BUFFALO, N.Y. — "The award allows us to establish a Science and Technology Center for Biology with x-ray lasers. It is called BioXFEL," said Eaton Lattman, Hauptman Woodward Research Institute CEO.
Thanks to a $25 million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation, researchers at the Hauptman Woodward Research Institute can move forward with their program to develop technology that could revolutionize the field of structural biology. The technology involves X-ray laser imaging of biomolecules.
UB was one of just three universities to receive the grant. The other schools are Harvard and MIT.
"It means that experts all over the country and from foreign countries valued what we proposed almost above everything else that they got to see in a very elaborate review process," said Lattman.
Lattman says while the terminology may sound intimidating, it does have practical applications. Lattman says the technology could be critical in the development of new life-saving drugs.
"I think the big picture is that in the past we found drugs by trial and error and now we're more and more of being in a position of being able to design them rationally based on where the drug is going to work in the body," said Lattman.
Congressman Brian Higgins sees the grant as having an even bigger impact on the local economy.
“Institutions like Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Hauptman Woodward and they're just leading the way and they're creating good jobs which is fundamentally changing the economy of downtown Buffalo. These older architecturally significant buildings were dead for decades. Now there's a new residential demand, Why? Because of the growth of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus," said Rep. Higgins, D-26th District.
BioXFEL will be located in the same building as the Hauptman Woodward Research Institute.