New Upstate Medical Building Hopes to Unlock Keys to Brain Injuries and Disease

Oct 22, 2013

Upstate Neuroscience Research Center opens, built onto East side of Institute for Human Performance
Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News

Researchers at SUNY Upstate and from other neighboring institutions now have a common space to study brain function and find ways to treat, and maybe cure, disease. 

Officials cut the ribbon yesterday to the Neuroscience Research Building, which was added to the back of Upstate’s Institute for Human Performance on Irving Ave.  Vice President for Research Doctor Rosemary Rochford says the space brings together researchers who are currently scattered across campus.

Meeting spaces and natural light part of Center's design
Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News

“It’s important when you bring basic scientists and clinical scientists together because the clinicians are the ones seeing the patients.  They’re the ones that see the person that has the disease and they come back and say, ‘why do they have the disease and how do we treat it better.’  And the basic scientists are the ones that try to figure out the answer to that.  So bringing them in proximity allows them to drive the field forward.” 

Rochford says the new building positions Upstate as a player in President Obama’s brain mapping initiative to better understand different disease processes.  SUNY Upstate President Doctor David Smith says the benefits can reach many.

“The alignment , if that can be the word of the day with the spinal cord injury capabilities at the Veterans Administration, and if you think also of the relevanc3 of the region to have the most heavily deployed military units in the country at Fort Drum and the issues of post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, begin to think of the capabilities of this great facility to make a difference not just in knowledge, but in lives, which is indeed a stalwart of our mission.” 

Large labs are able to be configured to many kinds of research projects. Center will also benefit from more than $5 million dollars in advanced technology.
Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News

The new facility includes the latest technology, including special microscopes and other tools to look inside the brain.  Scientists hope their research leads to better ways to diagnose, treat, and ultimately cure disorders ranging from Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease to epilepsy and schizophrenia.  Researchers expect to move in to the new space April first.