Leadership & Administration

Venu Govindaraju, PhD

Vice President for Research and Economic Development, University at Buffalo

Venu Govindaraju is the Vice President for Research & Economic Development and SUNY Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York (UB). As Vice President he is responsible for the overall management of UB's research enterprise, including research funding, research administration and compliance, research communications, research support, university/industry relations and economic development. Read more about Venu Govindaraju, PhD.

Norma J. Nowak, PhD

Executive Director, New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences

Norma Nowak is an acclaimed researcher – a recognized leader in the human genomics field – and an entrepreneur. Her research contributed directly to the Human Genome Project, as well as to genomic-based approaches to understanding heritable disorders and cancer. Nowak is also the founder and chief scientific officer of Empire Genomics, LLC, a molecular diagnostics firm focused on enabling personalized medicine.

Nowak's efforts were instrumental in obtaining more than $70 million in funding for research and infrastructure, and she has authored and co-authored 144 research articles. Among other achievements, she received the 2008 American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) Team Science Award and the 2008 Thomas B. Tomasi Award from Roswell Park Cancer Institute for her outstanding achievements in science. She is a Buffalo Museum of Science board member and was recently appointed to the Empire State Stem Cell Board for New York State and the founding board for 43North.

Nowak is also at the forefront of a new era of personalized medicine as a driving force in the governor’s investment in UB and the New York Genome Center (NYGC) to create the Buffalo Institute for Genomics and Data Analytics (BIG).  Read more about Norma Nowak, PhD.

Thomas Furlani, PhD

Director, Center of Computational Research

Thomas Furlani, whose PhD is in computational chemistry, serves as director of the University at Buffalo’s Center for Computational Research (CCR), a leading academic supercomputing center. As director of the CCR, he manages the day-to-day operations of the center and oversees its research activities. Read more about Thomas Furlani, PhD.

Gene D. Morse, PharmD

Associate Director, Translational Pharmacology Core, New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences

Gene Morse is a professor who has been actively involved in HIV clinical pharmacology research since the introduction of antiretrovirals in 1986. He is the director of the Translational Pharmacology Research Core, a collaboration between the other research cores in the CBLS, the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and other units within UB and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. Read more about Gene Morse, PharmD.

Lawrence Wrabetz, MD

Director, Hunter James Kelly Research Institute

Professor of Neurology and Biochemistry, University at Buffalo

Lawrence Wrabetz is the Director of the Hunter James Kelly Research Institute and Professor of Neurology and Biochemistry at the University at Buffalo. His laboratory focuses on myelin and its diseases, with projects in transcriptional regulation, axonal signals to myelinating glia, the role of adhesion in myelination and the characterization of animal models of human demyelinating diseases. Read more about Lawrence Wrabetz, MD.

Amy M. Schmit, MPA

Director of Management & Strategic Implementation, New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences

Director of Management & Strategic Implementation, New York State Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics

Amy Schmit supervises a team responsible for the CBLS’s policy, budget, operations and administration. Before joining the University at Buffalo in 2009, Amy was Vice President of the Jacobs Institute, Vice President for Public Affairs at the Buffalo Niagara Partnership (where she ran a department responsible for government and media relations, communications and events at the region’s largest business advocacy organization), and Associate Director of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC), where she was part of the team developing a world-class medical campus in downtown Buffalo.

CBLS Internal Advisory Board (IAB)

The CBLS Internal Advisory Board provides advice and assistance regarding research, education, outreach and economic engagement activities at the CBLS, as well as our governing policies and procedures. 

The IAB meets up to four times a year, and consists of UB faculty and staff familiar with the CBLS. It is primarily comprised of cognizant Deans; staff representing the CBLS’s research initiatives and business development activities will attend meetings as appropriate given the pertinent agenda.

IAB members include:

  • Dean, College of Arts & Sciences – E. Bruce Pitman, PhD
  • Dean, School of Engineering & Applied Sciences – Liesl Folks, PhD, MBA
  • Dean, School of Medicine & Biological Sciences – Michael Cain, MD
  • Dean, School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences – James O’Donnell, PhD 
  • Dean, School of Public Health & Health Professions – Jean Wactawski-Wende
  • CBLS Executive Director – Norma Nowak, PhD
  • CCR Director– Thomas Furlani, PhD
  • CBLS faculty to appear as required based on agenda