Monday, April 21, 2014


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$250,000 in SUNY awards to support medical research and innovation

ALBANY - Five new projects have been selected for investment by the SUNY Technology Accelerator Fund (TAF), which accelerates the development and commercialization of innovations created by SUNY students, faculty, and staff. The projects, which include advances in medical imaging, pharmaceutical, fine chemicals, petrochemical, and refining technologies, were awarded a total of $250,000, bringing the TAF to more than $1 million in support of innovation at SUNY.

“SUNY’s TAF investments sustain critical world class research for future investment and development, and represent SUNY innovations that are perfectly positioned for high impact commercialization,” said RF President and SUNY Vice Chancellor for Research Dr. Tim Killeen. “These projects showcase the level and magnitude of research conducted every day on SUNY campuses across the state and highlight the potential for forming lasting partnerships under START-UP NY.”

SUNY is widely recognized for revolutionizing the medical imaging industry, beginning in the 1970s through Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) research conducted at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Stony Brook University. Today, the industry generates an economic impact of approximately $100 billion annually.

Two of the new TAF investments continue SUNY’s MRI research:

  • University at Buffalo: Leslie Ying, PhD, associate professor of biomedical engineering at the University at Buffalo has created an algorithm that speeds the data processing and image reconstruction time for MRI scanning.
  • Stony Brook University: Balaji Sitharaman, PhD, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Stony Brook University, is developing a new carbon nanostructure-based MRI contrast agent for renal imaging.

The three additional projects receiving TAF investment today are:

  • SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and SUNY Downstate Medical Center: A screening platform for the evaluation of glaucoma drugs developed by Drs. Susan Sharfstein, Magnus Bergkvist, and Yubing Xie of the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, in collaboration with Dr. John Danias of SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
  • SUNY Upstate Medical University: Minimally-invasive Infusion and Suction Therapy (MIST), a novel medical device that removes harmful abdominal fluid buildup caused by trauma, sepsis, or burns developed by Gary Nieman, M.D., associate professor of surgery, SUNY Upstate Medical University.
University at Buffalo: Compounds that recover precious and expensive metals lost during the chemical processes are being developed by Steven T. Diver, PhD, professor of chemistry, University at Buffalo.