Release Date: April 22, 2002
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The past, present and future of the Buffalo Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics will be the topic on April 23 as faculty members, staff members and administrators from the University at Buffalo, as well as center partners and representatives of the Buffalo business community, travel to Capitol Hill as part of UB Day in Washington.
The group will visit with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Rep. Tom Reynolds, Rep. Jack Quinn, Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. John LaFalce, as well as with the chairs of key Congressional committees.
"UB Day in Washington allows us to share the progress we've made with the Buffalo Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and to thank our legislative supporters for their outstanding efforts in helping us bring it to fruition," said UB President William R. Greiner, "as well as giving us an opportunity to outline how continued strong federal support will help us move this initiative forward in the year ahead.
"We have a great team assembled to make the trip, and are looking forward to meeting with the delegations to discuss the future of what is not only a winning initiative for UB and the entire Buffalo-Niagara region, but for New York State as well."
The past year has been marked by major advancements for the Buffalo Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics, starting with Governor George E. Pataki's commitment of $50 million in funding from New York State in December, noted Provost Elizabeth D. Capaldi.
She added that the federal funding announced later that month by Clinton and Reynolds provided further momentum for the center, as have more recent developments, such as the partnership with an Irish biopharmaceutical research-and-development institute.
"We are very grateful for the federal support we have received for the project so far and we believe we've made a lot of progress this year and believe that the progress will justify further funding," Capaldi said.
Bruce Holm, UB senior vice provost, added "Certainly the expansion of the center from a regional initiative to an international initiative through our new relationship with Biopharma Ireland, fostered in large measure because of the efforts of Senator Clinton, has been significant, and we will be reporting on those developments as well."
The discussions with key legislators and their staffs will involve detailed progress reports on various aspects of the center so that members of the delegation have substantial information on what has been accomplished so far, as well as the center's need for additional federal support in the coming year.
"We also are highlighting a number of our recruitment initiatives, as well as our goals for bringing new companies into Buffalo," Holm said.
During the visit on Capitol Hill, members of Congress and their staffs will have the chance to "walk through" or "fly through" immersive three-dimensional simulations, including a molecule that is a component of HDL, the "good" cholesterol; a simulation developed by UB's Center for Computational Research of CT data scans, part of a joint project with Children's Hospital of Buffalo to develop real-time, interactive visualizations for surgical applications; and a simulation of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, including the site of Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute and Buffalo General Hospital, and which will be home to the Buffalo Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics.
In addition to Greiner, Capaldi and Holm those attending from UB include Russ Miller, director of CCR, Tom Furlani, associate director of CCR, Janet Penksa, associate vice president for government affairs, Mike Pietkiewicz, director of federal relations, and Jennifer McDonough, vice president for university advancement.