new UB medical school construction drawing.

A new multidisciplinary Structural Science Learning Center will be part of the UB medical school in downtown Buffalo, now nearing its first phase of construction.

$1 Million Gift Supports Innovative Center for Anatomy, Pathology

Published February 19, 2015

A $1 million gift from Buffalo’s James H. Cummings Foundation will support a multidisciplinary Structural Science Learning Center within the University at Buffalo’s new state-of-the-art medical school, set to open in 2017.

“The goal is to transform anatomy, cell biology and pathology education and research by bringing them into the digital age. ”
John E. Tomaszewski, MD
Professor and chair of pathology and anatomical sciences
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The center, to be directed by John E. Tomaszewski, MD, professor and chair of pathology and anatomical sciences, will foster innovative approaches to teaching and research in anatomical science.

Students to Learn How ‘Big Data’ of Structure Interact

“The goal is to transform anatomy, cell biology and pathology education and research by bringing them into the digital age,” Tomaszewski says. 

“Advanced computational tools now allow for the mining of the tremendous quantitative structural information embedded in human anatomy, cells and molecules,” he explains. “Those data can be used to develop new predictive models, diagnoses and treatments that will directly benefit patients.”

Through the center, medical, engineering and computer science students will learn how those “big data” of structure interact. Physicians, biomedical scientists, biomedical engineers and computer scientists will jointly develop a unique capacity for creating and annotating the vast amounts of biomedical data embedded in the human organism.

The center will combine the expertise and computing power of five UB entities: the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences; the UB Clinical and Translational Science Institute; and the Institute for Healthcare Informatics.

New School Will Make Innovations Possible

Expressing his gratitude, Michael E. Cain, MD, vice president for health sciences and dean of the medical school, says the gift is “a clear demonstration of the Cummings Foundation’s support for the educational and scientific innovations that the new medical school makes possible.”

Now nearing the end of its first construction phase, the school “will be a regional center of expertise with national and international impacts on research, education and patient care,” Cain says.

Charles F. Kreiner Jr., president of the foundation’s board of directors, notes two far-reaching benefits of the new school:

  • efficiencies in health care delivery resulting from collaborations among the medical school and its partners
  • cutting-edge research around predictive modeling systems to support personalized medicine

These progressive outcomes “are vital to the health and wellness of Western New York’s citizens and will contribute to the economic development of this community,” Kreiner says.