The SUNY UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development and the SUNY Global Health Institute extended a broad invitation to interested stakeholders to attend the 2nd joint session of the SUNY-UWI Health Research Consortium and the SUNY Global Health Institute held on Friday, April 16, 2021 via Zoom conference forum from 9:30 am - 12:30 pm EST.
The workshop was open to all SUNY and UWI campus sectors and to collaborating institutions with academic programs or research in global health and related areas. Program directors, faculty, department chairs, global affairs offices and more were in attendance. The workshop reflects the SUNY-UWI Health Research Consortium efforts to plan and implement a clinical and translational research environment based at the UWI Mona Campus in Jamaica and includes the UWI campus network and contributing territories across the Caribbean region. Initial emphasis has been focused on emerging infectious diseases, an effort that led to a Global Infectious Diseases Research Training Program funded by the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health. Additional progress in the area of emerging infectious diseases, including COVID-19, has been complemented by recent Consortium developments in non-communicable diseases research including, cardiovascular, renal, hepatic disease; diabetes mellitus and behavioral health.
The workshop engaged faculty, government agencies and industry partners to discuss the next phase of the SUNY-UWI Health Research Consortium, building on recent program development and pending opportunities for the next five years, and to consider the impact of COVID-19 on Caribbean societies.
UB faculty interested in global health are invited to participate in the second joint session of the SUNY-University of the West Indies (UWI) Health Research Consortium and the SUNY Global Health Institute, an event that will introduce researchers to opportunities to engage in international collaborations between scholars, government agencies and industry partners.
The University of the West Indies at St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago has been named an affiliate center of the UB Center for Integrated Global Biomedical Sciences (CIGBS), a Global Virus Network Center of Excellence. The alliance will strengthen international collaboration in viral research and response to pandemics, and create a broader hub for global biomedical sciences collaboration in the Caribbean region.
The Buffalo News reported on how medical professionals view the COVID-19 vaccines and quoted Dr. Raymond Cha, clinical associate professor in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, who pointed out that while it’s too early to say there are absolutely no long-term side effects said “We’re continuing to improve how we’re creating the final product of the vaccines,” he said. “We may not be perfect, but it continues to get better.” The story also quoted Dr. Manoj Mammen, associate professor of medicine in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences who said that regarding the vaccine data, “Every time there was a report, I looked into it, I asked my colleagues about it, and it seemed like it was all clarified.” He added that getting vaccinated is an important social responsibility.
Reverend Al Sharpton, President and Founder of the US National Action Network (NAN), has announced that the organisation’s Dr Martin Luther King Jr Day awards will be conferred on Professor Sir Hilary Beckles and Dr Anthony Fauci. Sir Hilary, Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies, President of Universities Caribbean, Chairman of the Caribbean Examinations Council, Chairman of the CARICOM Reparations Commission and Advisor on Sustainable Development to former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, will receive the “Peace and Freedom Award”.
Dr. Zhou, a Senior Lecturer-Researcher in the UZ Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, has received acceptance to The Africa-UK Female Scientist Mentorship Scheme, a collaboration between the Africa Research Excellence Fund and the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences. The aim of the programme is to provide a sustainable platform for meaningful mentorship between female scientists in Africa and the UK. This program selects five female scientists from medical and life sciences to be mentees and those selected are matched with an established female scientist with relevant background and experience.
Celia Matyanga, a current DPhil candidate received the L'Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science Sub-Saharan Africa Young Talents Award at a Senegal conference. Created in 1998 and led by the L'Oréal Foundation in partnership with UNESCO, the Women and Science Program aims to improve the representation of women in scientific careers, based on the conviction that the world needs science, and science needs women. Over 20 years, the program has supported and raised the profile of more than 3,100 researchers from 117 countries. Her main discipline lies in Fundamental Medicine with a research focus on using the interactions between a herbal traditional medicine and first line treatment of hiv/aids.
Sarahmona Przybyla, an HIV and AIDS researcher in the School of Public Health and Health Professions, was honored on Dec. 1 by New York State Commissioner of Health Howard A. Zucker as part of a virtual summit marking 2020 World AIDS Day. Przybyla also was honored for the strong partnerships she’s developed over the past decade with local nonprofit organizations, health departments and county court systems to understand barriers to, and enhance engagement in, HIV care.
Celia Matyanga is investigating the effect of African potato on pharmacokinetic drug profiles of Tenofovir and Lamivudin in clinical trial with HIV patients. She is undertaking a course on the Phoenix WinNonlin software application organised by Certara University, Princeton.
Celia is a lecturer and Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) College of Health Sciences and is a Doctoral Fellow UZ - University at Buffalo, HIV Research Training Program (HRTP).
Dr. Admire Dube is a pharmacist by training and an associate professor of pharmaceutics at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa. His specialty is nanotechnology research. He completed postdoctoral training with Fogarty support at the University at Buffalo, where he conducted studies on the potential of nanomedicines to treat tuberculosis (TB). This work laid the foundation for his successful application to Fogarty’s Emerging Global Leader program. Subsequently, he and two collaborators received a research grant from the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to continue this work.
This new scientific initiative builds on early projects that have been envisioned with the Center for Integrated Global Biomedical Sciences (CIGBS) at the University at Buffalo and State University of New York (SUNY). The new partnership includes collaboration on a global program to advance cannabinoid sciences implementation research and safety for both supplement and biomedical use of cannabinoids.
UB’s Center for Integrated Global Biomedical Sciences (CIGBS) will partner with Àvida Biotech, a Spain-based developer of antiviral products, to advance affordable, new antivirals and vaccines for neglected infectious diseases such as the dengue, Zika and Chikungunya viruses.
Pleased to welcome Dr. Nicholas Smith, Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice to the TPRC team. Dr. Smith joined the team in September 2020 and is the lead investigator for anti-infective PK/PD Modeling.
Dr. Nicholas Smith is a clinician-scientist with a main research focus on clinical pharmacology and clinical-translational pharmacometric approaches to dosing anti-infective agents. His current projects are looking into novel dosing schemes used in the treatment of resistant gram negative 'superbugs' developing model-based approaches to optimize treatment regimens; and using population studies in tandem with wet-bench research to better understand what these new therapies mean for patient treatment. As a clinician-scientist, Dr. Smith's objectives are to design, test, then implement patient-and pathogen-specific treatments in order to optimize patient outcomes.
Qing Ma, PharmD, PhD, associate professor of pharmacy practice, received a five-year $4 million award from the National Institute on Aging in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to examine the effects of drug toxicity on cognitive disorders in older adults with HIV. The award is the largest active R01 – a competitive grant that supports mature health-related research – at the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and the second largest active R01 at the university. The study will examine data and specimens from nearly 20,000 comprehensive medical and neurobehavioral assessments collected over more than 20 years from the National NeuroAIDS Tissue Consortium.
The collaborative clinical trial that will make a new investigational treatment option available to local patients diagnosed with COVID-19. The study, led by Igor Puzanov, MD, of Roswell Park, allows eligible patients at four local medical facilities to participate in a large international study of the anti-inflammatory agent sarilumab.
Dr. Brian Tsuji, professor of pharmacy practice and associate dean for clinical and translational sciences, is the principal investigator on a five-year $3.92 million R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue his groundbreaking research to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Tsuji has put together a team of world-renowned experts in antimicrobial pharmacology, genomics, animal models and pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics (PK/PD). Clinical Associate Professor Raymond Cha (BS ’97, PharmD ’99) played a critical role providing new clinical perspectives into antibiotic selection for critically ill patients infected with these difficult to treat infections. The UB team worked tirelessly to generate key preliminary data including PhD candidate Nicholas Smith (PharmD ’18 & MS ’18). This would not be possible without the collective efforts of our team at UB and the brilliant group of investigators. All of the credit should go to them,” Tsuji says.
Dr. Raymond Cha, Clinical Associate Professor at the Department of Pharmacy Practice, is a 2019 Grantee Award from Alternative Research and Development Foundation. Established in 1993, the ARDF has been a mainstay of support for developing alternatives to animal-based methods in science.
Through grant programs, achievement awards, and sponsorship of scientific conferences, ARDF advances high quality scientific research that aims to replace and reduce the use of animals. This study will develop quantitative system pharmacology models that will enhance the framework for antimicrobial resistance metrics in antimicrobial dosage and schedule design. This in vitro platform can be extended to include other immune constituents and drug-related biologics.
Dr. Charles Venuto received a three year grant sponsored by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to study the progression of cognitive symptoms in people living with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Deep learning will be used to construct models of cognitive progression in PD from multiple data modalities. The models will assess and evaluate the potential impact of clinical, biosamples, genetics, and imaging variables on the progression to mild cognitive impairment and dementia, as well as on rates of cognitive progression. These models will identify markers and their combinations that are prognostic to distinct cognitive progression trajectories in PD.