Watson College, Upstate Medical Agree to Closer Collaboration

A new agreement between Northern Medical University The Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science at Binghamton University will strengthen links between the two schools and encourage close research collaborations.

A Memorandum of Understanding signed last week by Upstate Vice President for Research David Amberg and Binghamton Vice President for Research Bhagat Sammakia will allow organizations to jointly pursue funded 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 Stinger. “Together, we can pursue groundbreaking innovations in biomedical and health systems research that will improve our whole lives. I look forward to seeing what we can achieve through our collaborative efforts.”

“This important agreement exemplifies the strength of SUNY as we formally partner with the talented faculty at Binghamton University to advance our research aimed at improving the human condition,” said Dr. Mantosh Dewan, President of Upstate Medical University. “This far-reaching relationship will also benefit Upstate’s clinical mission through access to Binghamton Systems Excellence experts resulting in increased efficiency for our hospitals.”

Research areas currently being explored include neuroscience, brain imaging, digital pathology, cancer research, and bone tissue engineering. Under an Experimental Research Grant Program that is part of the agreement, collaborative research can receive seed grants of up to $20,000 to fund initial 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 for the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Last May, Watson College hosted Dr. Satish Krishnamurthy, Chair of Neurosurgery at Upstate Medical University, for the distinguished Watson Symposium as the first in a series of joint symposiums hosted by both institutions under this partnership.

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

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

The MoU is set to run for five years, with the possibility of renewal after 2027.