Ma Awarded NSF Manufacturing Grant for Scale-Up of Therapeutic Cell Products

More new therapeutic treatments for various diseases could be moved into clinical trials—and potentially faster into mainstream medical use—if scientists could find ways to manufacture exponentially higher quantities of the stem cell components needed for medical testing.

Spearheading work to make those cell manufacturing process discoveries is Associate Professor Zhen Ma, the Carol and Samuel Nappi Research Scholar in the College of Engineering and Computer Science. He is working with a newly awarded $500,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) future manufacturing seed grant and coordinating the project with bioengineering experts at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Continue Reading

Research Fueled by Chemistry Professors Helps Advance Artificial Enzyme Engineering

While corrosion resistance, durability and low cost make plastic a very efficient resource, one of its major drawbacks is the harm it poses to the environment. According to a report from Greenpeace USA, 51 million tons of plastic waste were generated by households in the United States in 2021, with only 2.4 million tons recycled, making it a pressing concern to the well-being of the planet.

To curb this issue, researchers are seeking ways to develop engineered enzymes capable of breaking down plastic–similar to the way the body breaks down food during digestion. Continue Reading

Samuel Herberg awarded over $2 mil from NIH for glaucoma research

Samuel Herberg, PhD was awarded over $2 million dollars from the National Eye Institute to study the role of cellular memory in glaucoma. He’s proposing the first studies to establish the involvement of trabecular meshwork cells’ mechanical memory in the development of glaucoma. Herberg is an assistant professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, and a researcher at SUNY Upstate’s Center for Vision Research. Continue Reading

BioInspired Institute’s First Symposium Provides Continuing Inspiration for Research Cluster Initiative

Energy. Excitement. Enthusiasm. Opportunity.

Those words convey the atmosphere evident at last week’s inaugural BioInspired Institute symposium and the sentiments of students, faculty, staff, University leaders and external stakeholders attending the event to describe the research cluster’s efforts of the past three-plus years.

In celebration of academic excellence and institutional collaboration, nearly 140 attendees overflowed the Life Sciences Building atrium, where 57 undergraduate and graduate students and post-doctoral fellows presented posters illustrating their interdisciplinary research projects. The work of institute members spans the fields of life science, engineering, physics and chemistry and is focused in bioengineering and biomedical projects involving smart materials, development and disease, and cell form and function. Continue Reading

BioInspired Institute Hosts Inaugural Research Symposium Oct. 7

BioInspired Institute faculty and student researchers, along with campus leaders, community biotech and biomaterials workforce innovators and institutional research partners will gather to discuss progress, celebrate discoveries and build community at the inaugural BioInspired Symposium on Friday, Oct. 7.

The conference takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Life Sciences Complex atrium. It is the first time the institute has been able to host an in-person gathering of like-minded individuals for a formal scientific conference since waves of COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021 postponed original plans. Continue Reading

Hehnly Announced as an Inaugural Renée Crown Honors Professor

The College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) is pleased to announce that Heidi Hehnly, associate professor of biology and leader in the BioInspired Institute, is the inaugural Renée Crown Professor in the Sciences and Mathematics and Karin Nisenbaum, assistant professor of philosophy, is the inaugural Renée Crown Professor in the Humanities. The professorships are made possible thanks to a generous gift from the family of esteemed alumnae and Trustee Emerita Renée Schine Crown ’50, H ’84. Continue Reading

3D Bioprinting at the Frontier of Medical Innovation

Four people wearing white lab coats draw on a window in a laboratory
Professors Pranav Soman and Chris Santangelo (middle and far right, respectively) with Ph.D. students Zachary Geffert and Anna-Blessing Merife.

More than 106,000 Americans are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant, with a new name added to the list every nine minutes. The demand is critical, explains Syracuse University professor Pranav Soman, and includes people of every age, gender, race and ethnicity. “There are as many people dying from organ disease as those needing a transplant. It’s a huge public health issue,” he adds. Continue Reading