NYIT Wins ESD Grant for Bioengineering Laboratory

June 25, 2018

New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) has been awarded a grant of $150,000 by the State of New York to develop a Research and Technology Innovation Bioengineering Laboratory at its Old Westbury, Long Island, campus. The funding comes through Empire State Development (ESD), an agency whose primary mission is to promote New York State’s economy and enhance job creation.

The new lab facility, endorsed by the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council (LIREDC), will enable engineering and life sciences faculty and students to tackle scientific problems ranging from fighting pathogenic bacteria to reducing negative environmental impacts from storm water. Nada Anid, Ph.D., vice president of Strategic Communications and External Affairs, who spearheaded the project in her previous role as dean of NYIT School of Engineering and Computing Sciences, said, “This lab will enable our faculty to fulfill NYIT’s mission to prepare students for the careers of the future and help propel Long Island’s innovation economy.”

“New York State’s grant for NYIT’s new Research and Technology Innovation Bioengineering Laboratory will support Long Island’s steady emergence as a hub for life sciences research and advancements in biotechnology,” said ESD President, CEO, and Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “New York State’s future lies in its well-educated, skilled workforce, and today’s investment is an investment in our tomorrow.”

In a joint statement, LIREDC co-chairs Stuart Rabinowitz, president of Hofstra University, and Kevin S. Law, president and chief executive officer of the Long Island Association, said, “The LIREDC has consistently supported a thriving biotech and life sciences corridor in Long Island, where some of New York’s greatest minds come together to tackle the greatest questions in medicine and human health. This $150,000 grant for a new Research and Technology Innovation Bioengineering Laboratory at NYIT, endorsed by the LIREDC, builds on the momentum we’re seeing across the region.”

Starting in fall 2018, four lead faculty members will use the lab to work with undergraduate and graduate students on:

  • Experimenting with disease-causing bacteria strains to learn how best to combat them with bacteriophages (faculty lead Bryan Gibb, Ph.D., Department of Life Sciences).
  • Using nanotechnology to develop a highly sensitive biosensor for early detection of conditions like HIV and Zika (faculty lead Azhar Ilyas, Ph.D., Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering).
  • Developing virtual reality environments to help water safety professionals visualize a hazardous site before actually stepping into it (faculty lead David Nadler, Ph.D., Department of Environmental Technology and Sustainability).
  • Optimizing genetic tools and developing engineering software suitable for tracking and classifying animal behaviors (faculty lead Navin Pokala, Ph.D., Department of Life Sciences).

Biologist Gibb pointed to the advantages of bringing together life scientists and engineers, saying, “We have many areas of overlapping interest. I’m already involved with an interdisciplinary research project with engineering faculty, and I hope to provide my students with further real-world interactions on projects that require different types of knowledge and talent.”

ESD has awarded NYIT’s School of Engineering and Computing Sciences funds totaling more than $1 million in support of the school’s Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation Center (ETIC) and associated job-creation and entrepreneurship efforts, as well as for the School’s Class 10,000 Clean Room and nanofabrication facility.

About NYIT
NYIT (New York Institute of Technology) offers 90 degree programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, in more than 50 fields of study, including architecture and design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has 9,000 students at campuses in New York City (Manhattan) and Long Island (Old Westbury) in New York; Jonesboro, Arkansas; Vancouver, British Columbia; and in various programs around the world. NYIT sponsors 13 NCAA Division II programs.

NYIT is guided by its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, offer access to opportunity to all qualified students, and support applications-oriented research that benefits the larger world. More than 100,000 graduates have received degrees from NYIT. For more information, visit nyit.edu.

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