UB Medical School Launches Community Magazine

UB Medicine will chronicle transformations in WNY health care, including the school’s move downtown

The University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences has launched a new magazine to inform the community about the school’s pivotal role in medical education, research and advanced patient care in the region.

The inaugural issue of UB Medicine, published this week, provides an overview of the historic changes underway in the school and the ways in which UB and its health care partners are transforming Buffalo’s medical-science landscape.

It features articles about:

  • The new UB medical school to be built on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus
  • The new UB Clinical and Translational Research Center and how it has helped position Buffalo as a leader in biomedical research
  • The nine nationally prominent medical educators and scientists recently recruited to the medical school to chair departments; and
  • How the medical school, under the leadership of Dean Michael E. Cain, MD, vice president for health sciences, is working with health care partners in the community to create a more efficiently integrated health care system for Western New York.

To read a pdf version of the magazine, click here http://bit.ly/11W1iJL.

“These developments represent change on an order of magnitude few in our generation have known and provide a unique opportunity for our entire community to take part in an initiative that will benefit our region and its medical school long into the future,” says Cain.

“UB Medicine will keep our alumni and community wp-contentrised of this collaborative effort and serve as a way to chronicle and celebrate its many milestones.”

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

UB, Kaleida Win Green Construction Award

UB Reporter Story: Published June 20, 2013

The new medical building in downtown Buffalo shared by UB and Kaleida Health received two honors at a local construction awards ceremony.

The 11th annual “Brick by Brick” awards, presented by Buffalo Business First, recognized Kaleida’s Gates Vascular Institute and UB’s Clinical and Translational Research Center, which occupy the same footprint at the burgeoning Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

The $291-million building, a significant step in UB’s effort to relocate its medical school downtown, won the Golden Brick award, which is essentially the ceremony’s building of the year award.

Kaleida occupies the building’s lower floors, which are dedicated to the surgical and interventional management of cardiac, vascular and neurological conditions, as well as a 16-bed highly specialized intensive care unit and a 62-bed short-stay unit.

UB is using its portion of the building to expand its focus on translating basic medical research into new medical breakthroughs, innovative treatments and new economic opportunities.

The building also took the “Best Green Project” award.

The UB portion was designed to be certified gold under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. It has an array of sustainability features that minimize how much energy the building consumes and make use of natural light.

Additionally, the building is located near mass transit systems and is composed of materials from local sources.

UB last year received two “Brick by Brick” awards: one for Barbara and Jack Davis Hall, the new School of Engineering and Applied Sciences building, and the other for the William R. Greiner Residence Hall, a sophomore dormitory.

New UB Educational Opportunity Center Location Opens

The new 68,000-square-foot, $26 million University at Buffalo (UB) Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) located at 555 Ellicott Street will officially open on Friday, June 14. The unveiling of the state-of-the-art facility will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tours of the state-of-the-art building beginning at 10 a.m.
Offering educational, life-changing educational services,  the EOC serves students lacking traditional educational resources through its training center located within the new building. Connected to UB Downtown Gateway building at 77 Goodell Street (the former M. Wile building) via a 5,000-square-foot connector, the EOC also provides academic and vocational programming for the various health fields expected to be in great demand in the community, especially on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

In its 40th year “serving our community through Tuition-Free innovative academic and vocational training programs leading to gainful employment,” the EOC has a thriving group of alumni and current students, dedicated faculty and staff, and an ongoing commitment to help residents of the Buffalo community achieve their educational and career goals.

Programs include the: Registered Medical Assistant Program; Certified Dental Assisting Program; Medical Billing and Coding Program; Medical Clinical Lab Technician Program; Electronic Health Records Program; Certified Nurse Assistant Review Classes; and more. For more information about the programs offered, click here.



The opening of EOC is another milestone in UB’s expansion in downtown Buffalo. In September, UB opened its Clinical and Translational Research Center in the joint UB-Kaleida Health building at Goodrich and Ellicott Streets. The new School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is expected to open on the Medical Campus in 2016.

UB, Empire Genomics Partner with Life Technologies to Accelerate Innovative, Genetics-based Clinical Research in WNY

Collaboration Will Strengthen Regional Life Sciences Industry

Empire Genomics, Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE) and the University at Buffalo (UB) will embark on a new partnership to develop world-class gene sequencing facilities for genetics-based clinical research on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

The collaboration capitalizes on each organization’s strengths to help establish a new standard for genomic research in Western New York and continue to grow the life sciences sector of the region’s economy.

Life Technologies, a global provider of biotechnology products and services, will provide state-of-the-art genome sequencing equipment enabling UB and Empire Genomics to establish their initial set up of Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-certified sequencing facilities on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

The advanced sequencing technology available from Life Technologies, combined with the expertise of UB researchers and the Empire Genomics team, will help clinical researchers develop new diagnostic tests that, in the future, could enable physicians to prescribe treatments tailored to each individual based on genetic make-up.

“We are very pleased that after carefully looking at all of the alternatives, the University at Buffalo and Empire Genetics decided that Ion semiconductor sequencing was the best platform to help them reach their goal of advancing genetics-based clinical research, and ultimately driving growth in the life sciences industry in Western New York,” said Mark Stevenson, president and chief operating officer at Life Technologies.

Achieving CLIA certification will enhance and expand the services Empire Genomics and UB provide to clients across the globe, and holds the promise of spawning new diagnostic tests for a number of diseases or conditions. The results will eventually lead to new tools to deliver better health care while growing new jobs in Western New York.

“This collaboration is a great example of the impact that can be made when industry and academic partners work together toward shared goals,” said Marnie LaVigne, PhD, associate vice president for economic development at UB. “We look forward to continuing to partner with Life Technologies and Empire Genomics on these efforts to support the advancement of genetics-based clinical research and the life sciences as key economic drivers in our region.”

The CLIA-certified laboratories will be set up at UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences and at the downtown Buffalo headquarters of Empire Genomics, a provider of genetics-based research and testing services.

“Genetics-based diagnostics will play a major role in developing personalized medicine, and that in turn will create new job opportunities in Western New York,” said Norma J. Nowak, PhD, founder and chief scientific officer at Empire Genomics and director of science and technology at UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences. “Leveraging our combined strengths will ensure that we remain at the forefront of technological and research capabilities while making greater long-term contributions to the public health.”

*All products referenced are for Research Use Only and not intended for use in diagnostic procedures, unless otherwise noted.

Kerry Jones Waring (UB CoE);  kerryjon@buffalo.edu
;716.881.7997

Media Coverage:

Collaboration Brings Genetic Testing to Med Campus

UB, Life-sciences Firms Partner on Gene Sequencing

 

 

UB is Recognized Nationally as a 'Next Generation University'

National public policy institute says UB and 5 other universities are models for national higher education reform

The University at Buffalo is among six public research universities from across the country recognized in a new report by the New America Foundation for “embracing key strategies that make them models for national reform.”

UB and the other “next generation universities”—Arizona State University, Georgia State University, University of California-Riverside, University of Central Florida and University of Texas-Arlington—were cited in the report by New America Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, public policy institute, for the strategies they’ve used to expand enrollment and achieve higher graduation rates in a cost-effective manner despite declining revenues.

UB was noted, in particular, for working with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature to enact the NYSUNY 2020 legislation, as well as for its innovative wp-contentroaches to expanding student access while improving the quality of education, including its “Finish in 4” graduation pledge.

“Opening the doors of opportunity to a world-class education is a guiding priority for UB as a 21st century public research university,” says UB President Satish K. Tripathi. “We’re pleased that we are steadily earning national recognition for our efforts in this regard. As we realize our UB 2020 vision of academic excellence, we are focused on providing a transformative educational experience for our students. And we are working equally hard to ensure that this experience is available to all students with the talent and dedication to pursue it.”

Charles F. Zukoski, UB provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, says the report reinforces UB’s position as “an innovator in delivering exceptional value in education and research.”

“We have built and are expanding educational programs that focus on issues faced by our students and the larger society that recognize the role higher education plays in advancing individuals and society,” Zukoski says. “Our programs focus on delivering the skills that will enable our students to enter the workforce immediately upon graduation—and with minimal debt—and be successful over the course of their careers.”

The New America Foundation report, titled “The Next Generation University,” notes that at a time when many public universities are “failing to respond to the nation’s higher education crisis,” these six institutions are “breaking the mold by boldly restructuring operating costs and creating clear, accelerated pathways for students.”

“These universities are continuing their commitment to world class research while increasing enrollment and graduation rates, even as the investments from their states have declined,” the report says.

“With the economy stuck in neutral, tuition prices and student loan debt skyrocketing, and parents and students increasingly questioning the value of a college degree, our public institutions urgently need a different wp-contentroach to the challenge of educating an increasingly diverse mix of students at a reasonable cost,” the report says.

“Public universities can move onto a more prosperous financial footing and provide more students with a high-quality education at the same time—if they take advantage of the strategies that the next generation universities…have pioneered.”

The report features case studies of the six universities that highlight each institution’s strategies for success. The universities were chosen for inclusion in the report based on a detailed analysis of federal education data. The institutions were studied through a series of site visits, interviews with campus personnel and an analysis of institutional policies.

New America Foundation representatives visited UB on Feb. 26, meeting with Tripathi, Zukoski, other members of the UB senior leadership, a student group and a representative group of faculty from across the disciplines.

The report praises the next generation universities for developing new revenue sources and strategies to reduce costs. UB was cited for forging a partnership with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature—the NYSUNY 2020 legislation passed in 2011, which resulted in historic public higher education reforms for the state, including a predictable tuition policy and a $35 million challenge grant enabling the university to move forward with plans to move the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

The report notes that these increased revenues have enabled UB to add more than 300 undergraduate course sections in high-demand classes to help students graduate in a timely fashion. They also support the university’s plans to hire 250 additional faculty members.

The report specifically mentions UB’s “Finish in 4” program that pledges to provide entering UB freshmen with the academic resources they need to graduate in four years.

To read the New America Foundation report, click here.

John DellaContrada (UB); dellacon@buffalo.edu; 716.645.4601

Insulin Fights Inflammation and Even Small Amounts of Glucose Trigger it in Type 1 Diabetics

Findings of small UB study are significant for understanding, treating infections in Type 1 diabetics

A small University at Buffalo (UB) study has found for the first time that in Type 1 diabetics, insulin injections exert a strong anti-inflammatory effect at the cellular and molecular level, while even small amounts of glucose result in “profound inflammation.”

The findings show that in Type 1 diabetics, insulin has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect. This effect essentially suppresses the important pro-inflammatory protein called HMG-B1, which facilitates the synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines (messenger proteins) that induce even further inflammation when secreted and released by the injured cell.

The work builds on previous research by the investigators in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, which showed that insulin had the same anti-inflammatory effect in obese and Type 2 diabetes patients, but it highlights some important differences.

According to the paper, published in February in the American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism, insulin’s anti-inflammatory effect takes longer to occur in Type 1 diabetics, about six hours, as opposed to two hours in Type 2 diabetics and obese patients. It also took about six hours for inflammatory markers known as reactive oxygen species to wp-contentear in Type 1 diabetics after glucose infusion whereas it took wp-contentroximately one to two hours in Type 2 diabetics and obese patients.

“The reason for this delayed response to insulin and glucose in Type 1 diabetes patients is not clear and requires further investigation,” says Paresh Dandona, MD, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Medicine; chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism in the UB medical school; and first author on the study. “It is possible that these patients have a more intense level of inflammation, which requires a greater effort to induce a change.”

Another significant difference was found when the Type 1 diabetics were infused with glucose alone. While Type 2 diabetics and obese patients demonstrated no changes in glucose concentrations when administered small amounts of glucose, there was a small but significant increase in glucose concentrations in the Type 1 diabetics.

“The infusion of small amounts of glucose, 5 grams per hour over four hours, leads to a profound inflammatory effect, including the generation of the HMG-B1 protein,” says Dandona. “Since 20 grams of glucose is the equivalent of just four teaspoonfuls of sugar, this has extremely important implications for Type 1 diabetics.”

According to Dandona, even relatively small and brief increases in glucose concentrations induce an increase in the expression of inflammatory markers, such as toll-like receptors (proteins that play a key role in the innate immune system) and others at the cellular and molecular level in Type 1 diabetics, because they have no insulin reserve.

“Our findings show that even a small amount of carbohydrate cannot be tolerated by Type 1 diabetics without the protection of injectable insulin even over a short period of time without the risk of inflammation,” he says. “This has profound implications for the severity of inflammation in patients with infections and in terms of taking insulin before meals.”

In the study, 10 Type 1 diabetics received either insulin infusions of two units per hour with 100 milliliters of dextrose per hour or just the dextrose, following an overnight fast. Blood samples were collected at intervals of zero, two, four and six hours after the infusions.

In the group that received insulin plus dextrose, markers of inflammation were suppressed and blood sugar readings stayed normal, at around 100 mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter).

But those who received just dextrose experienced a blood sugar spike from 115 mg/dl after fasting to 215 mg/dl at four and six hours, as well as an increase in the generation of key inflammatory markers. These include reactive oxygen species and several toll-like receptors, which may be involved in inflammatory processes, including gram positive and gram negative infections, metabolic inflammation as associated with obesity and diabetes and atherosclerosis.

“We were interested in these inflammatory markers in particular because although Type 1 diabetics are already being treated with insulin injections, they can be susceptible to infections and other inflammatory conditions, which lead to very serious, even life-threatening, complications, such as septicemia,” he said.

“Based on these observations, we are now beginning a study on meals taken with and without insulin in Type 1 diabetics, so that we can better understand what missing even a single insulin injection at mealtime means to a Type 1 diabetic patient,” he concludes.

Co-authors with Dandona, all from UB, are Husam Ghanim, MD, research assistant professor; Kelly Green and Chang Ling Sia, research assistants; Sanaa Abuaysheh, research associate; Nitesh Kuhadiya, MD, UB medical resident; Manav Batra, UB medical resident; Sandeep Dhindsa, MD, and Ajay Chaudhari, MD, both formerly associate professors at UB.

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

New UB Medical School Design Revealed


The University at Buffalo (UB) unveiled the HOK design for the new School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences building to be constructed atop the NFTA Allen/Medical Campus station on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

Medical-School-Design-1Since winning the international design competition for the medical school concepts last year, HOK has worked closely with UB officials, the SUNY Construction Fund and community groups to develop the design best suited to the needs of the medical school while strengthening connections with the surrounding community. The design process is still underway, but is expected to be finalized within the next few months. The groundbreaking for the 7-story, more than 500,000-square-foot school is scheduled for the fall of 2013. The medical school will be one of the largest buildings constructed recently in the region when it officially opens in 2016.

Expected to bring an additional 2,000 faculty, staff and students to the Medical Campus, the steel-framed, state-of-the-art facility will feature a 6-story, light-filled glass atrium. The building’s façade will be clad with a high-performance terra cotta rainscreen and a glass curtain wall system that will bring daylight deep into the building. A convenient facility amenity will include bridges connecting to the two L-shaped buildings, the soon-to-be-built John R. Oishei Children's Hospital and Conventus medical office building.

Medical-School-Sidebar-1Serving as the building’s main interior “avenue,” there will be an atrium that will provide naturally illuminated by skylights and two glass walls, one along Washington Street and the other toward Allen Street.

Floor layout:

The medical school’s administrative offices and academic departments will be located on floors 3-7. It will also house a surgical simulation center where medical students can conduct surgeries in a simulated operating room. A complementary robotic surgery simulation center will train students and physicians in the latest remotely controlled robotic surgery technologies.

Aligning with key objectives from the UB 2020 strategic plan, the medical school will help create of a world-class medical school, increase recruitment of outstanding scientists, physician-scientists and clinicians to the university and transform the region into a major destination for innovative medical care and research.

“The new design allows us to grow our class size from 140 to 180, educating more physicians, many of whom will practice in the region,” said Michael E. Cain, MD, vice president for health sciences at UB and dean of the medical school.  “It allows UB to hire more talented faculty, bringing to this community much-needed clinical services and medical training programs.”

Medical-School-Sidebar-2The new design also provides the most efficient layout for state-of-the-art medical education and research as it looks to receive LEED gold certification. A pedestrian passageway will extend through the building between Main and Washington Streets, leading to the Allen Street Western Gateway. To further promote alternative transportation modes, the passageway is deliberately aligned with a proposed Allen Street pedestrian extension from Washington to Michigan Streets, which will feature a bike share facility.

Cain also stated that “faculty conducting scientific and translational research will be in close proximity to faculty performing clinical care in the hospitals” and that the new design will establish “a complete continuum from discovery to patient care on one campus and in modern facilities expressly designed to efficiently maximize the medical school’s primary missions of education, clinical service and research.”

With the medical school so close to major teaching hospitals like Kaleida Health's Buffalo General Medical Center and Roswell Park Cancer Institute and research facilities like the Clinical Translational Research Center, UB will be made into a strong academic and health care contender, much like Cleveland Clinic and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

For UB's downtown campus, the medical school will help create a vibrant, urban, mixed-use district seamlessly connected to the surrounding Allentown and Fruit Belt neighborhoods and other downtown communities. The $375 million medical school is partly funded by the NYSUNY 2020 legislation and private donations.

Read coverage about the medical school design unveiling below:

New UB Medical School is Designed to be an Integral Part of its Community

UB Unveils Med School Design (More Images)

UB Unveils New Downtown Medical Facility Design (With Photos)

UB Unveils School of Medicine Design

UB Unveils Design for Downtown Medical School: Building to be “Gateway”

UB Offers Images of Future Medical School

*Pictures retrieved from the University at Buffalo/HOK

*YouTube video created by the University at Buffalo

First Niagara Gives UB Land for Medical School

UB Acquires the Last of 3 Properties to Move Forward with Medical School Construction

First Niagara Financial Group Inc. has given the University at Buffalo (UB) a .85 acre of land to be incorporated into the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences site. The parcel of land at 973 Main Street is where a current First Niagara bank branch is located.

Although the land is considered a donation, in exchange for $1 First Niagara offered the land, worth wp-contentroximately $2 million, to assist UB in its quest to acquire the third property necessary for the building of the medical school.

Recognizing the importance of the land in UB's plan for the medical school, First Niagara's interim president and chief executive officer, Gary Crosby, stated that “We are committed to doing great things in our community and we are proud to collaborate with UB in order to provide the final piece of the puzzle for the new medical school to move forward.” He also stated that First Niagara is highly supportive of the region's efforts to continue being a recognized leader in life sciences, innovation and research.

Satish K. Tripathi, UB's president, said that “With [this most recent] acquisition, UB can move ahead with its plans for the new medical school, which will help to dramatically improve health care and medical education in our region while providing a significant boost to the local economy.”

UB Med School HOK2The $375 million, 520,000-square-foot medical school will be located on the corner at Main and High Streets.

With high expectations to improve health care throughout Western New York and to attract patients from other areas, the move of the medical school will also contribute to the growing world-class Medical Campus and its vision to attract the best and the brightest. The medical school will be able to graduate more physicians who will most likely stay and practice in the area. Medical school students will have the opportunity to receive a great and invaluable educational experience while near facilities like the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, Buffalo General Medical Center, Gates Vascular Institute, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the UB Clinical and Translational Research Center and others.

“UB will attract the most promising medical students and world-class faculty,” said Michael E. Cain, MD, UB vice president for health sciences and dean of the medical school. “The prospect of a brand new, 21st century medical school next to teaching hospitals and state-of-the-art research laboratories in downtown Buffalo is helping UB to recruit top physicians and scientists, some of whom are already here.”

UB will add several new clinical service areas within the new medical school, providing specialty care and health services not currently offered in the region. Faculty will pursue cutting-edge research and collaborations with member institutions will lead to advanced care for patients.

On October 1st, First Niagara will relinquish the property to UB, later opening a new branch on the BNMC.  Until the new branch opens, a temporary branch will be located at 1031 Main Street.

The groundbreaking for the new building is set for September and construction is expected to be completed in 2016.

*Design rendering by HOK , a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm.

Read more about the this announcement below:

First Niagara Donating Downtown Land for UB Medical School

Land Donation Leads to First Niagara Branch Shuffle

First Niagara Provides Land for New UB Medical School Project

First Niagara Donates Land for New UB Med School

First Niagara Giving UB Main Street Land for $1

More UB Medical School Students Choose Buffalo for Their Residencies

Fifty percent more students in the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences have chosen a UB residency program this year than last year, according to statistics compiled on the graduates at Match Day 2013 held March 15.
Match Day is the day when medical school students around the country find out where they will do their postgraduate training, called a residency, which lasts from three to seven years, depending on the specialty chosen.

Thirty-eight out of the 150 students who make up the Class of 2013 have chosen to stay in Buffalo and do their residencies at UB, up from 24 in 2012, according to Roseanne C. Berger, MD, senior associate dean for graduate medical education.

“This is a vote of confidence in UB’s residency programs,” says Berger. “We do know that the residents have a tendency to remain in the areas where they train, so many will start their careers here, providing quality health care for our region.”

“We’re excited to see this,” agrees David A. Milling, MD, senior associate dean for student and academic affairs in the UB medical school.  “We have recruited so many new faculty and the quality of our training programs continues to improve, so students are more receptive, not only staying in Buffalo for postgraduate training, but some who leave also will return once their training is complete. The growth of the Buffalo Niagara Medical campus, including the forthcoming medical school downtown, is also attracting young physicians here.”

Seventy-three percent of the UB Class of 2013 are New York State residents. A total of 75 students, half of the class of 2013, will stay in New York State to do their training.

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

Private Sector Investment on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

Post from Buffalo Niagara Enterprise Blog: Development Discussions
By Alan Rosenhoch, Business Development Manager, Buffalo Niagara Enterprise

Conventus redering by Kideney Architects

Conventus rendering by Kideney Architects

Conventus (Latin for “coming together”) is a brand new seven-story medical building being developed by Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation at the northern gateway of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC). Designed to be a center for collaborative medicine, it will be anchored by Kaleida Health and UBMD. Ciminelli expects to open the building in the spring of 2015.

I had the opportunity to ask the President and CEO of Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation, Paul F. Ciminelli, a few questions:

Q: You recently began site preparation work on the Conventus project; what does this project represent for the BNMC and the region’s life sciences industry?

A: There are two aspects of this project that represent major milestones in the development of the Medical Campus. First of all, Conventus is the first significant private investment on the campus, which is indicative of our strong commitment to the BNMC and our belief in its vision. Private dollars send a strong message to our community and to other markets that the Campus is a viable initiative and worth the investment.

Secondly, Conventus’ adjacency and physical connections to the new Children’s Hospital and the new UB School of Medicine, is groundbreaking in its collaborative wp-contentroach to the needs of the patients, physicians, researchers and students. Coupled with its location at the northern gateway to the Campus, Conventus facilitates a seamless connection among all of the major medical-related facilities at the northern end.

Q: How much space will be taken by the two anchor tenants, Kaleida and UBMD, and how much space will remain for future tenants?

A: Kaleida will occupy wp-contentroximately 85,000 sq. ft. on the 2nd and 3rd floors, which are the floors where connections will be made to Children’s and the Medical School, as well space on the ground floor for their Blood Draw and Pharmacy. UBMD will occupy 60,000 sq. ft. on the 4th floor and a portion of the 5th floor. A major regional bank will occupy a portion of the ground floor as well. Based on the inquiries we have had to date, we expect to have tremendous interest in the remaining square footage, and that full occupancy will be achieved quickly.

Q: What types of tenants are you seeking for the balance of space? For what type of company would you consider Conventus to be ideal space?

A: As with all of our projects, we will identify potential tenants that are synchronous with the existing tenant base and with the overall vision of the Campus. We refer to Conventus as a “center for collaborative medicine” because of the multiple disciplines that will be housed in and facilitated by our physical connections to the Hospital and UB’s School of Medicine. We look forward to accommodating clinical, educational, practical and research components at Conventus, as well as other healthcare-related tenants.

Q: You are targeting LEED Gold Certification for this project; why is sustainable design, building elements and operation so important to Ciminelli?

A: In 2008, Ciminelli made a commitment to pursue LEED certification with all of our projects going forward because of our commitment to minimizing our environmental footprint and to developing high-performing buildings. From an ownership standpoint, it has a definite positive impact on the long-term operating efficiencies of the building. From a tenant’s perspective, LEED certification translates to a healthier, more efficiently run environment in which to work. It’s a win-win.

Q: Conventus is not planned to be a one-shot project for Ciminelli on the BNMC; what else do you have on the drawing board for the near and long-term future?

A: The core of our business is being able to see the big picture; the ability to put pieces of a puzzle together and create synergies within every development project we undertake. This is what our company does best, and why we are committed to supporting the BNMC’s vision. We have purchased additional property at 33 High Street directly across from Conventus and Children’s Hospital and adjacent to UB’s site for the Medical School in anticipation of continued growth. As things continue to evolve on the Campus and we see possibilities for future needs there, we will pursue strategic developments to support those needs.

Q: Plans call for Conventus to connect to the Allen Street NFTA Metro Rail station; how does this fit into your overall plan to connect different parts of the region?

A: Ciminelli is a strong proponent of transit-oriented development, as evidenced by our two current projects under construction: Bethune Lofts (Main Street and Hertel Avenue), and Conventus. Developing along our transit lines facilitates connectivity among vibrant areas of Buffalo Niagara such as the UB South Campus University District, the Hertel Avenue district, the Medical Campus and Canalside. As it stands today, the NFTA Metro Rail station will be connected to the new UB School of Medicine at Allen Street. It should be noted that, while there is a connection from that building to Conventus, its use will be somewhat restricted.

Q: Conventus represents the first significant for-profit private sector-led development on the BNMC; what makes your company so bullish on the future of the campus?

A: Ciminelli has owned property on the Campus for 20 years, so we’ve been a part of it since its early stages. We saw things begin to evolve as the plan was rolled out. We’ve seen similar models succeed in cities of comparable size and demographics to Buffalo, so we knew it could work here, especially with it being so close to our Central Business District and being on a main transit line. All of the components were there; all it needed to take it to the next level was significant private sector investment. We were the first, but we know we won’t be the only ones. Additional private sector support will hwp-contenten on and around the Campus.

“My life works in Buffalo Niagara because of the tremendous quality of life we have in a relatively low-cost environment, the great educational institutions that supply a talented workforce, and because of the friendliness of its people. I love it here!”

– Paul F. Ciminelli

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