3:40pm

Wed October 3, 2012
Science

Trio of Albany institutions teams up on biomedical research

A trio of top research institutions in the Albany area have announced that they're teaming up to collaborate on biomedical science.

The Albany Medical Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and University at Albany signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday morning to form a new group called the NY Cap Research Alliance.

The alliance will foster collaboration and provide funding for research focused on regenerative medicine as well as neuro-degenerative diseases, like Alzheimer's.

In its initial round of funding, the alliance awarded $745,000 in grants to 10 research projects. The money comes from the state's new regional economic development council initiative.

At a press conference, the presidents of all three institutions said the aim of the new alliance is to invest in research that can be commercialized and to attract more federal research dollars to the Capital Region. They also plan to court other local institutions to join the alliance.

Here is the complete list of the alliance's grants from the press release:

·$85,000 to pursue a new drug for the prevention of neuropathic pain. This project brings together the expertise of researchers Philip Albrecht, Ph.D., and Frank Rice, Ph.D., from Albany Medical College, and Sridar Chittur, Ph.D., from UAlbany.

·$85,000 to pursue novel treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease. This project brings together the expertise of researchers Peter Tessier, Ph.D., from Rensselaer; Ewan McNay, Ph.D., from UAlbany; and Earl Zimmerman, M.D., from Albany Medical College.

·$85,000 to pursue a fast and effective way to diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease and differentiate it from other forms of dementia. This project brings together the expertise of researchers Igor Lednev, Ph.D., from UAlbany, and Earl Zimmerman, M.D., from Albany Medical College.

·$85,000 for specialized tissue engineering. This project brings together the expertise of researchers Peter Vincent, Ph.D., from Albany Medical College, and Guohao Dai, Ph.D., from Rensselaer.

·$80,000 to develop a sensor for the early detection of Alzheimer’s Disease. This project brings together the expertise of researchers Paul Agris, Ph.D., Marlene Belfort, Ph.D., and Hua Shi, Ph.D., all from UAlbany; Georges Belfort, Ph.D., from Rensselaer; and Earl Zimmerman, M.D., from Albany Medical College.

·$75,000 to develop smart bandages for healing wounds. This project brings together the expertise of researchers Shiva Prasad Kotha, Ph.D., from Rensselaer, and Nadine Hempel, Ph.D., from UAlbany.

·$75,000 to develop a novel implantable sensor for use in orthopedics and neurosurgery. This project brings together the expertise of researchers Eric Ledet, Ph.D., and Kenneth Connor, Ph.D., both from Rensselaer; Richard Uhl, M.D., and Darryl DiRisio, M.D., both from Albany Medical College: and Nathaniel Cady, Ph.D., from UAlbany.

·$75,000 to pursue specialized tissue engineering. This project brings together the expertise of researchers Melinda Larsen, Ph.D., from UAlbany; Livingston Van De Water, Ph.D., from Albany Medical College; and David Corr, Ph.D., from Rensselaer.

·$50,000 to develop sensors to differentiate forms of prostate cancer. This project brings together the expertise of researchers Martin Tenniswood, Ph.D., from UAlbany; Jeffrey Ross, M.D., and Hugh Fisher, M.D., both from Albany Medical College.

·$50,000 to develop a method to control colon cancer through use of vitamins. This project brings together the expertise of researchers JoEllen Welsh, Ph.D., from UAlbany, and Timothy Sellati, Ph.D., from Albany Medical College.

You can follow reporter Marie Cusick on Twitter @MarieCusick