BUFFALO, N.Y. - The John R. Oishei Foundation today announced
grants totaling $9 million to the three partners in the Buffalo
Life Sciences Complex (BLSC).
The University at Buffalo will receive an additional $2 million
and Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Hauptman-Woodward Medical
Research Institute each will receive $3.5 million.
The award, the largest in the Oishei Foundation's 63-year
history, is contingent on the BLSC institutions obtaining the
necessary commitments to reach their respective funding goals.
It has been made to UB, HWI and Roswell Park as a partnership
under the auspices of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC).
The three organizations, which have a long history of collaborative
research, are cooperating in the design and development of an
integrated, three-building life sciences research center, the
Buffalo Life Sciences Complex, to be built at Ellicott and Virginia
While the HWI and Roswell Park awards will be dedicated
primarily to facilities development, the money granted to UB will
go toward the recruitment, salaries and research of top-level
scientists at the UB Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics.
An earlier grant from the Oishei Foundation to UB for $1,542,000
was used to support the salaries and research of Jeffrey Skolnick,
the center's director, and two other scientists recruited with
Skolnick from the Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis.
With commitments totaling more than $11.7 million, the John R.
Oishei Foundation is the largest foundation supporter of "The
Campaign for UB: Generation to Generation," which has a goal of
Gifts from the foundation to the campaign have included 20
separate grants supporting a wide range of projects. Among them are
more than $2 million for the UB Toshiba Stroke Research Center,
$1.5 million to the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and
Biomedical Sciences to establish a Center for Research in
Cardiovascular Medicine and $1.2 million for vascular disease
At a press conference this morning, UB President William R.
Greiner thanked the Oishei Foundation, noting that the award to the
three institutions "continues in the Oishei Foundation's
distinguished tradition of philanthropic leadership in our Western
New York community."
Greiner said "the groundbreaking research performed at the
Buffalo Life Sciences Complex will go a long way toward carrying
out the larger mission of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus,
making our Buffalo region an internationally important center for
biomedicine, biotechnology, and revolutionary health care. Together
with our research partners at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute and
the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, UB is proud to be
at the forefront of cutting-edge biomedical research that will have
a profound impact on medicine and health care in the 21st
James M. Wadsworth, chair of the John R. Oishei Foundation Board
of Directors, noted that the foundation "has been a strong
supporter of this collaborative project from its inception,"
"The foundation has provided support to the BNMC for its initial
three years of existence and has provided a major grant to HWI to
establish the Structural Biology Center in 1998," Wadsworth added.
"We believe this collaborative project is a major positive step in
establishing Buffalo as a leader in the life sciences arena."
The Buffalo Life Sciences Complex will consist of three new
buildings adding more than 400,000 square feet of state-of-the-art
research space to the BNMC. Construction will begin in the summer
of 2003. The complex, will house the Hauptman-Woodward Center for
Structural Biology, the Roswell Park Center for Genetics and
Pharmacology, and the University at Buffalo Center of Excellence in
Bioinformatics. The BLSC will sponsor life sciences research
designed to improve human health by developing new therapies to
treat and cure disease.
Thomas R. Beecher, Jr., chair of the BNMC Board of Directors,
praised the Oishei Foundation's generous support of the effort.
"This landmark award from the Oishei Foundation underscores the
foundation's dedication to Buffalo, to the institutions of the
Buffalo Life Sciences Complex and to the Buffalo Niagara Medical
Campus," he noted.
Echoing Beecher's comments, David C. Hohn, Roswell Park
president and CEO, remarked, "Today's announcement is wonderful
news for Western New York and for all of us associated with the
Buffalo Life Sciences Complex. The John R. Oishei Foundation's
philanthropic support and vision have enhanced the quality of life
in our community for more than 60 years, and this very generous
grant clearly reflects their commitment to the future of health
care and life sciences research in Western New York."
Hohn added, "On behalf of Roswell Park Cancer Institute, I want
to express our heartfelt appreciation of such an extraordinary
gift. With this grant, I am happy to report that Roswell Park's
Horizons of Hope campaign under the great leadership of Anne &
Richard Gioia and David & Susan Zebro now has raised more than
$8.6 million toward the goal of $20 million for our new Center for
Genetics and Pharmacology."
George T. DeTitta, Ph.D., principal research scientist,
executive director and CEO of Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research
Institute, commented, "For many years, the Oishei Foundation has
been an avid supporter of science and development in Western New
York. At Hauptman-Woodward, their past generosity has allowed us to
expand, not only our research, but our staff as well. This new
gift, for bricks and mortar, is just the beginning of what we hope
will be a lifetime of growth and discovery. We cannot thank them
The John R. Oishei Foundation is committed to enhancing the
quality of life for Buffalo area residents by supporting education,
health care, scientific research, and the cultural, social, civic
and other charitable needs of the community. The Foundation was
established in 1940 by John R. Oishei, founder of Trico Products
Corp., one of the world's leading manufacturers of windshield wiper