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Official UB news and information for the media

A letter to the editor in the Albany Times Union says NYSUNY 2020 is piggy backing off of UB's seven years of planning with UB 2020.


A letter to the editor in the Buffalo News praises plans to move the medical school to downtown Buffalo. Marc S. Halfon, associate professor of biochemistry, writes: "Relocating the Medical School downtown will allow all of our medical students, graduate and undergraduate, to partake of these advantages and will bring together our fragmented biomedical community into a central, modern and competitive research, training and clinical care environment."


An editorial in the Buffalo News looks at what UB has accomplished due to good leadership and calls a plan to move the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences "a giant step forward for the university and the community." The editorial praises UB President Satish Tripathi, and notes, "We look forward to other announcements of import from Tripathi. If they are as significant as moving the medical school, the new UB president will enjoy strong community support."


An article in The New York Times looks at the positive effect the UB 2020 plan -- and the move of the UB medical school downtown -- could play in the transformation of Buffalo, and the enthusiastic support it has received among local business leaders, politicians and community members, who are hopeful for the economic impact it would provide.


Biologist Victor Albert was interviewed on NPR's All Things Considered about his work analyzing the genome of the plant amborella. "It basically just looks like a small tree or shrub with fairly nondescript leaves and relatively nondescript flowers," he said, but the plant is important because it's one of the first flowering plants that evolved on Earth and while it is the sibling of all flowering plants, it has no direct descendents.


An article in the Hartford Courant about police work and problem drinking interviews John Violanti, research associate professor of social and preventive medicine. "It's long been recognized that alcohol problems in police work are prevalent," he said. "Generally, it's social: it's done only with other police officers and there's no repercussions. But then you get the guy who can't control it anymore, and that's when the trouble starts."


A story in the Baltimore Sun online reports on a study by UB psychologist Shira Gabriel and UB grad student Ariana Young that shows that people read fantasies like Harry Potter and the popular vampire genre to satisfy a need for human connection.


The successful effort by UB professors of architecture and planning Despina Stratigakos and Kelly Hayes McAlonie to get Mattel to create an architect Barbie to explore issues of gender and race within the profession, is described in a story on; the toy company will officially introduce the new Barbie at the American Institute of Architects convention in New Orleans May 12.


An op-ed on the Huffington Post about Gov. Andrew Cuomo's summit later this month to consider the UB 2020 proposal to give the university more autonomy with respect to tuition policies and control over its physical assets supports the measure, not only for UB but for all public higher education institutions in New York State.


An article in Nature magazine about Vesuvius and the risk of a devastating eruption could occur reports that in 2006, Michael Sheridan, UB Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Geology, described geological evidence of a blast 3,800 years ago that was much larger than the eruption of Vesuvius that occurred in AD 79.


An article in the Los Angeles Times' Booster Shots blog looks at the practice of cardiologists to recommend surgery for their patients despite a recent major clinical trial conducted by William E. Boden, professor of medicine and preventive medicine, that demonstrated conclusively that good medical therapy is just as effective as balloon angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery for treating stable coronary disease.


An article distributed by the Associated Press about the severity of this year's spring allergy season quotes Stanley Schwartz, director of the Division of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology Medicine. "Literally, every year is the worst year," he said.


A Friday the 13th article on Live Science about common, but silly, superstitions quotes Philips Stevens Jr., associate professor of anthropology, who debunked the 666 superstition.


Joshua Dyck, assistant professor of political science, was interviewed on the Capitol Pressroom, discussing the congressional race between Jack Davis, Jane Corwin and Kathleen Hochul in the 26th District.


James E. Campbell, professor and chair of political science, is quoted in an article in the Christian Science Monitor about what's at stake in the special congressional election on May 24 and the national attention the race among Kathy Hochul, Jane Corwin and Jack Davis is receiving.


Kathryn Foster, director of the Regional Institute, is quoted in an article in the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin about the shrinking student population in Broome County, which lost at least 4,745 school-aged children during the past decade, according to census figures.


An article in the Charlotte Observer about the 200th anniversary of the birth of Siamese Twins Chang and Eng Bunker and a reunion in July that will bring together descendents of the twins -- there are about 1,500 of them -- reports as part of the reunion, Cynthia Wu, assistant professor of American studies, will present new research into a book she's writing on the twins' impact on American literature and culture.


Stanley Schwartz, director of the Division of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology Medicine, is quoted in an article in USA Today about the factors behind this spring's longer and more difficult allergy season. "Mold will grow under the fallen leaves from last season," he said. "So if it's very wet, it isn't just the blooming plants but it's also the mold, and many people are allergic to multiple airborne allergens."


Joshua Dyck, assistant professor of political science, is quoted in an article distributed by Reuters on next week's special congressional election, a tight, three-way battle for New York's 26th congressional district.


Michael Stefanone, assistant professor of communication, was interviewed on Northeast Public Radio's Academic Minute about how the photos you post on social media sites influence how others perceive you.


Elayne Rapping, professor emeritus of American studies, was interviewed by NPR for a story about politicians' apparent susceptibility to having affairs. While journalists may have been more reticent about revealing such stories 40 or 50 years ago, she said, "Because of TMZ, the media is driven to cover things like this."


An article on CBS News' Tech Talk on five things never to say on Facebook includes posting any indication that you are your own biggest fan, and notes that UB researchers have found that women who base their self-worth on appearance and what people think of them tend to upload pictures very frequently.


Elayne Rapping, professor emeritus of American studies, is quoted in an article on amNY about Lady Gaga pulling ahead of Oprah Winfrey as the most popular entertainer on Forbes' annual "Celebrity 100" list. The Internet has helped catapult people, talented or not, into overnight "viral" sensations, but their shelf life is another story, Rapping said.


James E. Campbell, professor and chair of political science, was interviewed for a story on WNYC-FM, a New York City public radio station, about the 26th District's three-way race for congress and the issues that face its rural and suburban communities that have seen a steady decline in jobs and population.


UB President Satish K. Tripathi's proposal in Albany yesterday to the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant program in support of a $375 million plan to help revitalize Buffalo's economy by relocating the medical school to downtown Buffalo received broad coverage across New York State. The proposal was well received, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo indicating that he was very supportive and liked UB's plan.


David Schmid, associate professor of English and the author of a book about serial killers in American culture, was interviewed by NPR for a story about the federal government's auction of the possessions of Unabomber Ted Kaczynski.


David Schmid, associate professor of English, is quoted in an article in the St. Paul Pioneer Press about the recent showcase and sale of a collection of paintings and other memorabilia linked to serial killer John Wayne Gacy, and the uproar the sales have provoked from both the artistic and crime-victim-advocacy circles.


Joshua Dyck, assistant professor of political science, is quoted in an article in the Toronto Globe and Mail about the election of Democrat Kathy Hochul to the 26th Congressional District and the role that the Medicare reform plan devised by Republican congressman Paul Ryan played in her election.


More than 300 outlets, including the Associated Press, covered the announcement yesterday by the National Institutes of Health that the AIM-HIGH clinical trial was being stopped 18 months earlier than planned because it found that adding high-dose, extended-release niacin to statin treatment in people with heart and vascular disease did not reduce the risk of cardiovascular events, including heart attack and stroke. Many of the stories quoted William E. Boden, professor of medicine and preventive medicine, who was co-principal investigator of the AIM-HIGH clinical trial.


The New York Times reported on a UB study that analyzes 35 studies of how the format in which doctors present data to patients can have a "profound influence on health care decisions." UB associate professor of medicine, Elie A. Akl, led the research.


An article in the Buffalo News reports that SUNY system has an economic impact on the state of at least $20 billion, according to a new report compiled by the UB Regional Institute and the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government at the University at Albany. In Western New York, the article notes, SUNY's economic impact totals $3.7 billion, with one in four residents connected to SUNY either as students, employees or alumni.