|Description||Throughout 2010, SUNY Downstate is marking its sesquicentennial.
among the many reasons to celebrate this anniversary, one is particularly
salient: for 150 years, SUNY Downstate faculty members have
engaged in basic, translational, and clinical research with the goal of
alleviating suffering and restoring health.
some of these investigations have directly transformed medicine, while others
produced insights into human physiology and pathology that opened new avenues
of research that years later resulted in new ways of preventing or treating illnesses.
this issue of Profi les in Innovation features an article highlighting some of the
most important scientifi c and medical advances made by SUNY Downstate faculty
over the 150 years. these medical milestones span a range of health problems, from
heart disease and kidney failure to Marfan’s syndrome and low self-esteem.
not unexpectedly, many of these advances have changed more than one fi eld of
medicine. Dr. Robert Furchgott’s nobel Prize-winning discovery of nitric oxide’s role
in the body is the basis for finding new ways to treat heart disease, dementia, cancer,
lung disease, inflammatory joint disease, and other medical problems that affect,
literally, hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
today, SUNY Downstate basic scientists, behavioral scientists, clinicians, and
public health experts are expanding our knowledge of a broad range of healthcare
topics. In this issue, you can read about bench research being conducted to understand
how brain cells communicate; find ways to boost HDL, or “good,” cholesterol;
create a mouse model to study the effects of maternal crack bingeing on babies; and
elucidate the genetic mechanism by which sleep disturbances increase the risk of
You can also read about research aimed at translating scientific discoveries into
new medical interventions. Downstate researchers are harnessing the power of computing
and their knowledge of the brain to create a prosthetic hand that works like
the real one and testing the blood of heart surgery patients for an antibody that they
suspect causes a damaging inflammatory response after surgery.
working in Brooklyn, members of the Downstate community are keenly aware of
the health problems of inner-city residents. two new research projects—one examining
the reasons for the overuse of emergency room care, the other exploring the causes
of health disparities among residents of the borough—are highlighted in this edition
of Profi les in Innovation. By fi nding solutions to these problems, Downstate can
contribute to solving important challenges confronting our nation.
In another way, Downstate is already taking lessons learned in Brooklyn and
using them to help people elsewhere. Brooklyn’s diversity is key to the success of
Downstate’s International emergency Medical Program, which trains emergency
medicine residents to work in other countries and to provide humanitarian relief.
In this issue, you can also learn about the SUNY eye Institute, whose goal is to
advance basic, translational, and clinical research in the field by creating a collaborative
research program among three SUNY campuses--Downstate, Upstate, and
the state College of optometry. and, finally, on its tenth anniversary, you can read
about the remarkable success of Downstate’s Biotech Park as a scientific enterprise,
economic engine, and workforce development initiative.
Ian Taylor, MD, PhD
senior Vice President,
Biomedical education and Research
Dean, College of Medicine||en