Letter From the Chair

Kenneth M. Blumenthal.

Kenneth M. Blumenthal, Professor & Chair

Published August 10, 2011 This content is archived.

It's been another exciting year in the Biochemistry department, and despite the travails of the NIH budget, both the department and the faculty research portfolio remains strong.

Faculty Accomplishments

  • Together with their students and collaborators, our faculty published over 60 peer-reviewed articles in well-regarded journals.  
  • Jennifer Surtees did a terrific job organizing our seminar program, which brought in nationally prominent speakers in several key areas.
  • Laura Feltri, whose research focuses on Schwann cell signaling and mechanisms of myelination, joined the department on July 1st, and we look forward to her participation across the spectrum of departmental functions.
  • Larry Wrabetz, the founding Director of the Hunter J. Kelly Research Institute and also an expert in myelin-related pathologies, has received an adjunct appointment in Biochemistry and his graduate students will be members of our graduate program. 
  • Congratulations are in order to Lee Ann Garrett Sinha, who was promoted this year to Associate Professor.
  • We would also like to congratulate Marc Halfon who is a recipient of this year's UB Award for Teaching Innovation.

Student Achievements

  • The department granted 6 Ph.D. degrees during the 2010-2011 academic year and we congratulate these graduates on their achievements:  Stacy Amico, Thomas Hohle, Lisa Russell, Arsalan Shabbir, Sandra Small and Alaina Terzulli.  While these students will be difficult to replace, we have recruited 4 new students from the 2010 IGPBS class, and will be working hard to attract additional students in the coming year.  
  • An outstanding cohort of undergraduate Biochemistry majors received their bachelor degrees in May, seven of whom were elected to Phi Beta Kappa and one, Ms. Felicia Cao, received the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Academic Excellence.  Ms. Cao's selection marks the third consecutive year that one of our students has received this award.  Clearly, our undergraduate program, ably directed by Gail Willsky, continues to attract and educate a group highly talented students.

Relocation of Biochemistry/School of Medicine to Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

Of course, the big news for the medical school, and the department, relates to relocating the School to the downtown Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, a move targeted for completion in 2015.  Planning is already underway, and the project has been approved by SUNY and the state government.  When complete, this move will strengthen our relationships with our colleagues in clinical departments and will also reunite the department geographically.  More news on what is an exciting development for the department, the school, and the city of Buffalo to come.