SUNY Establishes First-of-a-kind Dual Degree in Nanoscale Medicine
In a pioneering initiative that will prepare a new generation of research physicians to be leaders in 21st century health care, the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany and SUNY Downstate Medical Center (Downstate) on March 1, 2011 announced the establishment of a first-of-its-kind, dual degree program to provide world-class education and training in both medicine and nanoscale science and engineering, which will enable nanomedicine innovations designed to transform and enhance the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease.
The combined M.D./Ph.D. program will serve as the premier global resource for training in nanoscale medical applications and produce a new hybrid generation of research physicians capable of driving nanotechnology applications in medicine and redefining the standards of health care. Students will participate in an integrated course of study alternating between CNSE and Downstate, which is designed for completion within seven years and will result in the award of an M.D. degree and a Ph.D. in either Nanoscale Science or Nanoscale Engineering.
The emerging science of nanotechnology is ushering in the most radical transformation in the history of medicine, with the impact being felt across the medical field, from biomedical research to oncology. Several nanocarrier-based drugs are already on the market and many more nano-based therapeutics are in clinical trials; the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has made significant investments in nanomedicine by establishing a national network of eight Nanomedicine Development Centers; and the National Cancer Institute has created the Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer that targets nanomedicine for breakthroughs in detecting, diagnosing and treating various forms of cancer.
At the same time, the economic impact of nanotechnology-enabled medical products and the careers associated with their development will be significant. The U.S. market for nanotechnology medical products is projected to increase to $53 billion by the end of this year – and double over the next five years – according to The Freedonia Group, a leading international business research company.
The M.D./Ph.D. program will be jointly administered by CNSE and Downstate. The initiative will leverage the unique assets and unparalleled resources of CNSE, the world’s first college dedicated to the emerging field of nanotechnology and home to the $7 billion Albany NanoTech Complex, which has attracted over 250 global corporate partners and is the most advanced research complex at any university in the world, and Downstate, which is one of SUNY’s four academic health science centers and has unique research strengths in neuroscience, cardiovascular medicine, and live tissue imaging that are ideal platforms for developing medically relevant nanotechnology in the areas of biosensors, drug delivery and diagnostics.