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SUNY Collaboration Fund awards grant for multiple research projects

Eileen Buckley
WBFO news file photo

Several faculty from the University at Buffalo were awarded funds through the SUNY Research Foundation. The money will assist multiple research projects on SUNY campuses across the state.

The SUNY Research Collaboration Fund was designed connect researchers on campuses in New York State, and give them a platform to share data and strengthen their ideas. This year the foundation gave out over $700,000 in grants, each individual program will receive nearly $100,000 of that to be used over two years.

One grant will fund a project that tracks non-medical prescription drug abuse in college students. UB Senior Research Scientist Kathleen Parks says UB will be working with the University at Albany and Binghamton University to develop a survey about the prevalence of drug use.

“If you don’t know a lot about the reasons why people are using these drugs, what they think the positives benefits are, the negatives that they see in using them, it’s really hard to go at the problem and develop prevention,” said Parks.

Parks says they also plan to learn how students are getting their hands on the prescription drugs. The UB electrical engineering and physics department was another recipient of the funds. Associate Professor Steve Durbin says it will go towards a project involving infrared device applications.

“There is some information in the literature, it’s mostly theory. We’re experimentalists so we would like to actually get into the lab and try to make this material, evaluate its properties and determine whether it’s really a good material for the applications we envisioned,” said Durbin.

Durbin says for the project they are collaborating with Binghamton University and Albany. He says the project will help researchers become familiar with important synthesis and characterization techniques. Durbin's specializes in crystal growth and microstructural characterization. UB received five of the nine grants awarded within the SUNY system.

The grant is expected to give its recipients leverage for future funding opportunities. The list of other UB faculty to receive funding is below:

Xiuqian Mu, assistant professor, Department of Ophthalmology, and Steven J. Fliesler, professor, vice chair and director of research, Department of Ophthalmology. They are collaborating with researchers from Upstate Medical University.

Jonathan Franklin Lovell, assistant professor, Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering. They are collaborating with the University at Albany.

Salvatore Salamone, assistant professor, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering. They are collaborating with Binghamton University.