Inspire. Connect. Innovate.  
April 2015  E-Newsletter

I am extremely pleased to announce that Christina Orsi, a business development 
specialist who has helped guide Western New York's economic resurgence, has been named associate vice president for economic development at the University at Buffalo. 


Orsi will begin her position on April 7, replacing Marnie LaVigne, who is now CEO of Launch NY.


Orsi has more than two decades of experience in economic development, a career that includes leadership roles for Empire State Development, the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise and the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. During that time, she has worked extensively with business leaders, elected officials, academia, nonprofits and public sector organizations to create an environment where a variety of businesses from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies - are in a position to succeed.


Orsi brings a wealth of experience that will help the university foster relationships between its many talented researchers and key business leaders. She will play a pivotal role advancing UB's mission as an economic engine for Western New York and beyond.


In her new role, Orsi will coordinate university-wide economic development efforts, many of which are administered through the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development. This includes activities sponsored by federal and state governments, industry and foundations and economic development programs such as START-UP NY.


She will oversee the Office of Economic Development (OED), which helps businesses and other community partners connect with UB researchers and resources, including workforce development training and equipment rental.

Additionally, Orsi will work with principal investigators, business development executives and commercialization teams at UB's NYS Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences (CBLS), UB's NYS Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics (CMI), UB's Center for Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technology (UB CAT), UB's Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach (STOR).


At Empire State Development, Orsi provided strategic direction for the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council and played an integral role in Gov. Cuomo's Buffalo Billion economic development plan.  She also oversaw the disbursement of more than $150 million in development grants, loans and tax credits on an annual basis.


Orsi has received the Amherst Chamber of Commerce Stewardship Award (2012) and the Western Region Corporation Outstanding Service Award (2012). She serves on numerous boards including the Canisius College Women's Business Center, the Buffalo Urban Development Corp. and Catholic Charities.


I look forward to Christina putting her economic development expertise to work elevating and expanding UB's economic impact in our community.

Please join me in congratulating Christina on this new appointment.


Best Regards,

Venu Govindaraju, PhD

UB Interim Vice President for Research and Economic Development




Partnership with UB Helps Business Bring New Products to Life: The Story of Lung Flute


Buffalo-based medical device company, Medical Acoustics distributes LungFlute, a non-invasive, drug-free, reusable hand held device that employs patented low-frequency acoustic wave technology for optimal secretion clearance of patients suffering from respiratory illness including COPD, chronic bronchitis and bronchiectasis. 


The company has partnered with UB for years on research and development and was instrumental in helping Medical Acoustics commercialize the Lung Flute. 


The UB Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach (STOR) helped Medical Acoustics draft the company's first business plan including market research the office's professional staff conducted with the help of a UB graduate. In addition, Sanjay Sethi, UB professor of medicine, identified a secondary market for the Lung Flute to serve as a diagnostics tool, enabling doctors to secur sputum samples for testing. 


Sputum samples induced by the Lung Flute for hospitals and clinics can be used to diagnose multiple pulmonary disease states such as pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, asthma, emphysema, cystic fibrosis, lung cancer and tuberculosis. Clinical studies have shown that sputum induction with the Lung Flute ia also safe for patients with COPD.


Medical Acoustics was also able to tap into funding assistance through the UB Center for Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technology (UB CAT), provided funding to ready the Lung Flute for its commercial launch in the hospital and home care markets. 


If you want to grow your business, the CBLS can help. Contact Business Development Executive Kim Grant today at 716.881.7572.



UB & RPCI welcomed over 320 Buffalo Public School Students on Mar. 17, to take part in Genome Day as part of Science Week.

The event kicked off at RPCI Hohn Auditorium with opening remarks and then students were divided into groups of 10, and made their way to UB's CBLS, where UB and RPCI graduate students and post doctorates led students through a series of activities that promote genomic and bioinformatics literacy.

Students had the opportunity to:
  • Extract their DNA and take it home in a necklace using   Bio-Rad Laboratories "Genes in a Bottle" kit
  • Complete a karyotyping activity to to identify a disease by observing chromosomal differences  
  • Create and take home an origami model (to promote understanding of DNA structure)
  • Identify genetic mutations by interpreting sequences from healthy and tumor cells.

The goal was to inspire and encourage students about STEM career opportunities,      welcoming students to the world of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus to teach them 

about the field of genomics and how the information encoded in their genomes will impact their healthcare across their lifetime.


Genome Day was a partnership between the UB, SUNY Buffalo State, Erie Community College, the State University of New York (SUNY), Roswell Park and the City of Buffalo. 



"UB'S Office of Economic Development (OED): Building Global Competitiveness & Growing Jobs in Buffalo Niagara"


> Christina, Orsi, OED Associate Vice President for Economic Development

> Karen Utz, OED Director, Program Administration 

WHEN: April 16, 2015

TIME: 4 - 5 p.m.

WHERE: NYS Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences
Bruce A. Holm Commons, 2nd Floor
701 Ellicott Street | Buffalo, NY

Join us as we introduce Christina Orsi in her new role as associate vice president for economic development. As a respected business development specialist, Orsi will work to advance UB's mission as an economic engine in Western New York and beyond.

Learn about UB's role in Gov. Cuomo's STARTUP-NY initiative from Karen Utz, director, program administration at the OED. She serves as the lead in running the STARTUP-NY program at UB, where more than 35 companies have been approved by Empire State Development, giving these companies access to UB's world renowned facilities and 

faculty expertise.

Hear from approved companies that are growing their businesses through the STARTUP-NY program at UB.


To register for this free event, visit


Nystar 2012


The mission of the University at Buffalo's Center for  Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technology (UB CAT) is to drive the growth of life sciences firms through new and improved products using biomedical and bioengineering technologies. 

UB CAT provides project cost-share support for R&D activities involving a company and a UB researcher with clear project deliverables that have significant potential for economic impact. 

Applications for the 2015-2016 UB CAT are due April 24, 2015.

For more information about the UB CAT program, click here or contact
Karen Utz, Director, Program Administration at 716.881.7588 or


Sat, April 25, 2015 | 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. | Breakfast 8:30 a.m
Picture Yourself on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

Brought to you by the BNMC & ISCIWNY
Powered by AT&T

When: Start your exploration of the BNMC at 
d!g |  640 Ellicott St.
Parking available at 589 Ellicott St.

Who: 7th-12th graders and their parents 

What: T our facilities and learn from experts at UB's CBLS, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, the Jacobs Institute, Kaleida Health and Upstate New York Transplant Services.

  • Test drive the Robotic Surgical Simulator (RoSS)
  • Use a microscope to view cancer cells
  • See an active research laboratory
  • View a state-of-the-art operating suite
  • Watch a surgery
  • Shark Tank - student edition!
  • Learn about the companies that make up the Medical Campus
  • And much more!

This event is FREE, but registration is required. 
Space is limited so RSVP today at   

A "Gold" Moment for Buffalo
The Advertising Club of Buffalo c elebrated some of Buffalo's leading advertising and design work last week at the 2015 Western New York Addy Awards. Congratulations to all! And Special Kudos to John Paget  and team for Next Things Now: Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Buffalo,  Gold recipient.

Click here to watch the winning video. 
April 10, 2015 | 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Innovation Zone at MedTech Centre: Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Open House
99 MedTech Dr. | Batavia, NY
You're invited! Join us for our official opening of the Innovation Zone at MedTech Centre. Programming begins
at 10:30. 
Please contact Rachael Tabelski to RSVP.
April 23, 2015 | 5 - 7 p.m.
Beakers & Beer
Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute
2nd Floor Atrium
700 Ellicott Street | Buffalo, NY
Join us for this month's Beakers & Beer, sponsored by the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. Enjoy a night of networking, free food and drinks.

To RSVP for Beakers & Beer, click  here

UB Engineering Students Available to Help Improve Company Operations


Western New York businesses seeking assistance in improving their processes are invited to sponsor one or more students of the 2015-16 Six Sigma Black Belt Student Certification program, made possible by UB TCIE and the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Students complete a two-semester project that results in a significant improvement. 


Visit here for more information. 


We have all the life sciences resources you need, from funding and incentives to facilities and researchers. Whether you're in the start-up phase, or a thriving company continuing to innovate, UB's CBLS can help take your business to the next level. 

Visit the CBLS website t o learn more, or 
or schedule a meeting, contact Business Development Executive Kim Grant at 716.881.7572 or
"The CBLS is the 'front door' to the resources companies need to grow their businesses. Whether you need access to facilities, equipment, people or funding, the CBLS will connect you to all that the University has to offer"
~ Kim Grant, CBLS Business Development Executive
  1.  Video: Hundreds of students participate in Genome Day 
  2. 43North winners and Brazilian software developer approved for START-UP NY via UB
  3. UB summit to explore big data and computing
                          Nystar 2012