Published March 15, 2016
UB has been awarded two grants worth $2.6 million to hire senior faculty members that will grow UB’s research expertise in biomedical engineering, energy and the environment, and other disciplines while providing students with world-class educational opportunities.
The grants, from SUNY’s Investment and Performance Fund, are part of a statewide commitment of roughly $8 million to numerous SUNY campuses in support of SUNY’s Empire Innovation Program, which helps campus efforts to recruit faculty with proven track records of externally funded research.
At UB, the money will support the university’s Department of Biomedical Engineering and UB RENEW, a cross-disciplinary institute that tackles pressing environmental issues.
“Biomedical engineering and UB RENEW are institutional priorities,” says Provost Charles F. Zukoski. “These awards will enhance greatly our faculty recruitment —strengthening research efforts, educational opportunities and impact in these critically important areas.”
UB will receive $1.3 million to hire faculty researchers in its Department of Biomedical Engineering, a multidisciplinary unit that includes the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Established in 2009, the department is growing rapidly, with 69 degrees awarded last June. University officials expect to double that number by 2020.
“This critical investment will allow us to leverage the multidisciplinary strengths of our Department of Biomedical Engineering,” says Michael E. Cain, vice president for health sciences and dean of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. “Especially in light of NIH’s designation of UB as a Clinical and Translational Research Institute, these funds will help accelerate the development and delivery of biomedical devices, drugs and treatments that, in turn, will improve health care in Western New York.”
Liesl Folks, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, notes that in just a few short years, “UB has built a robust biomedical engineering department by recruiting faculty researchers whose innovation and leadership has been recognized by the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense and other agencies, as well as industry and nonprofits.”
“This investment from SUNY will enable us to build upon that success and meet the needs of the biomedical and biotechnology industries by enhancing UB’s ability to develop new drug-delivery methods, medical devices and other improvements to human health and well-being,” Folks says.
UB will receive $1.3 million to hire faculty researchers for UB RENEW (Research and Education in eNergy, Environment and Water), an institute created in 2014 to solve global energy and environmental problems, as well as intertwined social and economic issues. The institute includes roughly 100 faculty from seven schools at UB.
“UB-RENEW is committed to addressing regional and global energy, water and environmental sustainability challenges through enduring scholarship and intellectual innovation,” says Amit Goyal, director of UB RENEW. “These funds from the Empire Innovation Program will allow us to hire top-flight faculty members who have a sustained track record of excellence in leading cutting-edge research that addresses pressing problems in energy, water and the environment.”