Media Coverage

6/15/20
WBFO reports that a team of researchers from the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, has received more than $2.2 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for development of a method to accurately diagnose Parkinson’s disease before clinical symptoms are present. Jian Feng, PhD, principal investigator and professor of physiology and biophysics, said the grant will allow researchers to work toward a goal of developing a method for the objective diagnosis, and might allow doctors to predict years in advance who might develop the disease.
5/18/20
Articles report on UB research in which scientists have generated millions of mature human cells in mouse embryos and quote study co-author Jian Feng, PhD, professor of physiology and biophysics. “Further development of our technology could enable the generation of even larger quantities of specific types of mature human cells to allow us to create more effective mouse models to study diseases that gravely affect humans, such as malaria or COVID-19,” Feng said.
12/19/19
A report on new research into autism quotes Zhen Yan, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor of physiology and biophysics, who was not involved in the study.
5/13/19
Research by Mark D. Parker, PhD, assistant professor of physiology and biophysics, shows that acidic blood is not the cause of a rare disease called proximal renal tubular acidosis. “The only treatment is alkali therapy, which literally involves ingesting baking soda tablets to normalize the pH of the blood,” he said. “However, the alkali therapy has never been applied to pRTA patients at an early enough age to determine whether it could prevent the developmental impairments. Our research suggests that these symptoms persist even when blood pH is normalized from birth.”
4/2/19
An article reports on a collaboration by Wilma A. Hofmann, PhD, associate professor of physiology and biophysics, and scientists at Moscow State University to determine how a biomarker for metastatic prostate cancer might best be detected. “The critical issue is to find a prostate cancer biomarker that is reliable and sensitive, especially with low percentages of metastatic cancer cells, indicating the cancer progression is at an early stage,” she said.
3/11/19
An article about an experimental compound that blocks two enzymes involved in gene expression to improve social behavior in young mice carrying a mutation in SHANK3, a top risk gene for autism, quotes Zhen Yan, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor of physiology and biophysics. The study suggests that the control of gene expression offers promising targets for treating different forms of autism, she said, adding, “Targeting these fundamental mechanisms may have a broad and far-reaching impact.”
2/23/19
A new approach to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) — that may eventually make it possible to reverse memory loss — is outlined in a paper published in the journal Brain. The research was led by Zhen Yan, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor of physiology and biophysics. “In this paper, we have not only identified the epigenetic factors that contribute to the memory loss, we also found ways to temporarily reverse them in an animal model of AD,” says Yan.
2/16/19
Research by Zhen Yan, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor of physiology and biophysics, suggests it may eventually be possible to reverse memory loss in Alzheimer’s patients by focusing on gene changes caused by influences other than DNA sequences. “An epigenetic approach can correct a network of genes, which will collectively restore cells to their normal state and restore the complex brain function,” she said.
1/26/19
Times News Now reports on a UB study in which researchers developed a novel approach that may one day make it possible to reverse memory loss, and quotes Zhen Yan, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor of physiology and biophysics, who said: “We have not only identified the epigenetic factors that contribute to the memory loss, but we also found ways to temporarily reverse them in an animal model of Alzheimer’s.”
10/18/18
An article in the Buffalo News reports UB spinoff Cytocybernetics, a past 43North winner, has received a $250,000 Small Business Innovation Research award from the National Institute of Mental Health to support its expansion into neuronal drug development. The co-founders of Cytocybernetics are Glenna C. Bett, PhD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, and Randall L. Rasmusson, PhD, professor of physiology and biophysics. Bett is company CEO and Rasmusson is company president.
5/15/18
New Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences research has shown that an approved anti-cancer drug can significantly restore the social deficits associated with autism spectrum disorder in mice. “We have discovered a small molecule compound that shows a profound and prolonged effect on autism-like social deficits without obvious side effects, while many currently used compounds for treating a variety of psychiatric diseases have failed to exhibit the therapeutic efficacy for this core symptom of autism,” said Zhen Yan, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor of physiology and biophysics.
4/3/18
New research by Zhen Yan, PhD, professor of physiology and biophysics, has shown that an FDA-approved anti-cancer drug can significantly restore the social deficits associated with autism spectrum disorder in mice.
1/31/18
News articles report that Cytocybernetics, a UB spinoff co-founded by two Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences faculty, has been awarded $1.5 million by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which will support hiring and development. The company was founded by Glenna C. Bett, PhD, vice chair for research and associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology, and Randall L. Rasmusson, PhD, professor of physiology and biophysics.
6/27/17
Zhen Yan, PhD, and Jian Feng, PhD, both professors of physiology and biophysics, have received a five-year, $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to conduct preclinical research on the genetic and epigenetic factors that cause Alzheimer’s disease. “We hypothesize that Alzheimer’s is produced by a combination of genetic risk factors and environmental factors, such as aging,” said Yan, “that induce the dysregulation of specific epigenetic processes that, in turn, lead to impaired cognition.”
6/7/17
Jian Feng, PhD, professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, is paving the way for faster screenings for new treatments for Parkinson's disease. “With this new finding, we can now generate in a dish the neuronal misfiring that is similar to what occurs in the brain of a Parkinson’s patient,” says Feng.