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Buffalo, Zimbabwe Universities Partner on Nanotech Medicines

Gene Morse (University at Buffalo)

Gene Morse (University at Buffalo)

University at Buffalo in New York and two universities in the southern African nation of Zimbabwe will collaborate on a new nanotechnology research program in pharmacology. University of Zimbabwe in Harare and the Chinhoyi University of Technology in Mashonaland West, working with Buffalo’s Institute for Lasers, Photonics, and Biophotonics, along with New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences also on the Buffalo campus, will establish the Zimbabwe International Nanotechnology Center (ZINC).

ZINC aims to develop an international research and training capability in nanotechnology that advances the field as contributor to Zimbabwe’s economic growth. The collaboration is expected to focus on research in nanomedicine and biosensors for health care at University of Zimbabwe, while the Chinhoyi University of Technology partnership will conduct research related to energy.

Both of the Buffalo institutes taking part in ZINC have done studies in nanotechnology applied to disease treatment and eradication. ZINC grew out of an earlier collaboration between Buffalo and University of Zimbabwe that in 2008 established the AIDS International Training and Research Program, funded by NIH’s Fogarty International Center.

Buffalo pharmacology professor Gene Morse (pictured at top), also associate director of the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, says ZINC will draw interest not only from Zimbabwe, but other countries in the region as well. Morse also expects other academic departments on the Buffalo campus to join in the partnership.

In addition, Morse sees potential for eventual private sector buy-in. “With an international program like ZINC, we are hoping to attract pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology firms,” says Morse, “who will have similar interests in joining this unique partnership that will enhance the likelihood of economic success….”

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