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Reception at UB to Honor 15 for Inventions

Research achievements of 64 faculty members also to be recognized

Release Date: April 22, 2002

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Fifteen individuals named on 15 United States patents issued to The Research Foundation of the State of New York in 2001, as well as 64 faculty members who will be recognized for their research achievements, will be honored by the University at Buffalo at a reception from 4-6 p.m. on May 2 in the Center for Tomorrow on the UB (North) Amherst Campus.

The annual reception honoring UB's faculty inventors will take on a new dimension this year as 41 faculty members will be presented a Sustained Achievement Award and 23 others will be presented a Young Investigator Award.

The reception will be co-hosted by UB President William R. Greiner and UB Provost Elizabeth D. Capaldi. Jaylan S. Turkkan, UB vice president for research, and Robert Genco, SUNY Distinguished Professor who is a vice provost and head of the university's Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach (STOR), will assist with the award presentations.

Two of the patented technologies to be recognized at the ceremony already have been licensed by STOR's Intellectual Property Division, which works with faculty to disclose, patent and license university-developed technology. They are:

o Licensed to Jarret, S.A., is a patent issued to Stuart S. Chen, associate professor of civil engineering. Chen, along with collaborators, developed an apparatus for mitigating the seismic load effects of earthquakes and windstorms on a structure, using a dual system of tension cables and dampers that is less intrusive than conventional systems. Co-inventors are John B. Mander and Gokhan Peckan, both formerly of the Department of Civil Engineering.

o Licensed to Varian, Inc., is a patent issued to Andrew Joshua Wand and Peter F. Flynn, both formerly of the Department of Chemistry. This technology is a novel method and apparatus for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy of molecules, particularly larger proteins and macromolecules. The method reduces the effective tumbling time of molecules during NMR measurement by providing a low viscosity environment for them. Co-inventor is Mark R. Ehrhardt.

Additionally, another patented technology developed at UB was recognized at the 2001 Inventor of the Year annual patent awards of the Niagara Frontier Intellectual Property Law Association. The inventors are:

o Joseph A. Gardella, Jr., professor of chemistry; Wesley Hicks, Jr., associate professor of otolaryngology; Timothy Koloski, research assistant in the Department of Chemistry, and Terrence G. Vargo, research assistant in the Department of Chemistry, who developed a method for providing novel surface modified biodegradable polyester polymers that allow small amounts of surface modifiers to be situated on the surface. An intended application of this technology is the development of wound-healing membranes. Co-inventors are Won-Ki Lee, formerly of the Department of Chemistry, and Ilario Losito.

Other inventors to be honored are:

o Paul J. Kostyniak, professor of pharmacology and toxicology; Rossman F. Giese, Jr., professor of geology, and Joseph A. Syracuse, co-director of the Toxicology Research Center, who developed an antimicrobial composition that can impart antimicrobial properties both in, and on, the surface of various household, industrial and medical products. Co-inventor is Patricia M. Costanzo, formerly of the Department of Geology.

o D. Jeffery Higginbotham, associate professor of communicative disorders and sciences, who was issued three patents on a system, method and database for selecting utterance constructions used for interpersonal communication by impaired individuals. The invention provides improvements in communication speeds, selection efficiency and ease of use, all of which currently are unavailable in augmentative communication technologies. Frame-based communication uses preset utterances relating to a particular communication event, such as a meal. Co-inventor is David Parker Wilkins.

o Wesley L. Hicks, Jr., who invented the first model of a tracheal lumen that combines epithelial and mesenchymal elements in a manner that mimics the tracheal lumen surface. The research team's goal is to develop a wound-healing membrane for the trachea and other trauma sites.

o Donald D. Hickey, research assistant professor of physiology and biophysics and clinical assistant professor of neurosurgery, who invented a novel device and method to provide a non-invasive estimate of cardiac performance parameters by inserting a catheter and balloon into the esophagus, adjacent to the aortic arch, to sense aortic pressure. Part of the previously patented Hickey Cardiac Monitoring System.

o Frank V. Bright, professor of chemistry, who invented a small portable sensing system for quantifying gaseous species or an analyte in a sample using a light-emitting diode and detector. The invention builds on a patented sol-gel processing technique that is used to stabilize the protein

sensor in a porous xerogel material deposited on the surface of the LED. Co-inventors are Jeffrey D. Jordan, A. Neal Watkins, and Brett R. Wenner, all formerly of the Department of Chemistry.

o Stephen Rudin, professor of radiology and co-director of Radiation Physics Laboratory and Toshiba Stroke Research Center, and Daniel R. Bednarek, professor of radiology, developed a radiographic image apparatus and method for vascular interventions for acquiring very-high-resolution radiographic digital images over a small region of interest using a digital solid-state x-ray image detector for the medical imaging application of angiography. Co-inventors include Ajay Kumar Wakhloo, formerly of the Department of Neurosurgery, and Baruch B. Lieber, formerly of the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering.

o Eli Ruckenstein, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, who invented a method for the purification of wheat germ agglutinin using chitin microporous or macroporous affinity filtration membranes for application in the areas of biochemistry and medical compound research. Co-inventor is Xianfang Zeng, formerly of the Department of Chemical Engineering.

o Eli Ruckenstein, who invented a method for the preparation of novel crosslinkers and their application to star-shaped or branched polymer and polymer gels used in drug delivery and controlled drug releases. Co-inventor is Hongmin Zhang, formerly of the Department of Chemical Engineering.

o Donald Henderson, professor of communicative disorders and sciences, who developed a method for the prevention and/or reversal of inner-ear damage due to noise or toxins through systematically applying agents such as R-PIA to round window membranes of the inner ear. The agents can be applied before, during or after the noise trauma or toxin exposure. This invention is co-assigned to the Navy, which has taken the lead in commercialization efforts. Co-inventors are Michael E. Hoffer and Richard D. Kopke.

o Linda M. Hall, Xiao-Feng Ren and Wei Zheng, all formerly of the Department of Biochemical Pharmaceuticals, who invented a method of isolation and characterization of an invertebrate calcium channel subunit gene used in the design of insect-specific pesticides. Co-inventor is Manuel Marcel Paul Dubald.

Faculty members who will receive Sustained Achievement Awards are:

Ronald Berezney, professor of biological sciences; Gérard Bucher, professor of modern languages and literatures; James Campbell, professor of political science; John Corcoran, professor of philosophy; Joan Copjec, professor of English; Huw Davies, professor of chemistry; David Felder, professor of music; Francis Gasparini, professor of physics; Elaine Hull, professor of psychology; Robert Jacobi, professor of geology; David Mark, professor of geography; Samuel Paley, professor of classics; Peter Rogerson, professor of geography; Stephen Schanuel, professor of mathematics; Robert Van Valin, professor and chair of the Department of Linguistics; Roger Woodard, professor of classics, and Frank Zagare, professor and chair of the Department of Political Science.

Also, Libuse Bobek, associate professor of oral biology; Ernesto DeNardin, associate professor of oral biology; Paschalis Alexandridis, associate professor of chemical engineering; Rajan Batta, professor and chair of industrial engineering; David Kofke, professor of chemical engineering; Alan Selman, professor of computer science and engineering; Stuart Shapiro, professor of computer science and engineering; C.P. Yu, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering; Lois Weis, professor of educational leadership and policy; Douglas Clements, professor of learning and instruction; David Engel, professor of law, and Robert Steinfeld, professor of law.

Also, Anthony Auerbach, professor of physiology and biophysics; Anthony Campagnari, professor of microbiology; Leonard Epstein, professor of pediatrics and social and preventive medicine; Jo Freudenheim, professor of social and preventive medicine; Suzanne Laychock, professor and associate chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology; Paul Knight, professor of anesthesiology and microbiology; Mulchand Patel, professor of biochemistry; Stanley Schwartz, professor of medicine; Mary Ann Jezewski, associate professor of nursing; William Jusko, professor of pharmaceutical sciences; Gene Morse, professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice, and Nancy Smyth, associate professor of social work.

Faculty members who will receive Young Investigator Awards are:

Matthew Becker, assistant professor of geology; Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, assistant professor of history; William Eggington, assistant professor of modern languages and literatures; Jolene Rickard, assistant professor of art and art history; Hiroaki Suga, assistant professor of chemistry; Jiyuan Yu, assistant professor of philosophy; Sarah Gaffen, assistant professor of oral biology; Keith Kirkwood, assistant professor of periodontics and endodontics; Ann Bisantz, assistant professor of industrial engineering; John Crassidis, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and Siram Neelamegham, co-director of the Center for Bioengineering.

Also, Greg Dimitriadis, assistant professor of educational leadership and policy; Stephen Truscott, assistant professor of counseling, educational and school psychology; Tanya LaPier, associate professor of physical therapy, exercise and nutrition sciences; David Westbrook, visiting associate professor of law; Debabrata Talukdar, assistant professor of marketing; Jian Feng, assistant professor of physiology and biophysics; Zhen Yan, assistant professor of physiology and biophysics; Thomas Obst, clinical professor of nursing; Joseph Balthasar, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences; Patrick Smith, clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice; Karen Randolph, assistant professor of social work, and Deborah Waldrop, assistant professor of social work.

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