News and Awards

Below are links to news releases about the CLIMB Program and awards won by CLIMB-UP and CLIMB-HI scholars.

News and Press Releases


Among public universities, UB is No. 39 nationally and No. 1 statewide.


Jennifer A. Martin, a doctoral student in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, has received a prestigious Blueprint Diversity Specialized Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Advancement in Neuroscience Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

BUFFALO, N.Y — A University at Buffalo graduate student studying how heroin changes cells in the brain has received a prestigious award from the National Institutes of Health.

Seventy-five student-scientists presented projects during the Eighth Annual Buffalo Summer Research Conference, an interdisciplinary forum marking the culmination of their summer research in Buffalo.


Researchers and their mentors in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology were honored for their in-depth studies presented at the 2018 Experimental Biology meeting and related forums.


Thirteen students from the Class of 2017-18 in the PhD Program in Biomedical Sciences (PPBS) took part in a white coat ceremony to recognize the completion of their first year in the program and celebrate their moving on to a research laboratory match.


The Office of Inclusion and Cultural Enhancement recognized staff, students, trainees and faculty during the 2018 Faculty-Staff Recognition Awards ceremony.


Discovery — centered on a gene called CD36 — illuminates a process tied to the aging of cells and organisms.


Collaboration and a sense of community were on display at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences during a daylong event to address Buffalo’s African-American health disparities.


A new study led by vision researchers has demonstrated that the addition of widely available antioxidants to the current standard-of-care prevented vision loss in an animal model of a rare genetic disease.


Margarita L. Dubocovich, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor of pharmacology and toxicology and senior associate dean for diversity and inclusion, has been awarded the inaugural Dolores Shockley Minority Mentoring Award from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP).


Colleagues of late University at Buffalo nursing researcher Ellen Volpe will carry on her professional legacy by completing a research project that was left unfinished at the time of her death. 


Seventy-six student-scientists presented projects during the 2017 Buffalo Summer Research Day, an interdisciplinary forum marking the culmination of their summer research in Buffalo.


Three residents provided presentations concentrating on retinal diseases and treatment at a symposium sponsored by the Department of Ophthalmology and the Ross Eye Institute.


The work will address extreme weather, air pollution and autism spectrum disorder, and sustainable energy.


A dozen faculty members, graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology participated in the Experimental Biology 2017 meeting.


The Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences celebrated scientific achievements, outstanding service and significant teaching contributions during its 2017 Faculty and Staff Recognition Awards event May 18.


Margarita L. Dubocovich, PhD, senior associate dean for diversity and inclusion and SUNY Distinguished Professor of pharmacology and toxicology, has been awarded the UB President’s Medal, given in recognition of extraordinary service to the university.


Anthony J. Jones, a doctoral student in the neuroscience program, has received a two-year fellowship award in pharmacology/toxicology from the PhRMA Foundation.


The inaugural Jacobs Arts Festival showcased works by Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences students and faculty alike in celebration of where art and medicine meet.


Jun-Xu Li, MD, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology, has received the Joseph Cochin Young Investigator Award from the College of Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) for his research on pharmacotherapy for stimulant abuse.


Margarita L. Dubocovich, PhD, and Mark R. O’Brian, PhD, are recipients of the 2015-16 Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring Award.


Graduate student and trainee researchers and their mentors in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology received positive feedback on in-depth studies they presented at the 2016 Behavior, Biology and Chemistry: Translational Research in Addiction meeting.


Medical school faculty members Margarita Dubocovich and Mark O’Brian are the recipients of the 2015-16 Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring Award.


Ninety-five student-scientists presented projects during the 2015 Buffalo Summer Research Day, an interdisciplinary forum marking the culmination of their summer research in Buffalo.


Chemistry professor Luis Colón will head to the White House to receive a national award for excellence in mentoring.


Rajendram Rajnarayanan, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology, has been honored with a 2014 President Emeritus and Mrs. Meyerson Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring.


The one woman Kerri Pryce dedicates his research to can hardly remember his name.

Biologist and national science diversity advocate Clifton A. Poodry, PhD, shared his inspirational success stories through two University at Buffalo forums on June 24.

UB has received $1.9 million from the NIH to fund the education of 20 UB biomedical and behavioral scientists from underrepresented groups.


Jason Ma, a pharmacology and toxicology major, was one of four UB undergraduates selected to present original research findings to SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and state elected officials.


Undergraduates from across the country have come to UB this summer to participate in a mentoring research program launched by Margarita Dubocovich, PhD.

From the UB Reporter


Marvellous Oke, CLIMB PRO scholar summer 2018.

Marvellous Oke, a student at Morgan State University, presented research she conducted under the mentorship of Dr. Jason Davies, Department of Neuroscience in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.



Christopher Baker, iSEED scholar Summer 2018.
CLIMB UP 2018 iSEED Scholar Wins Best Poster Award at ABRCMS 2018

Congratulations Chris!

Christopher Baker presented at ABRCMS 2018: Annual Biomedical Resreach Conference for Minority Students in Indianapolis, Indiana. At the conference, judges recognized Christopher's work, titled "Smartphone Gamification: Augmented Reality for Lower Extremity Rehabilitation," as a standout among the student presentations, and selected him to receive one of the Best Poster Awards in the Engineering, Physics, and Mathematics category. He conducted his research with Dr. Wenyao Xu.

Ashirah and Daisy, iSEED scholars Summer 2018.

Christopher Baker, a student at Cypress College, presented research he conducted under the direction of Dr. Wenyao Xu, Department of Computer Sciences and Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Ashirah Simpson, a senior at Grambling State University, presented research she conducted in the lab of Dr. Jean Wactawski-Wende, Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health in the School of Public Health and Health Professions.

Daisy Zavala, a senior at California State University San Marcos, presented research she conducted in the lab of Dr. Kristin Gainey, Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences


Congratulations Lakeisha, Grant, and Anthony!

Lakeisha Lewter, iSEED/IMSD scholar from the  neuroscience program, was awarded 1st place for her presentation titled “Behavioral Effects of α2/α3 Subtype-Selective GABAA Receptor Positive Allosteric Modulators” in the ASPET Behavioral Pharmacology Division. Grant Glatfelter, a CLIMB scholar in the pharmacology and toxicology program, won 2nd place for his poster titled “Carbamate Insecticide Carbaryl Targets Melatonin Receptors and Modulates Circadian Rhythms” and Anthony Jones, IMSD scholar from the neuroscience program, won 3rd place for his poster titled “Carbamate Insecticides Bind to a Novel Allosteric Site on hMT1 Melatonin Receptors”, both from the APSET Neurotoxicology Division.

Jennifer Martin.
IMSD Scholar Wins Prestigous NIH F99/K00 Award

Jennifer Martin, PhD student in Pharmacology and Toxicology, is the recipient of a NIH Blueprint Diversity Specialized Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Advancement in Neuroscience award. The award supports career development for outstanding graduate students who are interested in neuroscience research. This two-phase award will facilitate completion of the doctoral dissertation and transition of talented graduate students to strong neuroscience research postdoctoral positions, and will provide career development opportunities relevant to their long-term career goal of becoming independent neuroscience researchers. Jennifer’s research will focus on transcriptomic changes in glial cells in the prefrontal cortex following heroin self-administration, an animal model of addiction, using RNA sequencing. Jennifer’s predoctoral mentor is David Dietz, PhD.

Jamal Williams.
iSEED Scholar Wins NIH Award

Jamal Williams, PhD student in Neuroscience, is the recipient of a NIH Research Supplement to Promote Diversity from the National Institute on Aging for work he will be completing with his mentor Zhen Yan, PhD. For this award, Jamal will be investigating potential epigenetic factors leading to synaptic and cognitive deficits in Alzheimer's disease using a mouse model system.  

Aylin Flores.

Aylin Flores presented at 2017 SACNAS: The National Diversity in STEM Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. At the conference,  judges recognized Aylin Flores's work, titled "Distinguishing Whether Rif2 and Orc4 Subfunctionalized or Neofunctionalized after Duplication," as a standout among the student presentations in the Cell/Molecular Biology category, and selected her to receive one of the 2017 SACNAS Student Presentation Awards.

2017 ABRCMS poster award winners.

Jaleel Shepherd, a junior at Medgar Evers College and CLIMB UP 2017 participant, won Best Poster in the Cancer Biology category at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students. He conducted summer research in the lab of Dr. Raj Rajnarayanan. 

Kirstie A. Cummings, a PhD student studying in the lab of Gabriela K. Popescu, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry, has been awarded a highly competitive, three-year fellowship from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Ekue B. Adamah-Biassi and Anthony J. Hutchinson have received Maximizing Access to Research Careers Travel Awards for this year’s Experimental Biology meeting.


David Thorn, a PhD student in pharmacology and toxicology, received a travel award to attend the Behavior, Biology and Chemistry Annual Meeting.


The two-year award supports MD/PhD candidate Alice Crane’s research on how genetic variability impacts human susceptibility to the pesticide chlorpyrifos.


Three PhD students and a recent postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Ji Li, PhD, presented their research at the world’s largest and most prestigious heart research meeting.


PhD candidate Shannon Clough and postdoctoral associate Anthony Hutchinson, PhD, received travel awards to attend a prestigious conference on translational research in addiction.


Jason Ma has received a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow Travel Award from the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.


PhD candidate Bethany Rankin has received a Minority Scholar in Cancer Research Award from the American Association for Cancer Research.

CLIMB-HI and CLIMB-UP alumnae received awards for research in Pharmacology and Toxicology