Holm Named Senior Vice Provost at UB

By Arthur Page

Release Date: January 10, 2002

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Bruce A. Holm, Ph.D., has been named a senior vice provost at the University at Buffalo and will serve as the university's point person on many of its high-technology/bio-technology projects.

In this role, Holm, who previously served as UB's senior associate vice president for health affairs, will represent Provost Elizabeth D. Capaldi in a variety of high-level venues.

He will be the chief administrator in the Provost's Office for the Buffalo Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics, the Strategically Targeted Academic Research (STAR) Center for Disease Modeling and Therapy Discovery, and the Center for Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technologies (CAT). He will work collaboratively with Dr. Robert Genco, recently appointed Vice Provost and Director of the Office of Science, Technology and Economic Outreach (STOR). Holm also will participate in the development of an institute in biomedical engineering.

"He will work closely with our academic partners -- Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute -- and with our corporate partners, the local business community and faculty and deans as these projects move forward," said Capaldi.

"He also will work to develop further external relations and scientific and corporate partnerships."

The Buffalo Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics is a collaborative effort involving New York State, industry partners and academic institutions that promises to create thousands of high-tech jobs and transform the Western New York economy. Gov. George E. Pataki, who proposed the center, recently announced $50 million in state funding and more than $150 million in private-sector funding for its start-up. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Rep. Thomas Reynolds recently announced $3.1 million in federal funds to support start-up costs.

An emerging discipline, bioinformatics uses the power of supercomputers to interpret data in the biological sciences at the molecular level.

The STAR center is designed to make Western New York a world-class player in a broad range of new scientific fields made possible by the sequencing of the human genome. Its ultimate purpose is to discover and develop new drugs and clinical therapies using the tools made possible by the genomics revolution and to bring them to the marketplace.

The CAT will focus on developing new products and creating new jobs in Western New York from biomedical and bioengineering research conducted at UB, RPCI and Western New York companies. In particular, the center is emphasizing two areas in which Buffalo researchers have traditionally excelled: the development of biopharmaceuticals, such as the PSA test for prostate cancer, lung-surfactant therapy for premature infants, photodynamic cancer therapy and interferon treatment for multiple sclerosis, and biomedical devices, such as the implantable pacemaker and the platinum coil for inoperable cranial aneurysms.

The CAT is expected to function as the science-transfer or science-accelerator arm of other new centers that are funded in Western New York, including the STAR center and the Center for Excellence in Bioinformatics.

Holm, who holds faculty positions as professor of pediatrics, pharmacology and toxicology, and gynecology-obstetrics, is principal investigator of the STAR center. He has held a variety of administrative positions in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, including associate dean for research and graduate studies and senior associate dean of medicine and biomedical sciences. He also serves as associate senior vice president for scientific affairs at Roswell Park.

In addition to his administrative duties, Holm has maintained an active research program that has attracted millions of dollars in grant awards to UB. In addition to the STAR center, he is principal investigator on several large awards, including those from the Markey Trust and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, as well as several from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

He has published more than 200 research papers, book chapters and abstracts on such topics as the biology of lung development, surfactant replacement therapy, neonatal respiratory distress syndrome and acute respiratory distress syndrome, molecular and genetic therapeutics in congenital anomalies, and molecular therapies in acute lung injury.

He holds several patents for commercial surfactant replacement therapy drugs for newborn lung disease.

He has received numerous awards for his research, among them the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Research and Science, the Technology/Discovery Award from the Health Care Industries Association and a Research Career Development Award from the Heart Lung and Blood Institute of the NIH.

Holm joined the UB faculty in 1989 as an assistant professor of pediatrics and gynecology-obstetrics after completing a fellowship in perinatology at Children's Hospital of Buffalo. He was awarded a NIH fellowship at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, where he received a doctorate in toxicology in 1987.

He resides in Batavia.