Reynolds, Clinton to Receive Igniting Ideas Awards for Support of UB Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics

By Mary Cochrane

Release Date: May 29, 2003 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Rep. Thomas Reynolds and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton will receive Igniting Ideas Awards for their leadership in support of the University at Buffalo Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics at a UB Business Partners Day luncheon to be held at noon on June 6 in the Adam's Mark Hotel.

Igniting Ideas Awards are presented to business and civic leaders who have played key roles in strengthening the economic wealth of New York State and Buffalo Niagara by partnering with UB to improve development policies and practices, create new jobs and encourage new business enterprises.

UB President William R. Greiner said Clinton and Reynolds will be honored for "their outstanding and visionary support of the UB Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics, our entire university community and, by extension, all of Buffalo Niagara."

The luncheon at which they will be honored will be held in conjunction with the international "Frontiers in Bioinformatics" symposium being held by the center June 6-8 in the Adam's Mark.

Reynolds and Clinton will be keynote speakers at the luncheon. Greiner and Marsha S. Henderson, president of the Western New York District for KeyBank, N.A., and a director of Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, also will speak.

UB Business Partners Day, an outgrowth of the former Industry University Day, honors business and civic leaders who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in support of UB and Western New York. More than 300 representatives from regional businesses, as well as from the UB community, are expected to attend the luncheon.

This year's event represents a significant expansion and recognition of the many relationships that the university and its 13 academic units are developing with business, industrial and community partners and signifies a much more comprehensive outreach to our partners from across the campuses.

UB Business Partners Day, Greiner said, "is a celebration of vital partnerships, collaboration, creativity, intellectual and technological resources and, above all, the can-do spirit found at the heart of our university community and of our region, state and nation. Together, we are 'igniting ideas' and leading the way to exciting new scientific discovery, technology transfer and business development -- as well as continuing to inspire and generate new economic revitalization.

"UB Business Partners Day not only symbolizes the great potential of our region, but demonstrates the great successes and advancement we can achieve for our community through partnership and cooperation."

UB Provost Elizabeth D. Capaldi noted that the university is "deeply grateful for the support of the business community and our federal delegation, which has allowed us to begin to hire scientists for the Center of Excellence.

"Public-private partnerships," she added, "are the key ingredient for success in this venture and for building an economy in Buffalo.

Reynolds has successfully collaborated across party lines with other elected federal and state officials to ensure that the UB Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics remains highly visible during funding sessions.

A member of the Republican Majority's leadership team in the U.S. House of Representatives, Reynolds is chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee and a member of the House Rules Committee. First elected to Congress in 1998, he represents New York's 26th District, which includes seven Western New York counties. He prides himself on strong constituent casework, having delivered more than $272 million in the past two years to his Western New York Congressional District.

Clinton, who has stressed building a strong economy by partnering intellectual resources with those who can help bring the ideas to market, has pushed determinedly for federal funding and the necessary governmental cooperation to make the UB Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics a reality.

Elected in November 2000, Clinton is the first First Lady ever to serve in the U.S. Senate. As a freshman senator, Clinton has worked to get bipartisan legislation passed, traveled to every corner of New York State, secured millions in appropriations and built a strong and effective constituent-service operation. Clinton serves on the Senate committees for Environment and Public Works; Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; and recently was appointed to the Senate Armed Services Committee -- the first New Yorker appointed to this committee.

The "Frontiers in Bioinformatics" symposium being held by the UB Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics will be among the first conferences in the world to explore collaborative approaches to structural genomics, evolutionary genomics and large-scale simulations of genome annotation.

The UB Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics was founded in 2001 by New York State Gov. George E. Pataki, who proposed creation of Centers of Excellence in Buffalo, Albany, Syracuse, Rochester and Long Island as part of an effort to leverage the state's expertise in high technologies, attract new businesses and improve the state's economy. To date, the UB Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics has garnered more than $290 million in support from New York State, the federal government, foundations and corporate partners.

Bioinformatics uses the power of supercomputers to interpret data in the biological sciences at the molecular level. The center will merge high-end technology, including supercomputing and visualization, with expertise in genomics, proteomics and bioimaging to foster advances in science and health care. It will have an equal emphasis on experimental and computational research with a goal of understanding biological function. Scientists will apply this fundamental information toward understanding common, yet complex, diseases. In turn, new drugs to treat disease will be developed through the collaborative efforts of the center and its strategic partners.

The UB Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics is located temporarily at 901 Washington St. Construction of a 123,500-square-foot structure to house the center is scheduled to begin in August. The new building will be located at Ellicott and Virginia streets within the Buffalo Life Sciences Complex on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.