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$8.1M Cryo-Electron Microscopy Center opens in Buffalo

The $8.1 million center, which is on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, was established to "accelerate the treatment of disease."
Credit: Buffalo Business First

BUFFALO, N.Y. — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday the opening of the Cryo-Electron Microscopy Center at the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute.

The $8.1 million center, which is on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, was established to "accelerate the treatment of disease."  The new facility will serve biotech and pharmaceutical industry scientists studying proteins for cutting-edge drug design. 

 "A critical part of building New York back better than it was before is ensuring our public health system is prepared for the next pandemic," Governor Cuomo said in a statement. "This state-of-the-art facility will help researchers develop innovative techniques and effective treatments for infectious diseases so that our medical professionals are better equipped to handle any outbreaks that may occur in the future, while also attracting other biomedical companies to the region and strengthening Western New York's position as a hub for this burgeoning industry." 

A cryo-electron microscope has been installed to assist researchers in investigating molecules, as well as the shape of proteins critical to the research of potential drug targets  

"For more than 60 years, HWI has helped generations of researchers see and understand what is happening inside the human body so they can create therapies and cures that impact and improve public health," said Dr. Edward Snell, Hauptman-Woodward's president and CEO. "Today, thanks to the faith and support of countless people and organizations in creating our new Cryo-EM center, we are expanding our ability to impact human health today and for generations to come." 

 $1.2 million in funding came from the Empire State Development Corp.  They also received $1 million from the New York Power Authority.

"Cryo-EM's cutting-edge tech in Western New York and across the state offers an invaluable tool to accelerate the study and treatment of disease," said Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler. "By investing in this state-of-the-art equipment in Western New York and also in Long Island, New York State is attracting the attention of the global medical research community, from healthcare and pharmaceuticals to materials science and academia." 

NYPA chairman John R. Koelmel said, "The team at Hauptman-Woodward is continuing its legacy in Western New York by undertaking some very important and exciting research that will improve medical treatment across the country. We at the Power Authority are excited to support this expansion, which will leverage state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery storage to ensure a more resilient energy infrastructure, reducing costs and lessening the burden on the institute's electric assets." 

The center is expected to attract more capital to Buffalo and will expand the bio-tech ecosystem in WNY.