UAlbany Unveils New Health Sciences Campus

Includes the Launch of the UAlbany Innovation Center, New Academic Programs with Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and Enhanced START-UP NY Opportunities

The newly renamed Health Sciences Campus will offer students a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and master’s degrees in the fields of clinical laboratory sciences and cytotechnology. (Photo by Hilary Knox)   

ALBANY, NY (September 12, 2016) – The solid academic expansion initiated by UAlbany President Robert J. Jones continues as the University announces a Health Sciences Campus.

The newly named campus, a redesignation of the University’s East Campus in Rensselaer, N.Y., solidifies the strong intersection of academia, government and the private sector found there -- entities that collaborate in mutually beneficial ways to further the understanding of health and disease.

“The renaming of this campus will lead to student and public recognition for the University’s extraordinary assets in the health sciences,” said President Jones. “As the region’s only comprehensive public research university, our enhanced presence will attract a new cohort of high achieving students and world-class faculty.”

Home to the largest concentration of individual health science-related entities in the Capital Region, the Health Sciences Campus is anchored by the University’s School of Public Health and Cancer Research Center with its Center for Functional Genomics. Other campus residents include organizations such as Regeneron, Albany Molecular Research, Taconic, and select research divisions of Albany Medical College and Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, as well as a dozen other area start-up and biomedical organizations.

The campus is also home to a highly-collaborative, 30-year partnership between the School of Public Health and the New York State Department of Health.

Yielding New Academic Programs

The campus plan features new academic enhancements for students to study health science fields at a major public research university. Through agreements with Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, students can now pursue a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, a master’s in Clinical Laboratory Sciences, and/or a master’s in Cytotechnology and Molecular Cytotechnology.

These new offerings will be added to the University’s current 12 health science degree programs and 10 joint/dual or early assurance arrangements with graduate and professional programs in the health sciences.

“We applaud this forward-looking initiative and are pleased to advance our partnership with the University at Albany by offering new opportunities for students to pursue professional and graduate degrees in health sciences,” said T. Gregory Dewey, Ph.D., president, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. “We look forward to an even stronger relationship with UAlbany and will continue to leverage this collaboration to educate the next generation of the health professionals.”

For more information about UAlbany’s health sciences program portfolio, visit https://www.albany.edu/healthsciences.

Driving the Region’s Economy

The health sector offers the strongest prospect for economic growth in New York’s Capital Region and UAlbany’s Health Sciences Campus creates important opportunities for new or deeper partnerships with other educational institutions, public-sector agencies and private-sector health-related businesses.

One example of this is the UAlbany Innovation Center. The Health Sciences Campus has been named the first home to the center which is designed to strengthen and serve the already bustling culture of entrepreneurship and innovation at the University, and accelerate the commercialization of university research and innovative ideas.

The center will initiate programs and participate in activities that bridge research and education with industry by connecting companies, educators, experts and students to collaborate on real- world problems and solutions. This will bring industry leaders together with University experts to fuel innovative thinking and to enable collaboration in various fields focusing on biotechnology.

“Working in this collaborative environment provides a variety of excellent benefits for our business,” said Phillip J. Albrecht, Ph.D., vice-president and deputy chief scientist at Integrated Tissue Dynamics, LLC. “I am able to interact with veteran scientists from academia, government, and industry on a daily basis, and by serving as an adjunct faculty member, our company has unparalleled access to young talent while offering students the opportunity to challenge themselves on front-line biomedical projects.”

Support for the new UAlbany Innovation Center at the Health Science Campus is provided through Innovate 518, the Capital Region “Innovation Hot Spot” designed to promote economic development by incubating technology-enabled businesses with a focus on the Capital Region. Other Innovate 518 program partners include Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Center for Economic Growth, along with several area academic institutions, co-working spaces, investors and service providers.

Albrecht added, “As a past recipient of a CEG NYCAP grant award involving the UAlbany Center for Functional Genomics, I can attest to the direct benefits these important collaborations create.”

Through its affiliation, Albany Law School and UAlbany will develop an online tutorial called “Corporation in a Box” for early-stage technology start-ups leveraging Albany Law legal education services to support Innovate 518. The tutorial, which will reside on the Innovate 518 website, will provide an interactive experience to ensure businesses incorporate at the optimal level for their specific business and personal needs. Additional tools and resources to assist companies in applying for SBIR/STTR applications through the Small Business Administration will also be developed as part of future phases of the collaboration.

“The University at Albany and Rensselaer County have a 20-year history of partnering to help create an environment that fosters economic development. This was initially seen with the establishment of the East Campus and followed by the Cancer Research Center,” said Rensselaer County Executive Kathleen M. Jimino. “With the Health Sciences Campus’s renaming as well the new businesses taking root through the Innovation Hot Spot, we are thrilled that Rensselaer County is again at the center of UAlbany’s ambitious growth within the region’s rapidly expanding health sciences sector.”

The new Health Sciences Campus also offers new space to advance the University’s START-UP NY plan. Via START-UP NY, the campus can provide businesses with access to laboratories, core facilities and faculty experts, while businesses create collaborations for researchers, and internships and jobs for students.

“The new name – the University at Albany’s Health Sciences Campus -- will more clearly highlight the tremendous strengths already existing on the campus, and help the region and the state more clearly see the University’s exciting potential for enhancing the bio-medical sector of the regional economy,” said Laura Schweitzer, Ph.D., vice president for Health Sciences and Biomedical Initiatives, UAlbany.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, businesseducation, public health,health sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare and sociology, taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.