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What's next for the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

The construction dust may have settled at Oishei Children's Hospital and the University at Buffalo's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Science – but the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus is still growing, said Matt Enstice, the campus’ chief executive officer.

With the 120-acre research campus mostly built out, and the ties between its member institutions well-established, the Medical Campus plans to double down on new programming this year, from startup incubators to community classes.

Expect to see more employees at the Medical Campus as several of its partner institutions add staff. And expect a renewed emphasis on community engagement as BNMC strives to hire and educate more local residents.

“Last year was all about meeting deadlines for us – new streets, new buildings,” Enstice said. “This year our focus is on how we can make the campus as inclusive as possible, so that everyone is getting access to these resources.”

Among the new developments expected this year:

  • A new, $7 million life science incubator is coming to the University at Buffalo’s Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences. The state-funded “Innovation Hub” will provide work space, business mentoring and early stage investment to help commercialize technologies by Medical Campus researchers. UB is in the process of selecting a design firm to renovate the space and expects the first tenants to move in by the end of 2019. It is also accepting applications for pre-seed funding.
  • The first cryo-electron microscope in upstate New York will move into the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute. The $2.5 million, state-of-the-art microscope allows scientists to more accurately study proteins for the purposes of drug development and research. HWI plans to install the device over the summer, after renovating a first-floor space in its Ellicott Street building to block electromagnetic interference.
  • New oncology and medical rehabilitation units will open at Buffalo General Medical Center. The Gates Vascular Institute, located inside Buffalo General, also plans to install cutting-edge 4D CT scan technology in an effort to diagnose and treat stroke patients faster.
  • Two innovative treatment programs at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center will expand. The hospital plans to ramp up its 24-hour Assessment and Treatment Center, essentially an emergency room for cancer patients, and its Transplant and Cellular Therapy Center, which it says is among the first of its kind in the nation. Both programs began in late 2018, but will see far more patients this year, said Roswell CEO Dr. Candace Johnson.
  • Local produce will appear on the menus of two local hospitals. Roswell Park and Buffalo General are both scheduled to expand their offerings of locally grown food as part of a $350,000 public health project funded largely by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The “farm-to-hospital” initiative, in the works since 2015, is intended as a model for other institutions to follow.
  • UB doctors will begin teaching low-cost public classes downtown. The university’s “Mini Med School,” previously housed at the South Campus, is moving its public lectures to the Jacobs School on Main and Allen streets. The program offers $10 community classes on common medical issues, such as cancer, strokes and dementia.

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