Future Impacts of Biotechnology Discussed at SUNY ESF

May 16, 2014

Could the way we feel be caused by environmental factors in Central New York ? That was one of several topics mentioned today during the Biotechnology Symposium at SUNY ESF. Former President Doctor Neil Murphy says the World Health Organization has determined that 90 percent of all diseases are either initiated or aggravated by environmental factors. A local collaborative to use biotechnology to improve human health concerns has been developed through State funding from the Governor.

A panel discussion during the Biotechnology Symposium at SUNY ESF.
Credit John Smith/WAER News

 “What we expect to do in this is to come up with new academic programs to train people… whether they be physicians, engineers, whatever. In the areas of Environmental Health and Environmental Medicine. We also hope to initiate research in this area.” 

 Murphy says the intent is to also bring together Environmental Scientists and Physicians through SUNY Upstate and partner with other colleges including O-C-C and SUNY Oswego. SUNY Vice President of Research Dr. Timothy Killeen says another biotech research project focuses on how flies rely on hearing to navigate… it’s now being applied to hearing aid research.

“…and understanding those processes and putting them into hearing aids, so people can hear better and can be more directionally acute, in terms of who’s seeing what where when they’re hearing impaired. Wonderful kind of technology flowing out of this basic research that can really help live.. affective lives, if they’re hearing impaired.” 

 Killeen also notes advances in the Neurosciences through imaging that shows brain function. He says SUNY has a lot of expertise in all of these areas. Killeen predicts that Biotechnology and research will also lead to a very different looking economy in 50 years.