Media Coverage

5/15/19
An article about the results of a sweeping analysis of how astronaut Scott Kelly’s body changed and what returned to normal after a year in space interviews Richard M. Gronostajski, PhD, professor of biochemistry and director of the Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics graduate program, who was not involved in the study. “In this paper they showed there was no statistically significant difference in genetic modifications they could find between the twin in the space station with the one on the ground,” he said. “That’s good news.”
5/15/19
An article by Mark R. O’Brian, PhD, professor and chair of biochemistry, looks at leghemoglobin, the ingredient that makes the plant-based Impossible Burger look and taste like real beef. “The commercialization of leghemoglobin represents an unanticipated consequence of inquiry into an interesting biological phenomenon. The benefits of scientific research are often unforeseen at the time of their discovery. Whether or not the Impossible Burger venture succeeds on a large scale remains to be seen, but surely food technology will continue to evolve to accommodate human needs as it has since the advent of agriculture 10,000 years ago,” he writes.
5/6/19
A $2 million National Institutes of Health grant to UB’s Hunter James Kelly Research Institute will fund a novel approach into understanding and ultimately curing Krabbe’s Disease, the disease that killed Hunter James Kelly, the son of Jim and Jill Kelly for whom the institute was named. “Krabbe is a devastating neurological disease of newborn babies, bringing them, unfortunately, to die within a few years of life," said M. Laura Feltri, MD, professor of biochemistry and neurology, and co-director of the institute.
3/26/19
Hundreds of Buffalo 8th-graders visited the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences to do hands-on science for UB’s annual Genome Day event, extracting their own genetic material from saliva and taking it home in a necklace. “What’s wonderful is they come into this building and they see state-of-the-art facilities, they meet students who are just a few years older than they are, and it's a really great opportunity for them to see where an education can take you ... particularly an education in science,” said Norma J. Nowak, PhD, professor of biochemistry and executive director of UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences.
12/14/18
Richard M. Gronostajski, PhD, professor of biochemistry and director of the Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics graduate program, addresses ethical issues raised after a Chinese scientist claimed that he altered and edited the genes of twin baby girls to make them immune to the HIV virus using the new gene-altering tool CRISPR. “CRISPR has been revolutionary — it's been powerful,” he said. “It was anticipated that someone would eventually want to edit human beings. It’s a wake-up call.” 
11/13/18
An article on Medical Xpress reports on research by Richard M. Gronostajski, professor of biochemistry, that showed that the absence of one copy of a single gene in the brain causes a rare, as-yet-unnamed neurological disorder. "This paper shows that a single point mutation in NFIB is responsible for these clinical characteristics, including mild intellectual disability, lack of muscle tone, speech delay, attention deficit disorder and other behavioral abnormalities, as well as macrocephaly," said Gronostajski, director of the Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics graduate program and a researcher at UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences.
10/15/18
Jennifer Surtees, PhD, co-director of UB’s Genome, Environment and Microbiome and associate professor of biochemistry, is interviewed about UB’s Coalesce: Center for Biological Arts artists-in-residency program. “These collaborations between UB’s scientists and the global art community continue to produce unique community workshops, important new dialogues and the continued explorations of microbial communities and their impact on the world around us,” Surtees said.
9/6/18
Brittany L. Steimle, a doctoral candidate in biochemistry, received an award for outstanding poster for her presentation on how proteins transport manganese in the brain at the international “Trace Elements in Biology and Medicine” conference, sponsored by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology in Tahoe City, California. “Understanding how manganese accumulates into the brain through the blood-brain barrier may serve as a key to designing drug targets for individuals who may have been overexposed to manganese in the environment or in whom manganese metabolism has somehow become dysregulated,” said Steimle, who conducts research in the laboratory of Daniel J. Kosman, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor of biochemistry.
8/16/18
Empire Genomics, the biotechnology company co-founded in 2006 by Norma J. Nowak, PhD, professor of biochemistry and executive director of UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, will move from downtown Buffalo to new offices in Amherst.
5/21/18
A story about a New York State law that requires doctors to collect a blood sample from every child born in the state in order to test for pediatric diseases and concerns about what happens to the leftover blood, which becomes the property of the state, interviews Michael D. Garrick, PhD, professor of biochemistry. Regulations have been developed over the past decade, he said, including ones that require researchers and law enforcement to obtain an “OK” from the Institutional Review Board to get access to the samples. “The IRB board needs to give approval, and the patient whose sample would be taken needs to give consent,” he said.
2/22/18
A new study has showed that genetically modified corn does increase crop yields and can provide more health benefits than traditional corn. “The work is significant because it examined literature that studied corn only under field conditions, and compared the GE [genetically engineered] plants with non-GE plants that were genetically identical except for the genes that were engineered,” said Mark R. O’Brian, PhD, professor and chair of biochemistry, who was not affiliated with the research. “It also only included literature where robust statistical analysis was possible.”
11/9/17
Norma J. Nowak, PhD, professor of biochemistry and executive director of UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, is a member of the search committee tasked with hiring a replacement for John Gavigan, who is stepping down as executive director of 43North.
10/17/17
A new book co-edited by Mulchand S. Patel, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor of biochemistry, and colleagues explores in detail the many fetal and immediate postnatal nutritional influences on adult health. "Our animal studies have shown that overfeeding, or the increased intake of carbohydrate-derived calories during the immediate postnatal period, can reprogram an individual's metabolism, creating negative health outcomes later in life," he said.
9/21/17
A new book co-edited by Mulchand S. Patel, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor of biochemistry, and colleagues explores in detail the many fetal and immediate postnatal nutritional influences on adult health. “Our animal studies have shown that overfeeding, or the increased intake of carbohydrate-derived calories during the immediate postnatal period, can reprogram an individual’s metabolism, creating negative health outcomes later in life,” he said.  
7/7/17
Research by Mark R. O’Brian, PhD,  professor and chair of biochemistry, has led to a four-year, $1.28 million grant to study how bacteria mutate to accept iron, and how the organism expels excess iron. "We usually think of evolution taking place over a long period of time, but we're seeing evolution — at least as the ability to use an iron source that it couldn't before — occurring as a single mutation in the cell that we never would have predicted," he said.