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News: Travis and Van de Walle Awarded SUNY Grant

Alex Travis (PI) and Gerlinde Van de Walle are among the first recipients of State University of New York (SUNY) funding for a multi-campus research project involving colleagues here at Cornell, SUNY Cortland, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, and Upstate Medical University. Their Health Network of Excellence project will focus on creating and testing a biosensor platform that has many possible applications that could benefit animal and human health.

"We’re honored to be among the first awardees under the new Networks of Excellence program," said Travis. "Although the program has just begun, it's already been successful in promoting new collaborations for us with our colleagues at SUNY schools, and it helps us take our basic biomedical science and marry it with the engineering and clinical know-how that will hopefully lead to real-world impact."

Beginning in 2014, SUNY is making funding available through five research areas within the Network of Excellence program, including SUNY Health, SUNY 4E (Energy, Environment, Education, Economics), SUNY Brain, SUNY Materials and Advanced Manufacturing, and SUNY Arts and Humanities. The program is intended to promote collaborative initiatives that have good potential for garnering future funding from federal, state, private, and/or industrial sponsors. The project Drs. Travis and Van de Walle are collaborating on was awarded under the SUNY Health program, an umbrella network meant to enhance strengths in biomedical research across all SUNY campuses.

Together with their colleagues at other campuses, Drs. Travis and Van de Walle will be testing their biosensor in three possible applications: rapid diagnosis of human neural pathologies (e.g. stroke, Alzheimer’s Disease and traumatic brain injury), detection of neurotoxins/toxicants, and screening of factors released from stem cells for their potential neuroprotective effects.

"This investment will help continue New York's rich tradition of leading medical advancement for the global community," said Governor Andrew Cuomo about the SUNY Networks of Excellence in a press statement. "The funding will provide scientists the infrastructure and talent that they need in order to continue conducting world-class research in the State, and establishes yet another opportunity for colleges and universities to bolster upstate New York's growing medical economy.”