Learn at the Innovation Center Opens at the Thomas R. Beecher Jr. Innovation Center on the Medical Campus

For Immediate Release
Contact: Susan Kirkpatrick, skirkpatrick@bnmc-old.local 716-866-8002

Learn at the Innovation Center Opens at the Thomas R. Beecher Jr. Innovation Center on the Medical Campus

First Niagara support adds another tool for start-up businesses

 

Buffalo, N.Y., December 9, 2015 – The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. (BNMC) has recently opened Learn at the Thomas R. Beecher Jr. Innovation Center on the Medical Campus, designed to provide education and training to entrepreneurs and their growing companies. Learn at the Innovation Center was made possible through a $50,000 two-year grant from First Niagara Bank.

The new classroom-type setting is outfitted with the latest in technology and is designed to create a dynamic learning environment. Located on the first floor of the Innovation Center at 640 Ellicott Street, the 1,500 square foot suite includes a main classroom for up to 30 people and private conference spaces. Learn will be used by the BNMC business development team for its programs and will also be available to other partners that are dedicated to supporting the region’s growing entrepreneurial community.  Capstream Technologies provided the audio-visual and digital technology and Mid-City Office Furniture provided the furniture for the new space.

Learn complements the array of amenities currently offered by the BNMC at the Innovation Center that are focused on supporting small and mid-size companies seeking office, wet lab, or research space and support on a month-to-month basis or via longer-term leases. The facility is designed as a “plug and play” set-up whereby tenants enjoy a fully operational menu of office services without having to worry about facilities maintenance issues. Service providers are co-located in the building to provide legal, financial, marketing, and IT support. Tenants also have access to collaborative space, conference rooms, kitchen facilities and a fitness center. Additional workspace also includes dig, a cowork and event space. As the region’s largest local business incubator, the Innovation Center also offers networking events, workshops, educational forums, as well as mentoring and start-up assistance for young companies.

Vic Nole, Director of Business Development for the BNMC commented, “Learn at the Innovation Center now gives us a dedicated place to hold more targeted learning and problem solving forums for companies and individuals that need access to specific business networks and expertise.  We are delighted that First Niagara has recognized the value in supporting the creation of this space in a way that will really benefit the start-up community. The Center will be a tremendous complement to the already rich portfolio on the Medical Campus.”

The Innovation Center is the centerpiece of the BNMC’s Business Development office that actively identifies and evaluates new business opportunities, educates and provides mentorship to entrepreneurs, and creates, incubates, and grows new companies in Buffalo.

“First Niagara is very proud to launch Learn at the Innovation Center as a central resource on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus to spur entrepreneurship, business development and job growth. The Center will facilitate the collaboration and resource sharing necessary for companies to take root and grow in our city,” said Buford Sears, Regional President, Western New York.  “First Niagara’s team of experts will help staff the space to provide financial workshops, cultivate relationships and provide business services needed to develop new companies.  We are looking forward to the opportunities Learn will present to increase economic development in Buffalo and build a thriving community.”

Learn will be used primarily for programs offered by the BNMC and its partners including Start Up CEL and Student Sandbox.  The facility will also be offered to outside organizations dedicated to the entrepreneurial community. For more information about programs offered though Learn at the Innovation Center, contact Vic Nole at vnole@bnmc-old.local.

 

About the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. (BNMC)

 

The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. (BNMC) is a self-sustaining social enterprise successfully combining innovation, job creation, and urban revitalization. It serves as the umbrella organization of the anchor institutions that make up the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus located within the 120-acre campus bordering Allentown, the Fruit Belt and Downtown. The BNMC fosters conversation and collaboration among its member institutions, its partners and the community to address critical issues impacting them, including entrepreneurship, energy, access and transportation, workforce and procurement, neighborhoods, and healthy communities, with the goal of increasing economic development and building a strong community. bnmc-old.local.

Roswell Park Scientists Advance Findings About Novel, Low-Toxicity Anticancer Agent

New FL118 formulation may prove effective against colon, head/neck, mesothelioma, ovarian and pancreatic cancers

Researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) have found that a new formulation of a promising anticancer agent, the small chemical molecule FL118, is even more effective in controlling two types of cancer than a version reported in PLOS ONE six months earlier proved to be. Additional evidence also suggests that the agent may successfully treat other solid tumors as well.

In their previous research, a team led by Fengzhi Li, PhD, Associate Professor of Oncology in RPCI’s Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, demonstrated that FL118 eliminated human colon and head-and-neck tumors in animal models without relapse but was limited in that it could be delivered only by intraperitoneal (IP) administration. This new study, to be published in the April 8 issue of the American Journal of Translational Research, compares the earlier formulation of the agent to a new version that can also be administered intravenously, translating to much wider potential clinical wp-contentlication.

Comparing the antitumor efficacy and therapeutic index, or relative toxicity, of FL118 in its new intravenous (IV) formulation with the earlier form, the researchers found that maximum tolerated dose increased three- to seven-fold, depending on dosing schedule. While the original formulation contained Tween 80 or polysorbate 80, a solvent commonly included in drug formulations, the agent in its new composition is free of Tween 80, resulting in significantly lower toxicity.

FL118 is a targeted therapy that selectively inhibits the expression of four major cancer-survival gene products: survivin, Mcl-1, XIAP and/or cIAP2. While both studies tested the agent’s effectiveness against models of head-and-neck and colon tumors, other research from Dr. Li’s lab suggests that mesothelioma, ovarian and pancreatic cancers, and potentially other solid tumors, may also be good targets for treatment with FL118.

“This work represents a significant move forward,” notes Dr. Li, senior author on the study. “We’re targeting four of the most resilient and pervasive cancer survival mechanisms, and because the findings from preclinical testing have been so striking, we’re anxious to see FL118 tested in the clinical setting.”

Xiang Ling, MD, PhD, a senior scientist in RPCI’s Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, is co-author of the paper, “An intravenous (i.v.) route-compatible formulation of FL118, a survivin, Mcl-1, XIAP, and cIAP2 selective inhibitor, improves FL118 antitumor efficacy and therapeutic index (TI).” The study was e-published today and is available at http://goo.gl/y0oZy.

The work was supported in part by grants from the U.S. Department of Defense (PC110408), Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation and Roswell Park Alliance Foundation, and by shared resources supported by the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Center Support Grant to RPCI (P30CA016056).

Annie Deck-Miller, RPCI Senior Media Relations Manager; annie.deck-miller@roswellpark.org; 716.845.859

New Biotech Companies Move Into Innovation Center on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

The Thomas R. Beecher, Jr. Innovation Center is pleased to welcome Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) spin-off companies Tartis Aging, Inc., and OncoTartis, Inc., as its newest tenants. The companies will occupy a combined 5,700-square-foot of wet lab and office space on the fourth floor of the building. Approximately half of this space will be built up as the companies continue to grow in size. Tartis
OncoTartis and Tartis Aging are discovery-stage biotechnology companies seeking novel anti-cancer and anti-aging drugs. Their proprietary technologies are licensed from the laboratories of Andrei Gudkov, PhD, from RPCI.

Dr. Gudkov was recruited to Buffalo by RPCI and other local partners in 2007. He moved his research lab and his first commercial company, Cleveland BioLabs, Inc. (CBLI), from the Cleveland Clinic to serve as Senior Vice President of Basic Science and Chair of the Department of Cell Stress Biology at Roswell Park.

The laboratory building at 73 High Street, shared with Cleveland BioLabs, Inc., had been the first home for both corporations. With 15 employees and a growing portfolio, the two companies have outgrown the space available on High Street but wanted to remain on the BNMC.

“We are very hwp-contenty to find space in the Innovation Center, which allows us to expand our research and at the same time continue to be close to our colleagues at CBLI and Roswell Park,” said Aleksandra Kotlyarova, Director of Operations for both companies.

“OncoTartis and Tartis Aging are perfect examples of what we need to see more of here in Buffalo,” said Patrick J. Whalen, Chief Operating Officer of the BNMC, Inc., which owns and operates the Innovation Center. “Dr. Gudkov and Cleveland BioLabs moved to the BNMC several years ago to better collaborate with Roswell Park Cancer Institute, and thanks to the groundbreaking research at Roswell Park, they continue to grow and spin off companies, creating more jobs and economic-development opportunities in Buffalo as they evolve.”

Kari Bonaro (BNMC, Inc.); kbonaro@bnmc-old.local; 716.218.7157

New Biotech Companies Move Into Innovation Center on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 11, 2013

For more information, contact:

Contact Kari Bonaro
kbonaro@bnmc-old.local, 716.218.7157

(BUFFALO, NY) – The Thomas R. Beecher, Jr. Innovation Center is pleased to welcome Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) spin-off companies Tartis Aging, Inc., and OncoTartis, Inc., as its newest tenants. The companies will occupy a combined 5,700 sq. ft. of wet lab and office space on the fourth floor of the building. Approximately half of this space will be built up as the companies continue to grow in size.

OncoTartis and Tartis Aging are discovery-stage biotechnology companies seeking novel anti-cancer and anti-aging drugs. Their proprietary technologies are licensed from the laboratories of Andrei Gudkov, PhD, from RPCI.

Dr. Gudkov was recruited to Buffalo by RPCI and other local partners in 2007. He moved his research lab and his first commercial company, Cleveland BioLabs, Inc. (CBLI), from the Cleveland Clinic to serve as Senior Vice President of Basic Science and Chair of the Department of Cell Stress Biology at Roswell Park.

The laboratory building at 73 High Street, shared with Cleveland BioLabs, Inc., had been the first home for both corporations. With 15 employees and a growing portfolio, the two companies have outgrown the space available on High Street but wanted to remain on the BNMC.

“We are very hwp-contenty to find space in the Innovation Center, which allows us to expand our research and at the same time continue to be close to our colleagues at CBLI and Roswell Park,” said Aleksandra Kotlyarova, Director of Operations for both companies.

“OncoTartis and Tartis Aging are perfect examples of what we need to see more of here in Buffalo,” said Patrick J. Whalen, Chief Operating Officer of the BNMC, Inc., which owns and operates the Innovation Center. “Dr. Gudkov and Cleveland BioLabs moved to the BNMC several years ago to better collaborate with Roswell Park Cancer Institute, and thanks to the groundbreaking research at Roswell Park, they continue to grow and spin off companies, creating more jobs and economic-development opportunities in Buffalo as they evolve.”

About the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) is dedicated to the cultivation of a world-class medical campus for clinical care, research, education, and entrepreneurship on 120 acres in downtown Buffalo. It is home to the region’s top clinical, research, and medical education institutions, including: the University at Buffalo, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Olmsted Center for Sight, Kaleida Health, Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, Buffalo Medical Group, Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center, Unyts, and the Center for Hospice and Palliative Care. There are over 40 public and private companies on the BNMC. More than 12,000 people come to work at the Medical Campus every day, and BNMC institutions see over one million patients and visitors annually. The Campus has an annual economic impact of $1.5 billion on the region. The Medical Campus consists of more than 6 million square feet of research, clinical, and support space.  bnmc-old.local

About Roswell Park Cancer Institute

The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. RPCI, founded in 1898, was one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit RPCI’s website at http://www.roswellpark.org, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email askrpci@roswellpark.org.

About the Thomas R. Beecher Innovation Center

The Thomas R. Beecher, Jr. Innovation Center, located at 640 Ellicott Street in downtown Buffalo, is a LEED-certified research and development space housing life sciences and biotech companies, as well as companies offering support services like IP attorneys, talent acquisition, sales, and marketing. This state-of-the art facility is designed to accommodate small to medium companies seeking office, wet lab and/or research space, on a month-to-month basis or via longer term leases, located in the heart of the thriving Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. There are currently 40 companies located in the building.

The Innovation Center is owned and operated by the BNMC, Inc., a not-for-profit organization that fosters conversation and collaboration among its member institutions, their 12,000 employees, and the community; coordinates activities related to sustainable planning, development and enhancement of its 120-acre space; and works to create a distinct, innovative environment that provides opportunities for entrepreneurship and active and healthy living.

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International Partnership to Train and Educate Future Nanotechnologists in Zimbabwe

The University at Buffalo (UB) welcomed Minister of Science and Technology Development of Zimbabwe, Professor Heneri Dzinotyiweyi to Buffalo to tour its Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics (ILPB) and New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences (CoE). Both research facilities will play a role in the international academic partnership with the University of Zimbabwe and Chinhoyi University of Technology.
Receiving the award to establish a Fogarty International Center AIDS International Training and Research Program (AITRP) in 2009, UB professor, CoE associate director, and director of Translational Pharmacy Research Gene D. Morse, PharmD and collaborators set out to use the award for its intended purpose, providing education and training for HIV-related research in low- and middle-income countries.

UB Robin DiFrancesco, Zimbabwe Minister, Dr. Dzinotyiweyi, and Charles Chiedza MapongaThrough the Zimbabwe International Nanotechnology Center (ZINC), the collaboration will primarily serve as a nanotechnology research program where UB will help educate and train young researchers at the University of Zimbabwe  and the Chinhoyi University of Technology to wp-contently nanotechnology to treat and prevent prevalent diseases like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in the south-African country. Nanotechnology is molecular manufacturing on a 100 nanometer or smaller scale. Nano-particles (particles with dimensions less than 100 nanometers) have become important to the equation of new HIV/AIDS drug development because they can provide effective treatment options with shortened duration of therapy, reduced systemic side effects and limited development of drug resistance.

With 14 percent of Zimbabwe’s population living with HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis as a co-infection, the need for new drugs and new formulations of available treatments is crucial.

To prepare for ZINC implementation and discuss logistics, Morse and Paras Prasad, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Chemistry, Physics, Medicine and Electrical Engineering and Samuel P. Capen Chair of Chemistry invited Professor Dzinotyiweyi to Western New York. “Professor Dzinotyiweyi’s visits to the ILPB, as well as the center, provided an opportunity for faculty leaders, regional scientists and public officials to discuss the recently announced international collaboration of UB and ZINC,” says Morse.

A public symposium will take place in Harare, Zimbabwe on March 18th and 19th. The symposium will include representatives from government, academia and the community. Meetings in Zimbabwe and Buffalo are scheduled to help all participants continue to get acquainted.

A future hope is to develop partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, drawing private-sector investments. In addition to that goal, a positive effect on economic development is expected to take place in Western New York and in Zimbabwe.

Roswell Park in Top 6% of U.S. Centers for Blood and Marrow Transplant

RPCI’s BMT patient results superior to expected outcomes

For the third consecutive year, outcomes for patients receiving blood and marrow transplants through the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) are among the best in the nation. The latest report compiled by the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) puts RPCI in the top 6% of U.S. centers performing allogeneic blood and marrow transplants, based on patient survival rates.

Allogeneic blood and marrow transplantation (BMT) involves infusion of bone marrow or blood cells from a donor, and is commonly used to treat many blood cancers, including some forms of leukemia, multiple myeloma and lymphoma. The CIBMTR (website: http://www.cibmtr.org) is an international research organization that collects and publishes data from centers that perform blood and marrow transplants. Its 2012 report includes outcomes data for 169 U.S. centers. The report, which analyzed related and unrelated donor BMTs performed between 2008 and 2010, places RPCI among 10 centers whose one-year survival results were above what could be expected based on the level of acuity or risk represented among the transplanted population.

The RPCI population was once again assigned to the highest risk category, indicating that the Institute’s BMT cases during the period covered were among the most complicated. Factors such as degree of tissue match/mismatch between donor and recipient and the type of transplant being performed can add risk to these already-complex procedures.

“These outcomes, which have been consistently high for the last three years, are a direct product of the multidisciplinary interaction on which our care is based,” noted Theresa Hahn, PhD, an Associate Professor of Oncology at RPCI and Director of Quality Assurance for the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program. “Our outstanding clinical team has put every effort into constantly improving the experiences of our patients, and that work involves many of Roswell Park’s teams, including our Department of Medicine clinicians, nursing staff, case management, our blood cell apheresis and processing lab, the departments of Laboratory Medicine, Pathology, Radiation Medicine, Radiology and Psychosocial Oncology, our clinical pharmacy staff, physical and occupational therapists, dieticians and housekeeping staff.”

Annie Deck-Miller, RPCI Senior Media Relations Manager; annie.deck-miller@roswellpark.org; 716-845-8593

Roswell Park Study Finds Substantial Use of E-Cigarettes by Smokers

Nearly 80% of smokers who use electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, believe the devices are less harmful than traditional cigarettes, according to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine and authored by a team of scientists led by Richard O’Connor, PhD, Associate Professor of Oncology and Director of the Tobacco Research Laboratory at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI).
“This study offers a snapshot in time on the use of e-cigarettes from mid-2010 to mid-2011 and examines awareness, use and product-associated beliefs among current and former cigarette smokers in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom,” said Dr. O’Connor.

Nearly 6,000 adult smokers from the four largest English-speaking countries participated in the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Four Country Survey. Study results include:

  • Overall, 46.6% of those surveyed were aware of e-cigarettes (US: 73%, UK: 54%, Canada: 40%, Australia: 20%)
  • Younger, non-minority, heavy smokers with higher incomes were more likely to be aware of e-cigarettes.
  • Younger, non-daily smokers and those who believe e-cigarettes to be less harmful than traditional cigarettes were four times more likely to try e-cigarettes.
  • E-cigarette use was higher among non-daily smokers and those who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day.
  • 79.8% of smokers believe using e-cigarettes is less harmful than smoking traditional cigarettes.
  • 85% of current e-cigarette users indicate that they are using the devices as a tool to help them quit smoking, yet only 11% had successfully stopped smoking.

“This study provides valuable insights into the use and attitudes surrounding e-cigarettes among smokers,” adds Dr. O’Connor. “However, questions remain regarding the impact of these devices in nonsmokers, such as what potential exists to induce nicotine addiction in non-smokers and/or maintain addiction in current smokers who might otherwise stop smoking.”

Regarding future steps, the researchers suggest that the net impact of e-cigarettes on public health be examined. If evidence shows that e-cigarettes reduce the number of cigarette smokers and do not attract use among nonsmokers, they note, then the net public health effect is likely to be positive.

The study, “Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems International Tobacco Control Four-Country Survey,” will be published online today at http://www.ajpmonline.org.

Annie Deck-Miller, RPCI Senior Media Relations Manager; annie.deck-miller@roswellpark.org; 716-845-8593

 

Pharmacy Opens in Innovation Center on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

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For Immediate Release
Thursday, January 10, 2013

For more information:
Contact Kari Bonaro
kbonaro@bnmc-old.local, 716-218-7157

Pharmacy Opens in Innovation Center on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

Mobile Pharmacy Solutions (Formerly VascuScript) Offers Prescription Delivery Services, In-Home Visits, and More in New Location

(BUFFALO, NY) – The Thomas R. Beecher, Jr. Innovation Center is pleased to welcome Mobile Pharmacy Solutions (MPS), a full service, brick and mortar pharmacy, locally owned and operated, as one of its newest tenants. MPS is located on the first floor of the building in 2,495 sq ft of brand new, state-of-the art space. Its hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

While also functioning as a community drug store, MPS implements home-based services for patients including in-home pharmacist consultations, free delivery and/or mailing of prescription and over-the-counter medications, advanced courtesy refills, medication therapy management, immunizations, and specialty compounded medications. When the pharmacy is physically closed, patients still have access to an on-call pharmacist through an automated system 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. MPS employs 17 team members, including six pharmacists.

“We are thrilled to be a part of the Medical Campus community, and look forward to helping to meet the needs of the nearby Fruit Belt and Allentown community residents, as well as patients and employees on the Medical Campus and in the central business district,” said Dean P. Trzewieczynski, RPh., Chief Operating Officer of Mobile Pharmacy Solutions. “Working closely with our affiliates, we are able to offer unique services to our customers, beyond traditional retail pharmacies. The success of this model can be attributed to the ability of the care team to interface with other health care providers such as nurse practitioners, physicians, surgeons, physician assistants, therapists, etc. to provide a higher level of patient care.”

Formerly known as VascuScript while operating in Cheektowaga, Mobile Pharmacy Solutions is affiliated with Mobile HealthCare Connections, a collaboration of service providers delivering a wide range of innovative medical care, remote vital signs telemonitoring, in-home primary care and streamlined pharmacy services –all delivered directly to the patient’s home. The triage and clinical monitoring centers are staffed with fully trained nurses who analyze and evaluate remotely monitored patients. They provide coaching, patient support and notifications to primary caregivers in cases of readings outside established parameters.

About the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) is dedicated to the cultivation of a world-class medical campus for clinical care, research, education, and entrepreneurship on 120 acres in downtown Buffalo. It is home to the region’s top clinical, research, and medical education institutions, including: the University at Buffalo, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Olmsted Center for Sight, Kaleida Health, Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, Buffalo Medical Group, Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center, Unyts, and the Center for Hospice and Palliative Care. There are over 40 public and private companies on the BNMC. More than 12,000 people come to work at the Medical Campus every day, and BNMC institutions see over one million patients and visitors annually. The Campus has an annual economic impact of $1.5 billion on the region. The Medical Campus consists of more than 6 million square feet of research, clinical, and support space.  bnmc-old.local

About the Thomas R. Beecher Innovation Center

The Thomas R. Beecher, Jr. Innovation Center, located at 640 Ellicott Street in downtown Buffalo, is a LEED-certified research and development space housing life sciences and biotech companies, as well as companies offering support services like IP attorneys, talent acquisition, sales, and marketing. This state-of-the art facility is designed to accommodate small to medium companies seeking office, wet lab and/or research space, on a month-to-month basis or via longer term leases, located in the heart of the thriving Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. There are currently 40 companies located in the building.

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New Vaccine Research Aims to Prevent Recurrent Ear Infections

Lab in UB’s Clinical and Translational Research Center is one of few in the world studying an increasingly prevalent bacterium, once considered harmless
Children’s ear infections cause more than pain and sleepless nights; they temporarily disrupt hearing when children are at a critical age for speech and language development.  They also have major social and economic costs.

But while infants and children receive immunizations against infections caused by Haemophilus influenzae and pneumococcus, there is no vaccine against Moraxella catarrhalis, an increasingly prevalent bacterium that causes at least ten percent of otitis media cases.

Now, University at Buffalo scientists, among just a handful of researchers in the world studying this organism, have received a $1.5 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to develop a vaccine against it. The researchers are among the first tenants in UB’s Clinical and Translational Research Center, which opened in September on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

The goal of the current research, funded by the NIH’s National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, is to identify new virulence mechanisms for this understudied pathogen, identify the structure of a candidate antigen for a new vaccine and develop a new vaccine.

According to Timothy F. Murphy, MD, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Microbiology in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and principal investigator on the NIH grant, research on M. catarrhalis has lagged because it was originally believed to be a “commensal” or harmless bacterium. While it does cause milder cases of middle ear infections (otitis media) than other bacteria, Murphy said it is becoming more prevalent. Preliminary evidence also shows that existing ear infection vaccines are changing colonization patterns among otitis media pathogens, possibly increasing the prevalence of M. catarrhalis infections.

“Of the 15 to 20 million cases of otitis media each year in the U.S., about ten percent are recurring, causing incredible disruption for the child and the family,” explains Murphy. “When a child has the infection, the middle ear fills with fluid, a condition that can last for a month or longer. During that time, the child’s hearing is muffled, which disrupts the normal development of language and speech skills, potentially resulting in long term delays and learning problems in school.”

Recurrent ear infections also require repeated courses of antibiotics, which then contribute to the global problem of antibiotic resistance. Some children must undergo insertion of drainage tubes under general anesthesia.

“The best option would be to prevent these infections in the first place,” says Murphy.

The goal of the UB researchers is to identify M. catarrhalis antigens that are very similar among all strains so that a vaccine based on a single antigen will protect against as many strains of the bacterium as possible.

“Based on our results thus far, it looks like we will be able to identify antigens that are identical or very similar among all strains and genetic lineages,” says Murphy.

He and his colleagues are using bioinformatics to identify genes predicted to encode proteins on the surface of the organism, construct a gene chip to test which of more than 300 possible genes on the surface are identical or similar among multiple strains and then clone genes for some of the predicted proteins for testing in in vitro and mouse models.

The UB group is now testing several promising vaccine antigens that they have identified. A new vaccine could be ready for human testing in three to five years.

Murphy and his colleagues at UB are global leaders in the study of M. catarrhalis in otitis media in children and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations in adults. Their hope is that the same vaccine could be used to prevent both kinds of infections.

In addition to directing the M. catarrhalis research, Murphy directs UB’s Clinical and Translational Research Center and is senior associate dean for clinical and translational research in the UB medical school. For more than a decade, Murphy has studied how M. catarrhalis causes both otitis media in children and infections in chronic obstructive COPD in adults.

Ellen Goldbaum (UB); goldbaum@buffalo.edu; 716.645.4605

BNMC, Inc. Names New Chief Financial Officer

Banner LetterheadFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMonday, January 7, 2013

For more information, contact:

Kari Bonaro, Director of Communications
kbonaro@bnmc-old.local or 716.218.7157

 

BNMC, Inc. Names New Chief Financial Officer

(BUFFALO ) – The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. (BNMC, Inc.) recently named Patrick J. Kilcullen its Chief Financial Officer. As CFO, Kilcullen will be responsible for the accounting and financial operations of the BNMC and related entities.

He most recently served as Vice President of Finance and Administration for Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation in Williamsville, NY. Prior to that, he was Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of the Albright Knox Art Gallery. He has also acted as an independent consultant and worked in the pharmaceutical and public accounting industries.

Kilcullen graduated with a B.B.A. from Niagara University. He resides with his wife and three children in Newfane.

ABOUT THE BNMC, INC.

Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. is the umbrella organization created in 2001 by the institutions located within the Medical Campus. The BNMC, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that fosters conversation and collaboration among its member institutions, their 12,000 employees, and the community; coordinates activities related to sustainable planning, development and enhancement of its 120-acre space; and works to create a distinct, innovative environment that provides opportunities for entrepreneurship and active and healthy living. The BNMC, Inc. is led by a dynamic team dedicated to creating innovative, sustainable environments.

 

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Molecule Inhibitor, CFAK-Y15, Could Treat Certain Brain Cancers

Researchers from Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) have published findings from a preclinical study assessing the effectiveness of a small-molecule inhibitor, CFAK-Y15, in treating some brain cancers. The paper, published in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, demonstrates for the first time that inhibiting the protein focal adhesion kinase (FAK) with CFAK-Y15 is an effective wp-contentroach to controlling growth of glioblastoma tumors, especially in combination with the standard chemotherapy agent temozolomide (Temodar).
FAK is overexpressed, or produced in excessive amounts, in tumor cells, and has been shown to play a key role in survival of cancer cells. In this study, a team led by Vita M. Golubovskaya, PhD, an Associate Professor of Oncology in the Department of Surgical Oncology, found that animal models treated with CFAK-Y15 demonstrated significantly prolonged survival compared to the control group. CFAK-Y15 provides FAK kinase-specific inhibition by upstream targeting of autophosphorylation sites on the FAK protein. It belongs to a class of ‘two for one’ compounds that also inhibit the oncoprotein Src by inhibiting its autophosphorylation.

“We found that CFAK-Y15 significantly decreased the viability of the glioblastoma cells, and in many cases wp-contenteared to cause tumor shrinkage — especially when CFAK-Y15 was given in combination with temozolomide,” noted Dr. Golubovskaya, the paper’s first author. “These compounds target FAK signaling, which is critical for cancer cell and cancer stem cell survival, especially in invasive and metastatic cancers.”

“We’re eager to see this research move to the clinical phase because of the great need for more effective treatments for glioblastoma,” noted senior author William G. Cance, MD, FACS, Surgeon-in-Chief and Chair of the Department of Surgical Oncology. “The potential impact is great because glioblastomas are such an aggressive tumor, and because we know they produce FAK in especially high quantities.”

The authors also included researchers from the University of California at San Diego and faculty from the Department of Pathology at RPCI. CFAK-Y15 is being developed by CureFAKtor Pharmaceuticals LLC (www.curefaktor.com). Drs. Cance and Golubovskaya, both of whom also serve on the management team of CureFAKtor, were part of the team that first identified CFAK-Y15, in research published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry in 2008.

The new abstract and paper, “Pharmacological blockade of FAK autophosphorylation decreases human glioblastoma tumor growth and synergizes with temozolomide,” can be accessed online at http://mct.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2012/12/12/1535-7163.MCT-12-0701.

This work was supported by Susan Komen for the Cure Foundation grant BCTR0707148 and three National Cancer Institute (NCI) grants: R01CA065910, R01HL073396, and the NCI’s Cancer Center Support Grant for Roswell Park Cancer Institute (P30CA016056).

Annie Deck-Miller, RPCI Senior Media Relations Manager; annie.deck-miller@roswellpark.org; 716-845-8593

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:

Roswell Park Recognizes Staff, Community Supporters at 5th Annual Eva M. Noles Progra

RPCI LogoFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEDecember 12, 2012
Contact: Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager
716-845-8593; annie.deck-miller@roswellpark.org

Roswell Park Recognizes Staff, Community Supporters at 5th Annual Eva M. Noles Program
Scholarship awarded to RPCI employee in tribute to Buffalo’s first African-American nurse

BUFFALO, NY — DeMarco Ogletree, a cashier in the Nutrition & Food Service Department at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI), earned the $2,000 Eva M. Noles Scholarship Friday, December 7 at the fifth annual Eva M. Noles Scholarship and Community Recognition Breakfast at RPCI. The annual program honors the legacy of Eva M. Noles, RN, Buffalo’s first African-American registered nurse and a longtime RPCI employee who served in many leadership roles at the Institute, including as Director of Nursing.

Ogletree joined the Roswell Park staff in the spring of 2012. He is presently pursuing degrees in both nursing and theology at Erie Community College and plans to continue his work in healthcare, helping to fight health disparities in the Buffalo area. “From his first days with us, DeMarco has committed himself wholeheartedly to the Roswell Park mission,” said David Scott, RPCI Director of Diversity and Inclusion. “He has contributed greatly as an employee, and now we have a great opportunity to reward that commitment — which embodies the work, spirit and legacy of Ms. Noles — and help him achieve his career goals by providing a scholarship toward his studies.”

Darius G. Pridgen, Pastor of True Bethel Baptist Church in Buffalo and Ellicott District Councilmember for the City of Buffalo, gave the keynote address at the program, during which several RPCI staff members and volunteers were recognized for their role in providing cancer education and preventive outreach to underserved communities throughout Western New York. Among those recognized were Georganne Alexander, a volunteer with the Buffalo/Niagara Witness Project; Ramon Luciano Jr., a volunteer with  Minorities Allied for the Need to Understand Prostate Cancer (MAN UP); Carmen Sepulvedad, a volunteer with the Esperanza y Vida Project; and Gloria Quarles, a volunteer who serves on Roswell Park’s Community Advisory Steering Committee.

Staff and volunteers were also recognized for their contributions to Cruisin’ for a Cure, a prostate cancer education and screening event held at RPCI in September, and to the African American Roswell Employee Network, whose activities include year-round community outreach on behalf of RPCI.

The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. RPCI, founded in 1898, was one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit RPCI’s website at http://www.roswellpark.org, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email askrpci@roswellpark.org.

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); goldbaum@buffalo.edu; 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; annie.deck-miller@roswellpark.org; 716-845-8593

State and Private Sector Investment on BNMC to Create 250 Jobs for Region

Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that New York will invest $50 million in state of the art biomedical research equipment and facilities, and has secured an agreement from a private company, Albany Molecular Research Inc. (AMRI), to locate on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus a new drug discovery research and development center. This investment, $35 million of which will go towards new equipment and $15 million of which will go towards improving existing lab space, will leverage $200 million in private investments and create 250 jobs. More details on this development as well as the Buffalo Billion Investment Development Plan can be found here.  http://www.governor.ny.gov/press/12042012-buffalo-billion-investment-plan.
Wondering how this investment model really works? Fahreed Zakaria from CNN’s “Global Lessons: Putting America to Work” recently highlighted how this model was successful in Albany, where New York State invested in core infrastructure and equipment as an incentive to attract private sector companies. Watch the video here – http://www.cnse.albany.edu/Files/Downloads/Video%20Clips/CNNGlobalCrisp6.mov.

Read coverage about the  announcement below:

Announcements show Cuomo’s commitment to WNY

Cuomo, $50 million bring Albany firm, 250 jobs to Medical Campus

Cuomo Touts Drug Company’s 250 Jobs for Medical Campus

$50M biomedical facility planned for Buffalo

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; dellacon@buffalo.edu; 716-645-4601

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

 

Glick Receives National Editorial Award for Third Consecutive Year

For release: November 5, 2012Sara R. Saldi; saldi@buffalo.edu
University at Buffalo
716-645-4593

Glick Receives National Editorial Award for Third Consecutive Year

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Michael Glick, DMD, professor and dean of the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, has been awarded the American Dental Education Association’s (AADE) William J. Gies Foundation First Place Editorial award for the third year in a row. The presentation of the award was made during the annual meeting of the American Association of Dental Editors (AADE) Oct. 17 in San Francisco.

A photo of Glick is available at: http://www.buffalo.edu/news/13782.

Since 1958 the William J. Gies Editorial Award has been presented yearly to the author of the most valuable editorial published in a dental journal or periodical. The AADE and the William J. Gies Foundation for the Advancement of Dentistry of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA Gies Foundation) collaborate each year to identify and recognize award recipients.

Glick received the 2012 award for his editorial in the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA): “Clinical Judgment: A Requirement for Professional Identity.” He won the same award in 2011 for his JADA editorial, “Education and Training: Two Different Proficiencies Necessary to Provide Oral Health Care” and in 2010 for a JADA editorial, “Expanding the Dentist’s Role in Health Care Delivery: Is it time to discard the Procrustean bed?”

The award is named for William J. Gies, a biochemistry professor from Columbia University who, in 1926, published a landmark report on dental education in the U.S. and Canada. Each year, dental editors from across the country submit their best editorials to be considered for the award. The editorials are reviewed by the William J. Gies Foundation Editorial Award Judging Committee, which makes the selection.

Glick, who became UB dean in December 2009, is editor of JADA, the premier, peer-reviewed journal in dentistry. Glick is known for his innovative, medicine-oriented wp-contentroach to dental care; he is an advocate for having dental students think of themselves as health care professionals first, and dentists second.

This is the fourth year in a row that a faculty member from UB’s School of Dental Medicine has won the award. In addition to Glick’s awards in 2010 and 2011, Chester J. Gary, DDS, JD, clinical assistant professor in restorative dentistry, was the recipient in 2009.

Glick has published more than 200 articles, book chapters and monographs on topics related to oral medicine. He has also led the way in the area of clinical dental care for medically complex patients, including those with HIV. He is a proponent for dentists to become involved in the overall health and well-being of their patients, which may include chair-side screening of dental patients for cardiovascular disease and other chronic illnesses.

WCHOB and RPCI Partner to Create New Pediatric Hematology Oncology Center

Continuing efforts to create a multifaceted children’s hospital, Kaleida Health‘s Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo (WCHOB) and Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) have partnered to build a pediatric hematology oncology center in the new John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital.
Signing a memorandum of understanding to plan the new center today, the WCHOB and RPCI have begun the planning process for this physician-led initiative to combine their services, creating a single center of excellence for pediatric inpatient/outpatient care. The proposed Center will incorporate inpatient beds, an outpatient clinic, isolation beds for blood and bone marrow transplant/high-dose therapy patients, and infusion facilities for chemotherapy and blood products, all in a protected environment on the top floor of the new hospital.

Both institutions are two of the most prominent healthcare institutions in WNY, providing pediatric hematology-oncology services for more than forty years. Currently, WCHOB provides specialty pediatric services essential to the care of these children including surgery, anesthesia, intensive care, and diagnostic imaging. RPCI provides oncology clinical leadership and services including radiation therapy, certain highly-specialized diagnostic services, blood and marrow transplants and clinical trials. RPCI is expected hold a long-term lease for the Center and will be responsible for its medical direction. The planned Center will continue to capitalize on the unique expertise of both institutions.

“This partnership between the two organizations is an excellent example of the many opportunities the new John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus is granting,” said Teresa Quattrin, MD, Chair, Department of Pediatrics, Professor of Pediatrics, SUNY at Buffalo, and Pediatrician-in-Chief, Chief, Division of Endocrinology-Diabetes, Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. “We look forward to continuing to create this integrated Hematology & Oncology Unit to further enhance the care provided to patients and their families throughout Western New York and beyond.”

WCHOB is submitting its Certificate of Need wp-contentlication for the new hospital to the New York State Department of Health on November 2nd. RPCI anticipates to submit the Certificate of Need for the Pediatric Hematology Oncology Center by the end of the year.

“Each institution contributes unique expertise and services to children and young adults with cancer and blood disorders such as sickle cell disease, hemophilia and anemia. The new hospital presents a great opportunity to develop a true pediatric Center of Excellence,” said Martin L. Brecher, MD, Chair of Pediatrics at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Chief of Hematology Oncology at Women & Children’s Hospital and Chief of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology in the Department of Pediatrics at the University at Buffalo.

James R. Kaskie, President and CEO of Kaleida Health stated that “Together, and in conjunction with the University at Buffalo academic programs, we will jointly operate a center of excellence for children with cancer and blood diseases where expert clinical services are provided, innovative and pioneering research is advanced to find a cure and improve treatment options, and current and future health care professionals are trained and educated.”

“Management of cancer is best provided in facilities where hospital inpatient beds and outpatient facilities are in close proximity. The relocation of the children’s hospital to the medical campus provides the opportunity to pull together what have been two physically separate outpatient and inpatient units into a single, expanded service comprehensive facility to serve the needs of children of all ages with blood diseases and cancer,” said Donald L. Trump, MD, President and CEO of RPCI.

Each institution’s respective Board of Directors recognizes that the relocation of the WCHOB to the BNMC presents a unique opportunity to take an excellent pediatric hematology oncology program and make it extraordinary by bringing all the services together in a new state-of-the-art hospital. Philanthropic support for the hospital and for the pediatric hematology oncology center will be required to make the program consolidation a reality.

The 12-story, 430,000 sq. ft. John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital is scheduled to open in 2016.

Buffalo-Area Pharmacists Say No to Tobacco Sales in Pharmacies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 29, 2012
Contact: Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager
716-845-8593; annie.deck-miller@roswellpark.org

Buffalo-Area Pharmacists Say No to Tobacco Sales in Pharmacies

BUFFALO — More than 75 percent of Western New York pharmacists say tobacco sales in pharmacies should be legally banned, according to research conducted by Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) and the University at Buffalo (UB), published in BMC Research Notes. The study found that more than 86% of pharmacists surveyed would prefer to work in a pharmacy that does not sell tobacco products.

The research, led by James Marshall, PhD, Senior Vice President for Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences at RPCI, evaluated the opinions of Western New York pharmacists about the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies and about their role in helping their patients to stop smoking.

“The sale of tobacco products in pharmacies in any locality sends conflicting messages to consumers who visit pharmacies for medication or health products,” said Dr. Marshall. “Pharmacists, dedicated to protecting the health of their customers, recognize tobacco sales as contrary to their professional ethics. They would, in overwhelming numbers, prefer not to be selling cigarettes. This research will inform policymakers and elected officials as they consider regulations of tobacco sales in pharmacies.”

The 2010 survey evaluated opinions of 148 pharmacy mentors from the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (UBSoPPS) and 345 local supervising pharmacists. Participants were contacted by mail and email. The combined response rate for both surveys was 31%.

The pharmacist’s role in assisting patients to stop smoking also was evaluated. The survey found that more than 75% of pharmacists say they “sometimes” or “rarely/never” ask about tobacco use. The majority of pharmacists also indicate that they are not required to document tobacco use among patients or to enter such information into patient records.

“A striking finding is that pharmacy mentors were more likely than supervising pharmacists to be familiar with patients’ tobacco use and take steps to offer advice and information about how to quit smoking,” said Peter Brody Jr., PharmD, Director of Experiential Education at UBSoPPS. “It was also surprising that area pharmacists seemed not to take full advantage of the opportunity to educate and counsel patients regarding tobacco use. We need to better understand why and do what we can to help correct this issue.”

“This research presents several interesting findings, including that the overwhelming majority of pharmacists would support legislation banning the sale of tobacco in pharmacies,” added Edward Bednarczyk, PharmD, Chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice at UB. “Importantly, this study also shows a considerable gap between theory and practice, with a substantial majority of pharmacists finding the sale of tobacco in pharmacies inwp-contentropriate, but doing little to prevent the sale or engage patients regarding tobacco use and smoking cessation.”

The study, Tobacco sales in pharmacies: a survey of attitudes, knowledge and beliefs of pharmacists employed in student experiential and other worksites in Western New York,” can be accessed at http://www.biomedcentral.com/1756-0500/5/413/abstract.

The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. RPCI, founded in 1898, was one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit RPCI’s website at http://www.roswellpark.org, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email askrpci@roswellpark.org.

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 http://clincancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2012/10/10/1078-0432.CCR-12-1308.

Annie Deck-Miller; annie.deck-miller@roswellpark.org; 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.

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