Newswise — BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- A new agreement between Upstate Medical University and Binghamton University’s Thomas J. Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science will strengthen ties between the two schools and encourage closer research collaborations.

Attending the signing of the memorandum of understanding between Upstate Medical University and Binghamton University were, from left, Meera Sampath, Watson Collegeassociate dean of research; Bahgat Sammakia, Binghamton University vice president for research; Dave Amberg, Upstate Medical vice president for research; Binghamton Provost Donald Hall;Dean Lawrence Chin of Upstate Medical's College of Medicine; Binghamton President Harvey Stenger; Upstate Medical President Mantosh Dewan; Rajesh Davé, UHS executive vice president and chief medical officer; and Watson College Dean Krishnaswami "Hari" Srihari. Image Credit: Chris Kocher

A memorandum of understanding signed last week by Upstate Vice President for Research David Amberg and Binghamton Vice President for Research Bahgat Sammakia will allow the institutions to jointly pursue sponsored funding opportunities and develop solutions to today’s pressing medical problems.

“Binghamton University and Upstate Medical have complementary skills and goals, so this partnership has benefits for both of us,” said President Harvey Stenger. “Together, we can pursue leading-edge innovations in biomedical and health systems research that will improve all of our lives. I look forward to seeing what we can achieve through our cooperative efforts.”

“This important agreement exemplifies the power of SUNY as we formally partner with the talented faculty at Binghamton University to supercharge our research aimed at improving the human condition,” said Dr. Mantosh Dewan, president of Upstate Medical University. “This far-reaching relationship also will benefit Upstate’s clinical mission with access to Binghamton’s systems excellence experts leading to greater efficiencies for our hospitals.”

Research areas that are currently being explored include neuroscience, brain imaging, digital pathology, cancer research and bone-tissue engineering. Under a pilot research grant program that is part of the agreement, collaborative research could receive seed grants of up to $20,000 to fund preliminary research in pursuit of external funding. The two institutions have already submitted joint research proposals to the National Science Foundation (NSF) and are exploring proposals to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Last May, Watson College hosted Dr. Satish Krishnamurthy, chair of neurosurgery at Upstate Medical University, for a Watson Distinguished Colloquium seminar as the first of a joint seminar series to be co-hosted by both institutions under this partnership.

The agreement also provides Watson faculty greater access to Upstate’s core facilities, biosamples, clinical data and access to human subject research. Likewise, Binghamton University’s Health Sciences Core facility will be made available to Upstate’s researchers.

In addition to collaborative research pursuits aimed at extramural funding, the Watson Institute for Systems Excellence (WISE) will provide its expertise to improve operational efficiencies and performance at Upstate hospitals. The Watson College Continuing Professional Education Program also will offer Lean Six Sigma (LSS) training for Upstate Medical’s hospital staff.

The MOU is slated to last for five years, with renewals possible beyond 2027.