 of them are residents of New York State, yet, the Empire State only has 18% of its adults registered as donors. The national average is 43%.
Beginning in October 2013, the number of New York State residents who become organ and tissue donors is expected to increase based on new language on the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles driver’s license wp-contentlication. A new bill signed into legislation by Governor Andrew Cuomo, called “Lauren’s Law,” requires wp-contentlicants to check one of the two options for organ donor registration. Applicants can either check “yes” or “skip this question” under the organ registration section.

Back in June, Lauren’s Law was passed by unanimous vote by the New York State Assembly and Senate. Governor Cuomo stated that “By adding this new language to DMV wp-contentlication forms, it is our hope that many more New Yorkers sign up to be on the list of those willing to donate an organ or tissue.” Cuomo recognized Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Orange) and Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn) for their efforts to support the passing of the bill into law along with advocate Lauren Shields.

The President and CEO of Unyts, Mark Simon said that “[The bill] will result in increased donations and more opportunities for life safe and life enhancing transplants.”

Lauren Shields, who is now a 12 year old girl, received a heart transplant back in 2009. Officials named the law Lauren’s Law as a result of Shields’ advocacy efforts to help save lives by organ and tissue donations. Shields is a resident of Stony Point in Rockland County. She began her battle with heart failure when she was 9 years old, diagnosed with viral myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle), an illness preventing her heart from being able to pump blood through her body because it was so swollen. Today, as a recipient of a successful transplant and a healthy child, Shields aspires to become a cardiologist to help save lives.

For more about Shields’ story, watch the video below:

“I never want anyone to have to wait for a transplant like I did.” -Lauren Shields

To learn how to register and become a donor and help save a life, please visit


UB Ranked One of the World’s Best Universities by Times Higher Education

UB Ranked One of the World’s Best Universities by Times Higher Education

Times Higher Education has named the University at Buffalo as one of the world’s top 200 universities.

UB is ranked 198th in the 2012-13 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, up from last year’s ranking among the top 201 to 225 universities worldwide. The assessment uses 13 performance indicators to analyze how well a university is doing in core missions including teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.

“This is very good news. Moving into the top-200 will enhance UB’s already-strong reputation overseas and help us attract outstanding students from around the world,” said Stephen C. Dunnett, PhD, UB professor and vice provost for international education.

“International students are particularly conscious of university rankings, and UB’s steady ascent in various international rankings in recent years — a reflection of our strong institutional commitment to excellence — is certainly well recognized and wp-contentreciated by students and their families overseas.”

Times Higher Education is a leading higher education magazine, and the recognition of UB as a top-200 university demonstrates UB’s growing global reputation. The data for the rankings were collected by Thomson Reuters, which considered about 700 institutions in 69 countries.

In recent years, UB has invested in recruiting additional high-quality faculty, attracting researchers from around the world to Western New York. These faculty members conduct research on some of the world’s most pressing problems, and provide students with an excellent education in the classroom.

Under President Satish K. Tripathi, UB has embarked on the next phase of its UB 2020 plan for academic excellence.  With the support of the NYSUNY 2020 legislation, signed into law last year by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, UB is in the midst of a historic transformation.  The university is hiring 250 new faculty over the next five years, offering new programs to enrich students’ academic experiences and opening new facilities on its three campuses, with the goal of becoming one the world’s leading public research universities and increasing its regional economic impact.

Abroad, the university has cultivated relationships with distinguished educational institutions throughout the world, cooperating with international partners on student exchanges, joint research projects and the delivery of degree programs overseas.

At home, UB consistently places in the top 20 in the United States for international student enrollment, according to annual data published by the Institute of International Education. In 2010-11, for instance, UB had 5,185 foreign students, the 17th largest population in the nation.

John DellaContrada;; 716-645-4601

J. Craig Venter Receives Honorary Doctorate, Extols Virtues of the CTRC, UB's Newest Research Facility

[ photograph ]“I’m actually jealous,” said J. Craig Venter, speaking of UB’s Clinical and Translational Research Center, after receiving the SUNY Honorary Doctorate in Science.

World-renowned genomic researcher calls UB facility “some of the most beautiful lab space I’ve seen.”

J. Craig Venter, PhD, the pioneering biologist who led the first team to sequence the human genome, received a State University of New York Honorary Doctorate in Science at the University at Buffalo on Sept. 20. The honorary degree was conferred on him at a ceremony that followed the grand opening of UB’s Clinical and Translational Research Center in the joint UB-Kaleida Health building in downtown Buffalo.

UB President Satish K. Triapthi called Venter “one of the 21st century’s most influential scientists and widely regarded as the world’s foremost leader in the field of genetic research.” He said he couldn’t think of a more fitting individual to honor on the occasion of the CTRC opening.

The degree was conferred on Venter by Angelo Fatta, UB Foundation board of directors chair, and SUNY Trustee Eunice Lewin.

Venter, a former UB and Roswell Park Cancer Institute scientist, developed a revolutionary strategy for rapid gene discovery while working at the National Institutes of Health. He later founded The Institute for Genomic Research and, in 1995, he and his team decoded the genome of the first free-living organism. At Celera Genomics, which he founded in 1998, Venter sequenced the human genome using new tools and techniques he and his team developed. The successful completion of this research culminated with the February 2001 publication of the human genome in the journal Science.

Speaking before the audience that gathered in the fifth floor atrium of the CTRC, Venter expressed his honest admiration for UB’s newest research facility.

“I’m actually jealous,” he said, after accepting the SUNY honorary degree. “This is some of the most beautiful lab space I’ve seen and the views are always improving.” Venter then described his newest building, now under construction on the University of California San Diego campus, which, he conceded, will have even better views because it is located right next to the Pacific Ocean.

In addition to the CTRC’s physical assets, Venter praised UB and Buffalo for committing to the creation of a life sciences economy. “I’m a strong believer that the future does rest in a bioeconomy,” he said.

Venter also gave an update on genomics, describing the massive amounts of digital information that the research has produced and the challenge caused by this “digitizing of biology.” While the mammalian genome has largely been completed, he said, there is plenty of genetic diversity on the planet that has yet to be discovered.

“By sequencing the microbiome, we find we are not alone,” he said. “In addition to the 2 million human genes we have, each of us also contains about 10 million additional microbe genes. We live in a microbial world; we are visitors here.”

He and his colleagues are also looking at the vast genetic diversity in the ocean. “Every time we take a sample of seawater, we see between 1 and 3 million genes that haven’t been seen before,” he said.

While noting that the idea that it’s possible to sequence your own genome for about $1,000 may be an overstatement, he said that personalized medicine based on a patient’s genetic information “will be a standard part of medicine within a few years.”

Venter is founder and president of the J. Craig Venter Institute, a not-for-profit, research and support organization dedicated to human, microbial, plant and environmental genomic research, the exploration of social and ethical issues in genomics, and alternative energy solutions through genomics. He and his team continue to blaze new trails in genomics research and have published numerous important papers covering such areas as the first complete diploid human genome, environmental genomics and synthetic genomics.

Venter also is founder and chief executive officer of the company Synthetic Genomics Inc., a privately held company commercializing genomic advances.


Ellen Goldbaum;; 716-645-4605; @egoldbaum

GO BNMC Rewards Your Smart Commuting Choices

GO BNMC offers employees on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus incentives for choosing to save money, improve their health, and help the environment by utilizing alternative transportation options. Now BNMC employees can get rewarded for choosing greener and healthier ways to commute to and from work.
A plethora of incentives including the monthly Smart Commuting Raffle, subsidized Metro Bus and Rail monthly and weekly passes, free GO Bike Buffalo memberships, discounted and free trial Buffalo CarShare memberships, and more are available. Sign up today at www.gobnmc-old.local.

Did you know that other than walking, biking is the greenest way to get around? There are bike racks throughout the Medical Campus. Coming soon will be the walk-in secure bike stations that can be accessed by GO BNMC members, allowing bikes to be stored in a dry location. Bike shelters that will be added to the University and LaSalle Stations in the near future, and a walk-in storage facilities will be added on the BNMC for those who want to store their bike out of the elements.

Signing up to become a GO BNMC member is quick and easy. Employees simply create a profile, begin logging commutes and voilà! Once the profile is created, members can enter into the monthly raffles.

Division within WCHOB Department of Pediatrics Receives $1.1 M Grant

The Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo’s (WCHOB) Division of Neonatology received a grant for $1.1 M from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. A published SUPPORT report trial revealed that there is a lack of knowledge regarding oxygen supplementation, delivery and toxicity in newborn infants. The Optimal Oxygenation in Neonatal Lung Injury grant will be used to propel the research focusing on infant oxygen supplementation.
Neonatal resuscitation is necessary when an infant is asphyxiated. When an infant is born, its pulmonary circulation shifts in order to adjust to the environment outside of the womb. When that adjustment is not flawless and is met with immediate complications, the result can be a condition called Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN) which can be fatal.

Dr. Satyan Lakshminrusimha, the Chief of the Division of Neonatology and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University at Buffalo, is the grant’s principal investigator. His research  focuses on the pathophysiology of the cardio-pulmonary transition – how fetal lungs change at birth in order to breathe air – and disorders of this transition such as birth asphyxia, PPHN, retained lung liquid and respiratory distress syndrome.

The Division’s research goals are to deliver the best critical care to infants with respiratory depression at birth and reduce oxygen toxicity; to discover the optimum management of newborns with PPHN; and to further the treatment of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a gastrointestinal disease that disproportionately affects pre-term infants.

The grant’s disbursement over a 5-year period, with $235, 523 given to the Division each year will go towards the collection of physiological data that will help to establish guidelines for optimal oxygen delivery to premature infants.

The WCHOB has the region’s only level 4 unit in its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, meaning it can provide immediate trauma care that can evaluate, diagnose, and stabilize patients, also offering a degree of surgery and critical care services. The hospital is Western New York’s center for state-of-the-art pediatric, neonatal, perinatal and obstetrical care.

Researchers Create Approach to Analyze Genetic Disease Data More Efficiently

Collaborating with the Center for Human Genome Variation at Duke University, Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) researchers have developed a method to dexterously determine genetic factors that cause disease.
In a recent research study published in The American Journal of Human Genetics, RPCI’s Dr. Qiangian Zhu and fellow researchers have established a computational method called the “preferential linkage disequilibrium” wp-contentroach to isolate causal variants, the genetic irregularities that suggest the presence of a particular disease.

Dr. Zhu is a biostatician who is also the Assistant Member of the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics and the Director of Statistical Genetics and Genomics Resource at RPCI. Her research interests lie in developing statistically sound and computationally efficient methods to find the causal genetic variants of human diseases and traits utilizing high-throughput genetics and genomics data.

Continuing her postdoctoral research after joining RPCI, Dr. Zhu, along with her research collaborators, used variants recorded from genome-wide association studies (GWASs) that analyze people’s DNA to capture genetic variations associated with a disease. The group of researchers cross-referenced variants with a comprehensive variant catalog generated through robust “next generation” sequencing in order to identify the causal variants.

The study examined the DNA from 479 individuals of European descent. “To test our method, we ran it on five diseases for which the causal variants are known, and in every case we did identify the real causal variant,” said Zhu. The group hopes to have the method wp-contentlied to GWASs related to diseases that do not have specific causal variants, resulting in advances towards the development of targeted wp-contentroaches to treating diseases.

Fellow author of the study, David B. Goldstein, Richard and Pat Johnson Distinguished University Professor and Director of the Center for Human Genome Variation at DUMC stated that “This wp-contentroach helps to intergrade the large body of data available in GWASs with the rapidly accumulating sequence data.”

Learn more about the study: Prioritizing Genetic Variants for Causality on the Basis of Preferential Linkage Disequilibrium

Getting Around Brochure Highlights Amenities Near the BNMC

Many visit Buffalo and experience the beauty of the city and its major attractions. The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus has published an updated Getting Around Brochure featuring four of the most lively neighborhoods in the city, along with the best places to visit within each.
An array of services are listed in the brochure with itemized categories offering business names, addresses, and phone numbers. Everything from health and wellness organizations, neighborhood associations, all the way to religious organizations and night life attractions. There is also a corresponding map making it easy to find a business using the grid-style blueprint of all of the neighborhoods. The map stretches as far north as Summer Street, as far south as Huron Street, as far east as Jefferson Avenue, and as far west as Richmond Avenue.

Known for its historic and artistic character, the Allentown Historic Preservation District is a neighborhood full of life. In 1978 the neighborhood was listed as a local preservation district. Two years later in 1980, it was listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. It is home to many popular festivals, home tours, eateries, entertainment hubs and more. The spine the neighborhood has in Allen Street will be the anchor for the Western Gateway, the funneling intersection connecting the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus with Allentown through Main Street.

The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus’ consortium members bring the best in clinical, research, and medical education to one place on its 120 acre campus. With more than 12,000 employees, the Medical Campus continues to add new buildings and private companies to its list of innovative organizations. Within the confines of the campus are some of the best places to grab a lunch, have a meeting behind great scenery, and stop for cocktails after business hours.

The Fruit Belt is a residential neighborhood that has a strong community infrastructure. Established in 1839, the area is named after orchards planted throughout the neighborhood by the initial residents, the Fruit Belt is an area where more residential housing and development is underway, bringing housing options to employees looking to live near their work as more jobs are created. With many of the streets paying homage to the planted fruits by name, like Cherry, Lemon, Peach, Grape, and Orange Streets, the residents proudly pass on community unity as they look to empower the local youth, revive the shopping strips, and share the benefits of city living. In the heart of the Fruit Belt are community and senior centers, and St. Johns Baptist Church.

Theaters, sports arenas, hotels, and an overabundance of restaurants and entertainment spots line the streets weaving in and out of Downtown Buffalo’s Theater District. On any given day, one can experience a great performing arts play, afterward a musical, and later have a great dinner at a nearby establishment. There are dozens of dance clubs and bars that can conclude a nice night out on the town.

Enjoy the Getting Around brochure and experience the great amenities surrounding the area. If you can’t find your business or organization in the Getting Around brochure or would like to have copies for your organization, please let us know. E-mail us at suggestions@bnmc-old.local or call 716.854.BNMC (716.854.2662).

Safe Routes to School Program Launches at PS 74

GO Bike Buffalo has launched the Buffalo Safe Routes to School Program (SRTS) at Hamlin Park School 74 . A part of a national program promoting the benefits of walking and biking to school  for students, SRTS seeks to help students become more physically active.  SRTS also aims to reduce vehicle congestion around schools, resulting in safer access and lower exhaust emissions.
Through a technology class at Hamilton Park, the Recycle-A-Bicycle (RAB) program will be incorporated into the curriculum. At Hamlin Park, students will learn how to build bicycles using salvaged parts and they will be taught how to make environmentally sound transportation choices which will undoubtedly have an impact on the health of the communities they live in. As they grow in their understanding of the importance of being physically active, the SRTS program will also teach them how to ride bicycles safely.

With the support of City Hall representative, Council Member Demone Smith, the program’s success will most likely be included into additional Buffalo Public Schools as a useful educational program. Smith stated that “Instituting healthy lifestyles and behaviors early in life are essential to developing healthy young people and communities.  We will continue to work with GO Bike Buffalo to make improvements in the District as well as among our youngest residents.”

Medications Can Help with Smoking Cessation

A new study conducted by researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) shows that FDA-wp-contentroved stop-smoking medications can help smokers who desire to quit. By using the stop-smoking medications, the chances of quitting successfully increase.
The study was published online in the British journal Addiction. Clinical trials have shown that medications such as nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), bupropion and varenicline have been effective even though population-based studies have produced mixed results on effectiveness when medications are used outside the confines of a research study.

The International Tobacco Control (ITC) research collaboration has administered one of the largest real-world evaluations of medication effectiveness conducted to-date. They are also the first to comprehensively control biases in participants’ recall of quit attempts. The study tracked the smoking behaviors of more than 2,500 adult smokers in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and the United States who reported making a quit attempt between 2006 and 2009. The participants were asked how recently they had attempted to quit and whether they used any type of stop-smoking medication. Six-month continuous abstinence among those who recalled making a very recent quit attempt was assessed at the next follow-up interview. The results showed that those who used varenicline, bupropion or the nicotine patch had much higher quit success at six months compared to those who tried to quit without using medication.

“By restricting our analyses to those who made very recent quit attempts, we reduced the extent to which differences in quit-attempt recall could bias the estimates of medication effectiveness. Consistent with the strong evidence from clinical trials, our findings show that medications are indeed effective in increasing smokers’ chances of quitting when used in the real world,” said Karin Kasza, MA, statistician in the Division of Cancer Prevention & Population Sciences at RPCI and lead author of the study.

Ron Borland, PhD, Nigel Gray Distinguished Fellow in Cancer Prevention at the Cancer Council Victoria in Melbourne, Australia and a co-author of the study, added, “The major advance of this study is that we have been able to show that greater forgetting of unassisted failed attempts is the most likely reason other studies have not found a benefit for medication in population-based settings. This finding should reassure clinicians and public health workers to continue to encourage the widespread use of medications.”

“Despite the benefit of using medications, many smokers still try to quit without help. And even when medications are used, quitting smoking is hard, and relapses are common. Continued efforts are needed to develop and deliver more effective treatments to help smokers who want to quit,” said Andrew Hyland, PhD, Chair of the Department of Health Behavior at RPCI.

The study, “Effectiveness of Stop-Smoking Medications: Findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Four Country Survey,” can be accessed at

RPCI Welcomes New Vice Chair to Surgical Oncology Team

Steven Hochwald, MD, FACS, has joined Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) as Vice Chair, Chief of Gastrointestinal (GI) Surgery and Professor of Oncology in the Department of Surgical Oncology.
He is the former University of Florida Edward M. Copeland Professor of Surgical Oncology. He was also the Chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology and Physician Leader of the GI Oncology Center at the University of Florida’s Shands Cancer Center. His research focuses on technical advances in minimally invasive esophageal and GI surgeries and developing new targets and agents for treatment of pancreatic and other GI cancers.

A graduate of John Hopkins University, Dr. Hochwald went on to receive an MD from New York University (NYU). He did his residency at the NYU Medical Center Department of Surgery, serving as Executive Chief Resident from 1996-97, and completed clinical and research fellowships in surgical oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

“There’s a well-developed infrastructure in Roswell Park’s surgical program and a collaborative atmosphere throughout the institution,” said Dr. Hochwald. “The Institute is poised to make significant advances that will benefit cancer patients, and I’m very pleased to be working alongside this outstanding team.”

He was featured on the Best Doctors, Inc.’s Best Doctors list. In 2007, Dr. Hochwald received the Cancer Liaison Physician Outstanding Performance Award from the Commission on Cancer. He is a member of many professional societies. He serves on numerous editorial boards including: Open Surgical Oncology Journal, World Journal of Gastrointestinal Oncology, International Journal of Surgical Oncology, World Journal of Gastroenterology, Gastroenterology and Hepatology, World Journal of Surgical Procedures and Cancer Reports. He has also served on several National Institutes of Health study sections and scientific advisory boards for the American Cancer Society.

“Dr. Hochwald has been a terrific addition to our surgical team,” said William Cance, MD, FACS, Surgeon-in-Chief and Chair of the Department of Surgical Oncology. “He brings so much as a surgeon, in his interactions with patients, as a mentor and instructor, and his research complements our program beautifully.”

Unyts Welcomes National Blood Bank to Buffalo for the 1st Time

Unyts hosted the America’s Blood Centers (ABC) 50th Interim Meeting & Medical Directors Workshop conference in Buffalo for the first time. Since becoming the newest ABC member in 2010, WNY’s leading organ, eye, and tissue donation organization has joined the list of national blood bank donation centers serving the community. Unyts’ own blood bank has successfully reached its 5-year mark, having distributed over 224,000 blood products to hospital patients throughout the region.
Based in Washington, DC ABC represents over 70 independent blood centers in the US and Canada. ABC provides blood transfusion products and services to more than 3,500 hospitals and healthcare facilities across North America.

Over 140 blood bank CEOs, medical experts and other senior officials from ABC blood banks came together for the weekend conference. The Medical Directors Workshop addressed topics relating to hospitals and community blood centers. Topics included: the effect of anemia on mortality and morbidity; transfusion triggers; the coagulation cascade during severe hemorrhage; hemorrhage management; bacterial contamination in apheresis platelets; DonorHART; hemoglobin standards; government regulations; donor center policies and more.

Featured presenters from prestigious medical institutions across the nation were: Jeffrey L. Carson, MD, Professor and Chief, Division of General Internal Medicine at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ; Jeannie L. Callum, MD, FRCPC, CTBS, Director of Transfusion Medicine at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON; Jeannie L. Callum, MD, FRCPC, CTBS, Director of Transfusion Medicine at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON; Arthur W. Bracey, MD, Associate Chief of Pathology at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, Houston, TX; Mary J. Townsend, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Blood Systems, Inc., Amarillo, TX; Orieji C. Illoh, MD, Medical Officer at the Food and Drug Administration, Rockville, MD; Paul D. Mintz, MD, Deputy Director, Division of Hematology at the Office of Blood Research and Review, FDA/CBER, Rockville, MD;  Penelope Meyers, MA, MT(ASCP)SBB, Medical Technologist at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Baltimore, MD; Kevin J. Land, MD, Chief Medical Officer at United Blood Services – Texas, Scottsdale, AZ; and Gary Levy, MD, Medical Director at LifeShare Blood Centers, Shreveport, LA.

On Monday, August 6, John Bartimole, the President of WNY Healthcare Association, will talk about the Affordable Care Act Supreme Court ruling. Unyts has recognized the need to help hospitals save money, especially on the heels of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  By providing blood products to area hospitals, a strong partnership has been built and sustained, resulting in the success of the blood bank.