UB’s CTSI Community Partnership Development Seed Grant

The University at Buffalo’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) provides seed grants that support the planning of community-based participatory research projects and engagement of communities in research.
The goal of these awards is to increase the number of community-academic partnerships that are prepared to collaborate on the design and implementation of research projects, specifically those that address health disparities, aim to improve health equity, and generate preliminary data for submission of larger grants to intramural and extramural sources. Seed grants not exceeding $5,000 will be awarded to academic-community teams for:

  • Development of community-engaged research partnerships
  • Collaboration on the design of pilot research
  • Development of community-engaged research proposals for external funding

Letters of Intent are due by March 9, 2020. Selected LOIs will be invited to submit full proposals based on criteria outlined in the RFP.

CLICK HERE for more information!

UB and St. John Baptist Panel Releases Report on Creation of Economic Opportunities for Residents

UB and St. John Baptist panel releases report on creation of economic opportunities for residents of neighborhoods bordering Buffalo’s Medical Campus

UB to begin immediate implementation of panel’s recommendations

The Economic Opportunity Panel (EOP), wp-contentointed by the University at Buffalo (UB) and St. John Baptist Fruit Belt Community Development Corp. to assess how the opportunities created by the sale of the McCarley Gardens housing complex could be more accessible to the residents of McCarley Gardens and the city’s Fruit Belt, released its report today.

Last week, the panel presented its report to UB President Satish K. Tripathi and Minister Michael Chapman, consultant/CEO, St. John Baptist Fruit Belt Community Development Corp.  A copy of the report is available here (http://tinyurl.com/UB-EOP-Report).

Created in 2011 as a contingency of the future sale of the McCarley Gardens housing project to UB, the EOP, in preparing its report, met with nearly 70 community and business leaders over the past year and a half. More broadly, the panel considered how UB’s growing presence on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC), and the growth of the BNMC itself, could benefit neighboring communities.

An internal working group of UB and the church, the EOP consisted of six members with expertise in business services and procurement, job training and workforce development, minority hiring and business ventures, and leadership development.

While acknowledging that UB already meets or exceeds state-mandated targets for minority and women employment and business participation on all of its downtown Buffalo construction projects, the EOP report identified six ways the university could do more to “make economic opportunities more accessible to those in our community who have had too few such opportunities.”

The panel’s recommendations build upon the success of projects and initiatives already underway at UB to increase community access to jobs and business opportunities created by UB’s expansion in downtown Buffalo.

The panel recommended that UB:

  • Illuminate paths to good permanent jobs at the university by strengthening connections between residents and systems of education, job training, recruitment and placement that already exist.
  • Help minority- and women-owned firms – especially those based in the immediate neighborhood – form, grow and develop their businesses by securing business opportunities with UB for a wide range of routinely purchased goods and services, and other ways.
  • Engage residents of McCarley Gardens and adjacent communities in planning for UB’s downtown expansion, especially to protect and enhance the values of their properties and neighborhood as UB continues to invest.
  • Expand two-way communication between the university and the community that will be timely, transparent, participatory and operating at multiple levels.
  • Assign responsibility and create accountability for ongoing implementation of these recommendations to (1) a member of UB’s senior leadership and (2) to the UB 2020 Opportunities Advisory Council (OAC) or another wp-contentropriate entity, with a charge to facilitate the role of UB and its medical campus partners in promoting economic development in the community.
  • Facilitate collaborations in the implementation of these recommendations with UB partner institutions Kaleida Health and Roswell Park Cancer Institute, as well as Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus Inc.

Tripathi and Chapman thanked the EOP for its work and said that steps will be taken to implement the panel’s recommendations. “The EOP’s report marks the beginning of a process of community engagement, not the end,” Tripathi said.  “The university very much wp-contentreciates the panel’s efforts on behalf of UB, the church and the community.”

“We give thanks to God for this Biblically based social justice model,” Chapman said.  “The EOP has done an excellent job and we congratulate and thank them for their service on the panel and for representation of St John Baptist Church and its affiliate corporations and community at large.”

Chapman continued, “Our project is a national model; it’s the most comprehensive collaborative economic urban workforce development model.  It is our responsibility to turn the panel research into practical wp-contentlication. We expect to create employment opportunities and minority participation through SJBC Corporation and SJB Business Corporation for various positions in construction, automotive, welding, robotics, security, as well as administrative and health services.

“St John and its affiliate corporations have potentially $60 million in projects slated over the next seven years, which will provide training and employment opportunities to community residents in addition to what the University at Buffalo commits.”

Tripathi said UB will take immediate steps to implement the EOP recommendations.  Specifically, the university will:

  • Create a “jobs portal” in UB’s Downtown Gateway building on Goodell Street, where community members can learn about and wp-contently for UB jobs.  The university will work with BNMC partner institutions to expand this resource to include job opportunities at other BNMC institutions.
  • Partner with the BNMC to develop and provide career workshops, education and training opportunities for residents.  These programs will be tied to new and existing programs within UB’s Economic Opportunity Center, local agencies and area colleges to prepare residents for employment.
  • Hire a director of supplier diversity and hold supplier workshops describing and clarifying ways local minority- and women-owned companies can do business with the university.
  • Work with BNMC partners to promote the use of MWBE (minority- and women-owned business enterprise) vendors in new and existing buildings.
  • Open and staff a UB community relations office in UB’s Downtown Gateway Building to serve as a “front door” to the university for residents.  The university will create a “co-laboratory” space within the building where community members can interact with the university and hold meetings and public forums.
  • Continue to engage residents through regular community forums to discuss UB’s plans for growth on the BNMC and reuse of McCarley Gardens, and offer specific sessions on job opportunities, parking and transportation, health impacts and other topics of interest to the community.
  • Offer additional leadership training programs to residents who wish to be active in shaping the future of their community and their interactions with UB and BNMC.
  • Publish a monthly community newsletter and increase its availability throughout the neighborhood.
  • Assign responsibility for implementing EOP recommendations to a senior staff person at the university.

With the submittal of its report, the EOP will disband.  The UB 2020 Opportunities Advisory Council will serve as a primary economic development liaison between the university, the community and BNMC partners.  The council, established in 2010, will work with the university and community to ensure that the EOP’s recommendations are addressed, and will pursue additional ways UB and BNMC partner institutions can open up new economic opportunities to community residents.

Members of the  UB 2020 Opportunities Advisory Council include chairperson June W. Hoeflich, member, UB Council; Michael Badger, pastor, Bethesda World Harvest International Church; Ravinder Bansal, chairman and CEO, AirSep Corp.; Robert Bragg, vice president, decision support and campus development, Kaleida Health; Deanna Alterio Brennen, president and CEO, Niagara USA Chamber of Commerce; Matt Enstice, executive director, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus; Thomas A. Fentner, senior vice president, human resources and administrative services, HealthNow New York Inc.; Vicki Garcia, vice president, human resources management, Roswell Park Cancer Institute; Laura Hubbard, vice president for finance and administration, UB.

Also, Anthony Johnson, CEO, Empire Genomics; Mary Lou Klee, director of corporate employment and corporate human resources, Kaleida Health;  Michael Pietkiewicz, assistant vice president of government and community relations, UB; Michael Sexton, general counsel and chief institute operations officer, Roswell Park Cancer Institute; Brian C. Springer, executive vice president, Roswell Park Cancer Institute; and Paul E. Tesluk, Donald S. Carmichael Professor of Organization and Human Resources, UB School of Management.

Members of the EOP included Dennis Black, vice president for university life and services, UB; Colleen W. Cummings, former executive director, Buffalo Employment and Training Center; Hoeflich; Brenda W. McDuffie, president and CEO, Buffalo Urban League; Hon. James A.W. McLeod, Buffalo City Court judge; and Tesluk.

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

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.

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