BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo School of Medicine
and Biomedical Sciences today held the grand opening of its
Clinical and Translational Research Center in the joint UB-Kaleida
Health building at Goodrich and Ellicott streets in downtown
The new CTRC is an important step in the relocation of UB's
medical school to downtown Buffalo, made possible by Gov. Cuomo's
NYSUNY 2020 law, which is enabling the university to implement the
next phase of its UB 2020 strategic plan. When it is completed, by
2016, the new medical school will bring approximately 1,200 people
to downtown Buffalo. In total, both the CTRC and new medical school
projects will create more than 3,000 jobs.
The CTRC is a unique 170,000-square-foot research facility that
allows UB's physician-scientists to do their research upstairs in
the CTRC and to see patients and work with clinicians downstairs in
Kaleida Health's Gates Vascular Institute and at Buffalo General
Medical Center, the new planned Women and Children's Hospital of
Buffalo and Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
The CTRC was designed by Cannon Design with significant input
from UB's researchers to maximize the kind of collaboration that
leads to medical breakthroughs and innovative treatments.
A video of the facility, featuring UB researchers and officials,
can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWyF2v9PidM.
The CTRC's offices and laboratories occupy the building's top
four floors, providing panoramic views of Lake Erie and Buffalo's
waterfront. While visitors are enthralled by the sweeping views
outside the CTRC's labs, UB President Satish K. Tripathi noted that
what's happening inside the facility will ultimately have the
greatest impact on Buffalo.
"As remarkable as this building is -- and it truly is
extraordinary -- what we are really celebrating today are the
opportunities it creates for the faculty, researchers, clinicians
and students who will work here; for the people of our community
who will experience this building's role in revitalizing Buffalo
and our region; and for the people here in Western New York and
around the world whose lives will be transformed by the cures
developed and discoveries made here," said Tripathi.
"This is a historic time of progress and investment from the
state, helping to create great opportunities for UB and the
region," Tripathi said. "From NYSUNY 2020, to the governor's
billion dollar pledge for Buffalo and the work of the Regional
Economic Development Councils, New York State's investments are
advancing significant progress for our university and region. The
opening of the CTRC is an important step in the relocation of UB's
medical school to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, under the UB
2020 plan and with the support of the NYSUNY 2020 legislation."
"Gov. Cuomo enacted the NYSUNY 2020 legislation to help
transform our universities and the communities they are in," said
Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy. "UB's new Clinical and Translational
Research Center is a clear example of this. The new center will
grow the university while helping to revitalize Buffalo's economy
through the creation of good paying, sustainable jobs throughout
"Under Gov. Cuomo's leadership and with the NYSUNY 2020 funding,
the SUNY system is becoming a leading catalyst for regionally
focused economic development and improving academic quality for all
students. Today's grand opening of the CTRC is a clear example of
the historic impact the NYSUNY 2020 initiative is having on the
University at Buffalo, the City of Buffalo, Western New York and
Michael E. Cain, MD, vice president for health sciences at UB
and dean of the medical school, said "The CTRC will be an
invaluable research facility for UB's physicians, researchers and
"The health and vitality of our citizens and the economic
vitality of our community will be greatly enhanced through the
collaborations that will happen in the CTRC, with our research and
health care partners at the Gates Vascular Institute downstairs and
with all of our partners throughout Western New York," Cain
John M. Canty Jr., MD, Albert and Elizabeth Rekate Professor of
Medicine in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and
UB's chief of cardiovascular medicine, is one of the CTRC's
earliest occupants. He said the center will make the progression
from promising research discoveries to an actual health care
product or innovative therapy much easier.
"Basic research has typically been conducted in an environment
removed from where clinical research is carried out," Canty said.
"The advantage we have within CTRC is we can span both the clinical
and preclinical aspects of translational research in the same
building. Clinical research in the CTRC also will be greatly
enhanced by having the investigators and research facilities
located immediately above a hospital. Taken together, it forms a
unique environment to advance innovative, cutting-edge
In addition to Canty's group, which develops bench-to-bedside
personalized treatments for heart disease patients, UB's CTRC
houses the laboratories of some of UB's highest-profile researchers
who collectively have more than $25 million in research funding.
They are conducting research to develop treatments for a broad
range of diseases and conditions, including chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease, diabetes and obesity, cardiovascular disease,
HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer's and memory disorders, stroke, ear infections
in children and autoimmune disorders of the skin.
Several of the researchers have recently been recruited to UB
and more new hires are on the way, according to Timothy F. Murphy,
SUNY Distinguished Professor and director of the CTRC. When the
CTRC is fully occupied, it will house between 250 and 300
physician-scientists and staff.
"With five health sciences schools, rare among academic health
centers, UB is in a very strong position to best leverage research
collaborations both inside the university and with external
partners," Murphy said.
"UB also is home to a range of high-profile national research
programs, including the Women's Health Initiative, the world's
longest running COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) trial,
cutting-edge cardiovascular research, development of innovative
devices for treating vascular disease and others."
Physician-scientists at UB and Roswell Park also play leadership
roles in developing national guidelines for key clinical questions,
In addition to custom-designed laboratories and common spaces,
the CTRC includes a Biosciences Incubator to assist UB researchers
with the commercialization of new medical therapies. Operated by
UB's Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach
(STOR), the Biosciences Incubator already is home to two life
science firms that will benefit from their location on the Buffalo
Niagara Medical Campus, near potential research and clinical
partners such as UB, Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Kaleida
Health. The incubator companies are AccuTheranostics, which has
developed a method for personalizing chemotherapy treatments, and
AndroBioSys, which is developing novel ways to detect, image and
treat early prostate cancer.
Also located in the CTRC is the Jacobs Institute, which will
catalyze medical collaboration and innovation through partnerships
between UB, Kaleida Health, community physicians and industry.
The JI's chief executive officer is L. Nelson Hopkins, MD,
professor and chair of neurosurgery at UB, board chair of the Gates
Vascular Institute and director of the Toshiba Stroke and Vascular
Research Center, which also is being housed in the CTRC. A $10
million gift from Jeremy M. Jacobs, his wife, Margaret, and family
was used to create the Jacobs Institute and honor Mr. Jacobs' late
brother, Lawrence D. Jacobs, MD, a UB neurology professor and
world-renowned medical pioneer whose research led to the
development of Avonex, which is today the most prescribed treatment
for patients with relapsing forms of MS.
Following the opening ceremonies, a SUNY Honorary Doctorate in
Science was conferred on former UB and Roswell Park Cancer
Institute scientist J. Craig Venter, the pioneering biologist, who
developed the tools and techniques that allowed his team at Celera
Genomics to sequence the human genome. Venter gave a keynote
address, "From Reading to Writing the Genetic Code."