$800,000 Awarded for Neuroscience Research by SUNY Students and Faculty

August 6, 2014

Collaborative Research into Treatment for Brain and Eye Disorders Supported by SUNY Brain Network of Excellence

Albany – The State University of New York and the Research Foundation for SUNY (RF) today announced the first round of funding for projects supported by the SUNY Brain Network of Excellence. The RF awarded $800,000 to eight projects engaging students and faculty on seven SUNY campuses, and their partners in the private sector, to research causes, treatments, and cures for neurological-based diseases and disorders.   

The SUNY Brain Network of Excellence, one of five networks throughout SUNY, was created to maximize interdisciplinary and collaborative neuroscience research across SUNY campuses and facilitate partnerships with academia, industry, and the community. 

“On SUNY campuses across the state, our students and faculty are making major medical breakthroughs, discovering with each new venture a more effective way to understand, diagnose, or treat diseases that affect brain and eye function in people of all ages,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Congratulations to all of the project partners supported by this first round of funding.”

Dr. Timothy Killeen, president of the RF and SUNY vice chancellor for research, said, “SUNY Brain advances the frontiers of neuroscience research by integrating current investments in neurosciences, neuroclinical services, and analytic sciences at multiple SUNY campuses. The range of projects funded showcases the diversity of expertise across SUNY that is applied everyday to resolve neurological-based health problems.”

Each of the following projects will be awarded funding as follows, as a result of today's announcement:

  • $150,000 to SUNY Optometry, College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering
    Manufacturing and testing ultra-thin implants to effectively record brain function
  • $147,000 to Stony Brook University, Downstate Medical Center, University of Rochester Medical Center

Exploring the relationship between glaucoma and waste removal system dysfunction around the optic nerve and eye

  • $85,000 to SUNY Optometry, Stony Brook University, Upstate Medical Center
    Developing novel approaches to determine the environmental risk factors and genetic components that lead to myopia or nearsightedness
  • $106,500 to Stony Brook University, University at Albany
    Implementing new technology for high-resolution recording and visualization of brain activity associated with urinary tract function
  • $46,000 to SUNY Optometry, Stony Brook University

Illuminating the brain mechanisms responsible for generating purposeful eye movements in naturalistic environments 

  • $80,400 to University at Buffalo, Stony Brook University, Jacobs Neurological Institute
    Relying on images of the anatomy and function of the brain to detect rare genetic disorders that affect the central nervous system in infants
  • $98,600 to SUNY Optometry, Upstate Medical Center, Downstate Medical Center
    Mapping computational modeling with human behavioral measurements to explore the contextual effect on color perception 
  • $93,700 awarded to Upstate Medical Center, University at Buffalo
    Generating eye cells that can be used to cure blinding diseases

More information, and a detailed abstract for each project, is available online.

SUNY Brain is one of five SUNY Networks of Excellence established within the last year to increase research collaborations and spur commercialization activities between SUNY and industry partners in core research areas. The others are SUNY 4E (Energy, Environment, Education, Economics), SUNY Health, SUNY Materials and Advanced Manufacturing, and SUNY Arts and Humanities. 

About The Research Foundation
The Research Foundation for SUNY (RF) is the largest, most comprehensive university-connected research foundation in the country. The RF manages SUNY’s research portfolio providing essential sponsored programs administration and innovation support services to SUNY faculty and students performing research in life sciences and medicine; engineering and nanotechnology; physical sciences and energy; social sciences, and computer and information sciences. The RF moves SUNY ideas and inventions to the marketplace collaborating with business and industry to create new opportunity and new jobs for New York State. To learn more about the RF visit www.rfsuny.org.

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, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three 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 opportunities, visit suny.edu.

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