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Cummings Foundation awards $1 million to UB's new medical school

by jmaloni


Wed, Feb 4th 2015 05:15 pm

Gift supports a transformation of anatomy, cell biology and pathology education and research at UB

The James H. Cummings Foundation of Buffalo has given $1 million to the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

"We are very grateful to the Cummings Foundation for this significant gift," said Michael E. Cain, M.D., vice president for health sciences and dean of School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. "It is a clear demonstration of the foundation's support for the educational and scientific innovations that the new medical school makes possible. It comes as we conclude the first construction phase of the building, which will be a regional center of expertise with national and international impacts on research, education and patient care."

The gift will support the development of a structural science learning center in the new building, designed to foster an innovative approach to teaching and research in anatomical science, under the direction of John E. Tomaszewski, M.D., chair of the department of pathology and anatomical sciences. He was recruited in 2011 from the University of Pennsylvania.

 "The goal is to transform anatomy, cell biology and pathology education and research by bringing them into the digital age," Tomaszewski said.

"Advanced computational tools now allow for the mining of the tremendous quantitative structural information embedded in human anatomy, cells and molecules," he said. "Those data can be used to develop new predictive models, diagnoses and treatments that will directly benefit patients."

In the center, students of medicine, engineering and computer science will learn how those "big data" of structure interact. Physicians, biomedical scientists, biomedical engineers and computer scientists together will develop a unique capacity for creating and annotating the vast amounts of quantitative biomedical data embedded within the human organism.

"The James H. Cummings Foundation is pleased to provide support for the structural science learning center, which is part of this world-class academic health center being built on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus," said Charles F. Kreiner Jr., president of the foundation's board of directors. "We believe the efficiencies in the delivery of care that will result from the new medical school and its partners, along with the cutting-edge research around predictive modeling systems to support personalized medicine, are vital to the health and wellness of Western New York's citizens and will contribute to the economic development of this community."

The SSLC will combine the expertise and computing power of UB's schools of medicine and engineering and applied sciences, as well as its New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, the Clinical and Translational Research Center and the Institute for Healthcare Informatics.

UB's new medical school is the largest medical education building under construction in the U.S.

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