BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Although President Obama's visit to the region
Thursday is intended to highlight the successes of a small
manufacturing plant in Buffalo, his arrival also presents an
opportunity to underscore the success of his administration's major
investment in scientific research at the University at Buffalo.
Since the February 2009 introduction of the Obama
administration's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, UB has
received 86 federal research awards totaling nearly $31 million.
This funding is supporting many innovative UB research projects,
ranging from investigation of the underlying causes of heart
disease to developing nanotechnology therapies for treatment of
drug-resistant flu viruses.
Among the total investment, UB faculty members also have
received $8.5 million in new instrumentation grants to purchase or
develop instruments that enhance their work. These specialized
awards allow UB researchers to upgrade the university's existing
research enterprise and open new doors for scientific
Most of the funding is distributed by the National Institutes of
Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other
federal scientific agencies supported by the Recovery Act. For a
summary of UB research funded by the Recovery Act, go to http://www.research.buffalo.edu.
As a result of the wide-ranging Recovery Act investment, UB has
created or retained 84 jobs at the university through March 31, and
university officials anticipate creating dozens more. The work of
these researchers and technicians is laying the foundation for UB's
long-term impact on Western New York's economy. In the short term,
the funded research at UB is generating new jobs and supporting
local businesses through contracts with local vendors and the
purchase of supporting research equipment and supplies locally and
The NIH estimates that each dollar invested in basic research
stimulates $2.50 in associated economic activity. In all, the
Recovery Act has injected $21.5 billion in new investment for
research at U.S. universities, research museums and non-profit
"The sizable investment in UB research, and the resulting job
and knowledge creation, demonstrate the success and great potential
of the Recovery Act," says Jorge V. José, DrSci, UB vice
president for research. "Much of this research will lay the
foundation for Western New York's economic future and will improve
quality of life in our region. It has the potential to spin off new
industries, businesses and jobs."
The $1 million awarded in April to UB's Laurene
Tumiel-Berhalter, PhD, by the National Center for Minority Health
and Health Disparities is an excellent example of Recovery Act
funding at work, José points out.
Tumiel-Berhalter's project to improve cancer screening in
minorities -- working with community partners -- is currently
funding eight jobs in the local community. Moreover, the study will
lay the groundwork for a larger, multi-year project that will
improve cancer prevention in low-income communities where seeing a
doctor or various specialists can be difficult.
UB's Ezra Zubrow, professor of anthropology, is part of an
international research team investigating arctic climate change
funded by more than $1 million from the NSF's Arctic Social
Sciences Program, which is supported by the Recovery Act.
Most of the Recovery Act money used in the project is spent in
the United States on salaries and research at various universities,
Zubrow points out. "This research funding is good for science, good
for the economy, good for the government and good for the
international reputation of the United States," he says.
Other examples of Recovery Act-funded research at UB include the
investigation of inflammatory biomarkers in human saliva as a way
to predict the occurrence of chronic disease. Thus far, five jobs
have been created or retained at UB to date as a result of this
research funded by $950,000 from the NIH's National Institute of
Dental and Craniofacial Research.
And UB research on the use of "gold nanorods" may lead to FDA
Phase 1 clinical trials to investigate how this nanomaterial can be
used to combat avian flu and other drug-resistant flu viruses. This
research, funded by $780,000 from the National Institute of Allergy
and Infectious Diseases, is currently responsible for four UB
Among UB's Recovery Act instrumentation grants, Vipin Chaudhary,
associate professor of computer science and engineering, received
$4.6 million to acquire a supercomputer that will enhance UB's
computing infrastructure and provide improved data-mining and
processing power, memory and storage capabilities for approximately
250 immediate users. Classes, tutorials and workshops will bring
high-performance computing to UB students and faculty, as well as
to researchers in Western New York and nationally.
Instrumentation grants are distributed by the NSF's Major
Research Instrumentation Program-Recovery and Reinvestment, and the
NIH's National Center for Research Resources.
The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive
public university, a flagship institution in the State University
of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus.
UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests
through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional
degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a
member of the Association of American Universities.