SUNY Network of Excellence Awards $530,000 to Advance Understanding and Treatment of Brain Injury and Disorders

October 1, 2015

Albany – The State University of New York today announced $530,000 in funding for two collaborative research projects by the University at Buffalo, Downstate Medical Center, and Stony Brook University that will advance understanding of the human brain as part of the SUNY Brain Network of Excellence. The projects will enhance imaging tools used to map brain activity and determine treatment of neurological disorders; and advance research into the causes of traumatic brain injury.

In addition, the Network provided support for two post-doctoral fellowships involving faculty at the University at Albany, Binghamton University, University at Buffalo, and Stony Brook University.

“The continued work of those receiving support today is likely to result in new, innovative ways to treat, cure, and possibly prevent neurological and psychiatric conditions,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “By providing our campuses with shared resources and support, the Networks of Excellence continue to foster collaboration among SUNY’s leading researchers and scientists, broadening our knowledge and deepening our understanding in some of today’s most complex fields.”

Alexander N. Cartwright, SUNY provost and executive vice chancellor, and interim president of the Research Foundation for SUNY, said, “Today’s awards reflect the depth and breadth of faculty expertise that resides in SUNY, made all the more meaningful when our talented scholars commit to working together to advance the frontiers of knowledge and address pressing medical challenges.”

Projects funded by the SUNY Brain Network include:

  • $450,000 to support a partnership between the University at Buffalo, Downstate Medical Center, and Stony Brook University in which researchers will use nanoparticles for real-time mapping and stimulation of brain activity in order to better understand brain function and the effects of treatment.
  • $80,000 for a project involving Downstate Medical Center and Stony Brook University researchers who will explore the relationship between inflammation, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Post-doctoral fellowships supported by the SUNY Brain Network are as follows:

  • A Loughborough University (England) graduate, Adam Fry, will advance research into cognitive and behavioral disorders following a stroke, working with Andrew Goldfine, assistant professor of neurology at Stony Brook University School of Medicine, and Gerwin Schalk, neuroscience researcher at University at Albany School of Public Health.
  • A University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, graduate, Ken Wakabayashi, will explore the Nucleus Tractus Solitarius (NTS) circuits that influence and motivate feeding behaviors. He will work with Caroline Bass, assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine, and Patricia Di Lorenzo, professor of psychology at Binghamton University.

Additional information about both projects and fellowships is available online.

To date, the SUNY Brain Network of Excellence has invested more than $1.3 million to advance research in neurosciences, neuroclinical services, and analytic sciences at multiple SUNY campuses. The Network has also funded research opportunities for undergraduate students and post-doctoral fellows.

About the SUNY Networks of Excellence
SUNY Brain is one of six SUNY Networks of Excellence, which assemble scientists, scholars, and external partners from SUNY campuses to conduct collaborative research in high-demand areas. The others are SUNY 4E (Energy, Environment, Economics and Education), SUNY Health, SUNY Materials and Advanced Manufacturing, SUNY Arts and Humanities and SUNY Teaching, Learning, and Assessment.  

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school and business in the state. In 2015–16, SUNY served nearly 1.3 million students, including nearly 600,000 in credit-bearing courses and programs and more than 700,000 through continuing education and community outreach programs. SUNY students and faculty across the state make significant contributions to research and discovery, resulting in nearly $1 billion of externally sponsored activity each year. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu.


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