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New post will seek international research collaborations

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Ziwei Huang, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacology and director of the Cancer Research Institute, has been named as Upstate's new associate vice president for research partnerships and international collaborations.

In his new post, Huang will lead the university's efforts in forming global collaborations among research and industry partners. A special focus will be on the establishment of new research and graduate partnerships in Asia Pacific and Europe using the model Upstate established with the creation of the International Institute of Biomedical Sciences and Technology (IIBMST) that features, in addition to Upstate, participation from National Cheng Kung University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Partnerships with industry will help advance Upstate technological innovations.

"Dr. Huang's leadership in this important post, will enhance Upstate's ability to make valuable connections with global research partners and help extend SUNY's influence around the world," said David R. Smith, M.D., president of Upstate Medical University.

Huang joined Upstate in 2009 when he was appointed professor and chair of the pharmacology department and director of the Cancer Research Institute. He will continue to serve in these positions.

"Since coming to Upstate, Dr. Huang has been a major force in moving forward Upstate's strategic plan for research and his abundant energy and outstanding leadership of the pharmacology department and the Cancer Research Institute make him well suited to lead the university in fostering research partnerships locally, nationally and internationally," said Steven R. Goodman, Ph.D., Upstate vice president for research and dean of the School of Graduate Studies.

In addition to developing new research partnerships worldwide, Goodman said Huang will also develop a translational research education program that will provide stronger links between Upstate's basic and clinical science investigators. Huang also will seek to enhance collaboration among SUNY cancer researchers by leading the Cancer Group for SUNY REACH (Research, Excellence in Academic Health), a research network of SUNY academic medical centers helps advance the research vision of New York's public academic health centers and their integrated medical schools.as well as across the SUNY by heading the cancer research group for SUNY REACH. More than $4 million in research funding was awarded to SUNY academic medical centers this fall under the auspices of SUNY REACH.

Huang said he was eager to get started on his work in international alliances to further research.  "I am excited about this new role in working with many people here at Upstate and other institutions around the world to continue strengthen through collaboration our missions in research, education, and translation of our knowledge and technologies to clinical and industrial applications.  This reflects a new direction for the university in response to the changes and challenges in research, teaching, and funding across the country."

"Dr. Huang's international focus and his work with business and industry will bring a valuable dimension to the College of Medicine's mission of teaching and research," said David Duggan, M.D., interim dean of the College of Medicine.

Prior to joining Upstate in 2009, Huang was a faculty member at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research and at the University of California at San Diego.