Students research at UAlbany

By the Numbers

  • Awards to faculty
    $342.3 million
  • Research Foundation of SUNY
    $171.6 million
  • Awarded to Health Research Incorporated
    $166.7 million
  • Awarded to University state accounts
    $4.0 million
  • Patents
  • Invention disclosures
  • Patent applications

University at Albany faculty attracted $342.3 million in research funding in 2008-2009, maintaining UAlbany's position in the top tier of the nation's research universities. The funding reflects UAlbany's historic strengths in atmospheric sciences and public-policy oriented social sciences, and dramatic recent investments in nanotechnology and the life sciences. UAlbany is a Carnegie-recognized Research Extensive university.

Major Highlights

The Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities was awarded a $6.8 million grant by the National Institutes of Health for the creation of The Exploratory Center on Minority Health and Disparities in Smaller Cities.

  • Lawrence Schell, professor of anthropology and epidemiology, is principal investigator and Center Director. The Center is innovative in its focus on small cities and towns, and in its unique partnership-driven agenda.
  • Other Center faculty leaders include Robert Miller, associate professor of social welfare, who heads the Mentoring and Training Core, and David Strogatz, associate professor of epidemiology, who heads the Research Core.
  • The Center's core research activities include: a partnership with an African American community to improve the use of reproductive healthcare services in the Albany area; a partnership with a native American community concerned about health effects of contamination of the local food supply; and a study which will create a multi-state pooled data set to study the complex relationships of race, ethnicity and socio-economic factors with health status.

UAlbany faculty responded vigorously to opportunities presented by Congress's 2009 stimulus plan. As of July 1, 2009, 51 applications were submitted, resulting in four awards to support research on:

  • Mental health problems in adolescents;
  • Stress signaling and tumor suppression;
  • Coupled effects of oceanic Kelvin waves and atmospheric convection on weather over the tropical Pacific; and
  • Effectiveness of helmet laws in preventing bicycle injuries among youth.

Victor Asal, associate professor, political science, R. Karl Rethemeyer, associate professor, public administration and policy, and colleagues from the University of Maryland received an National Science Foundation grant of $140,758 to study the ecology of terrorist organizations.

The School of Social Welfare received a five-year, $16.5 million award from the U.S. Administration for Children and Families to establish a National Child Welfare Workforce Institute. Mary McCarthy, professor of social welfare, is principal investigator and leads an eight-university consortium that includes the University of Michigan and the University of North Carolina.

The molecular life sciences research initiative in the College of Arts and Sciences was advanced through two awards totaling $1.9 million from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Surgery to Melinda Larsen, assistant professor, biological sciences. The funding aids Larsen in studying the early stages of salivary gland branching and developing an interactive model to help tissue engineers create better salivary gland therapies for Sjorgen's Syndrome.

Distinguished Teaching Professor John Delano, atmospheric and environmental sciences, will partner with colleagues at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to lead the Public Education Core of the New York Center for Astrobiology. The Center, funded with a $7.5 million grant from NASA, will study evidence for environments that support life in space.

Technology Transfer

Four patents were issued to teams led by College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering faculty members Vincent LaBella, Serge Oktyabrsky, Michael Carpenter, Bai Xu and James Castracane. A team led by another college faculty member, Scott Tenenbaum, invented technologies that were licensed to a start-up company.

Advanced web technology curricula developed by the Center for Technology in Government have been licensed to a computer training company.

Another start-up company has licensed behavioral models for competency-based psychologically valid assessment tools that were developed by Kevin Williams and his team in the industrial and organizational psychology group in the Department of Psychology.

Awards and Recognition

Sridar Chittur, director of the Microarray Core of the Center for Functional Genomics at the University's Cancer Research Center, was honored with the “40 Under 40” award from the Business Review. Chittur is a specialist in microarray technologies, an advanced method to study nucleic acid sequences in DNA or RNA samples.

Don Byron, visiting associate professor in the Department of Music, was one of 29 artists, writers, musicians, and scholars, as well as one of only two composers, to win a 2009-10 Rome Prize. It will support Byron's work on a new opera based on the novel and film Gentlemen's Agreement.