UAlbany News Center
Facebook Twitter  Youtube  
News Release icon Contact: Media Relations Office (518) 956-8150
 

NanoCollege and Downstate Med Link for Next Generation in Medical Research

Pioneering partnership will prepare a new generation of world-class clinical scientists and enable nanotechnology-driven applications to improve healthcare

Dr. Sara Brenner, CNSE Assistant Vice President for NanoHealth Initiatives, at the joint announcement with Downstate Medical Center. Brenner and and Dr. Mark Stewart, dean of Downstate's School of Graduate Studies, will advance the initiative as program directors.

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 04, 2011) -- In a pioneering initiative that will prepare a new generation of research physicians to be leaders in 21st century health care, the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) and SUNY Downstate Medical Center (Downstate) today announced the establishment of a first-of-its-kind, dual degree program to provide world-class education and training in both medicine and nanoscale science and engineering, which will enable nanomedicine innovations designed to transform and enhance the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease.

The combined M.D./Ph.D. program will serve as the premier global resource for training in nanoscale medical applications and produce a new hybrid generation of research physicians capable of driving nanotechnology applications in medicine and redefining the standards of healthcare. Students will participate in an integrated course of study alternating between CNSE and Downstate, which is designed for completion within seven years and will result in the award of an M.D. degree and a Ph.D. in either Nanoscale Science or Nanoscale Engineering.

The emerging science of nanotechnology is ushering in the most radical transformation in the history of medicine, with the impact being felt across the medical field, from biomedical research to oncology. Several nanocarrier-based drugs are already on the market and many more nano-based therapeutics are in clinical trials; the National Institutes of Health has made significant investments in nanomedicine by establishing a national network of eight Nanomedicine Development Centers; and the National Cancer Institute has created the Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer that targets nanomedicine for breakthroughs in detecting, diagnosing and treating various forms of cancer.

At the same time, the economic impact of nanotechnology-enabled medical products and the careers associated with their development will be significant. The U.S. market for nanotechnology medical products is projected to increase to $53 billion by the end of this year – and double over the next five years – according to The Freedonia Group, a leading international business research company.

Dr. John C. LaRosa, President of SUNY Downstate Medical Center, said, "This innovative M.D./Ph.D. program is a true partnership that brings together two exciting and important missions: the world-renowned physician education and training offered by SUNY Downstate Medical Center, and the globally recognized nanotechnology leadership of the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering. Together, we have an unparalleled opportunity to develop a new breed of research physicians who will possess the ability to integrate and accelerate nanotechnology applications in medicine, giving them a vital role in improving overall health and in setting a new standard of care that will serve to guide the worldwide health care industry."

Dr. Alain E. Kaloyeros, Senior Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of CNSE, said, "The UAlbany NanoCollege is delighted to join with SUNY Downstate Medical Center, under the leadership of President John LaRosa, to launch this groundbreaking partnership that will position New York as a nexus for the development of world-class research physicians and a launch pad for critical innovations enabled by nanotechnology to enhance the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. This first-of-its-kind program will have significant implications for addressing one of the nation’s most critical 21st Century challenges by catalyzing the development of game-changing medical technologies at a reduced cost, while concurrently building the highly-skilled workforce and robust technological capabilities necessary for New York to capitalize on the fast-growing nanomedicine sector."

The M.D./Ph.D. program will be jointly administered by CNSE and Downstate. Dr. Sara Brenner, CNSE Assistant Vice President for NanoHealth Initiatives, and Dr. Mark Stewart, Dean of Downstate’s School of Graduate Studies, will advance the initiative as program directors, in concert with a joint nanomedicine executive committee comprised of faculty members from CNSE and Downstate.

The initiative will leverage the unique assets and unparalleled resources of CNSE, the world’s first college dedicated to the emerging field of nanotechnology and home to the $7 billion Albany NanoTech Complex, which has attracted over 250 global corporate partners and is the most advanced research complex at any university in the world, and Downstate, which is one of SUNY’s four academic health science centers and has unique research strengths in neuroscience, cardiovascular medicine, and live tissue imaging that are ideal platforms for developing medically relevant nanotechnology in the areas of biosensors, drug delivery and diagnostics.