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Pipe Dream Established 1946

FRIDAY

January 28, 2011 SAT. Sun. Mon. SNOWY CLOUDY CLOUDY 23→15 25→11 16→11

The Free Word On Campus for 64 years

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5

MiMedia, in my pocket

A BU alumnus designed the software for new Internet start-up company MiMedia

Programs to be held to promote PBS series Miranda Langrehr Pipe Dream News

This month Binghamton University will participate in a national outreach program led by PBS to educate people about the science behind the “stuff.” The launch is in conjunction with the premiere of a new four-part series on PBS called “Making Stuff,” which explains materials science — the study of what everything around us is made of and how materials are put together, used, changed and improved. The events that are scheduled to take place in Binghamton will be led by both faculty and students. M. Stan Whittingham, professor of chemistry, materials science and engineering at BU, has brought the program to the University. He leads the student chapters of the Materials Research Society throughout the United States, a group that was involved in creating the “Making Stuff” series. “I was approached as to whether I would be interested in partnering and getting the MRS student chapter involved,” Whittingham said. “We wrote a proposal to WBGH, the PBS station that runs NOVA, which was formally supported by President Lois DeFleur.”

See NOVA Page 4

Vol. LXXIX, Issue 2

Binghamton University

release

Asian sensation

9

“Asians Sleeping in the Library” has gained a lot of international attention, but it was conceived in our own Glenn G. Bartle Library.

opinion

6

The State of Reform

Nancy Zimpher’s speech highlighted new proposals for SUNY, including some we’re not crazy about

Researchers to aid in testing of cancer drug Chelsea McGovern Pipe Dream News

Binghamton University professors and a handful of graduate students are contributing to cancer research by aiding pharmaceutical company Sunshine BioPharma in clinical trial testing of the drug Adva-27a. The Research Foundation of the State University of New York, acting on behalf of BU, entered into an agreement on Monday with Sunshine BioPharma that would span three years with a one-year renewal option. Sunshine BioPharma claims that Adva-27a is a stronger and more stable version of the drug Etoposide, which is used to treat breast and prostate cancer, and they hope to prove this through the research they will be doing in conjunction with BU. According to Susannah Gal, an associate professor and chair of the biological sciences department who is heading the research, Steven Slilaty, the president and CEO of Sunshine BioPharma, Inc., was looking to do more research in the United States from the company’s headquarters in Quebec. Slilaty looked at Binghamton first due to family connections in the area. Sunshine BioPharma initially contacted the Empire State Development Department in 2007, which is located in Downtown Binghamton on Hawely Street. This fall, the department contacted Terry Kane, the state development officer at the BU Research foundation. Kane contacted Gal after looking at the biology department on BU’s website, which indicated her familiarity with cancer research. Gal is a biology professor

James Men/Contributing Photographer

Graduate student Debolina Ray is working with Dr. Susannah Gal on cancer research. Pharmaceutical company Sunshine BioPharma, Inc. is partnering with BU and the SUNY Research Foundation to develop a cancer drug starting this spring semester.

who has been instructing students in her cancer research course at BU. Sunshine BioPharma and the University began collaboration in October in developing a contract, and discussions about the actual procedure took place in the winter. “This is the first time I’m aware of Binghamton working with a pharmaceutical company on cancer research,” Gal said. Gal leads a research team which consists of John Baust and Rob Van Buskirk, both professors of biology at Binghamton, in addition to three graduate students. They will all be taking a part in testing different components of the

compound to confirm the claims of the company. The company hopes that if the Adva-27a drug does not carry more toxic side effects than the current drug on the market — as it is claimed to be more potent — then it can be used in a smaller dosage than the current prescription and lessen the side-effects of cancer drugs, which can include everything from loss of hair and listlessness to the loss of feeling in the toes and feet. Binghamton will participate in the first three phases of the study. Phase one will take place on campus, where the team will research the drug and how it affects

cells in a laboratory environment in an effort to understand the stability of the drug, which is related to the drug’s toxicity. Animal testing will take place during phase two, which will be happening off campus with a different company that has more adequate facilities for holding the requisite number of animals, according to Gal. In phase three, if the drug is seen as not harmful to the animals tested, clinical trials will take place with the cooperation of hospitals and clinics, whose patients will be

See TESTS Page 5

University leaders voice general support for SUNY goals Rob Bellon News Editor

When SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher gave the first-ever State of the University address last week, she did not equivocate about SUNY’s economic condition. “Higher education … stands at a crossroads,” she said from Albany on Jan. 19. “Less public investment, more demands and rapidly shifting economic sands require us to be increasingly agile.” State support for SUNY has dropped off drastically over the past three years, and the state has increased tuition. Most of that increase in tuition goes back to state coffers for other state agencies, rather than directly back to campuses. But though Zimpher presented the fiscal reality in stark terms, the solutions she presented are still a matter of discussion. In addition to a renewed push

Daniel O’Connor/Photo Editor

BU Interim President C. Peter Magrath and SA President Jared Kirschenbaum both voiced general support for SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher’s first-ever State of the University address on Jan. 19. But their support was not without its caveats. Above, Magrath and Kirschenbaum accept an award in fall 2010 for the largest annual increase in the number of blood donations out of all SUNY schools.

for a package of reforms introduced last year, Zimpher used the address as an opportunity to draw attention

to some ideas that were not part of the package. Both Binghamton University

Interim President C. Peter Magrath and Student Association President Jared Kirschenbaum were largely supportive of the Chancellor’s overall goals. Among these were demands that the state loosen regulations to allow SUNY campuses to enter into public-private partnerships and to procure goods and services with less oversight from the state. The Chancellor also called for support for a five-year tuition plan that would allow for moderate increases in tuition, rather than less frequent and less predictable but larger spikes that are more subject to larger economic fluctuations. Both Magrath and Kirschenbaum voiced strong support for these measures. “It would’ve been awesome if PHEEIA could have been passed,” Kirschenbaum said, referring to the package of reforms introduced last year, known as the Public Higher Education Empowerment and

Innovation Act. “I’m hopeful that something will get passed this year.” Magrath called the tuition proposal “a slam dunk” and strongly allied himself with Zimpher’s proposals overall. There were, however, areas of dispute for both the president of the University and the president of its students. SCARCE RESOURCES For both Magrath and Kirschenbaum, the problem of allocating scarce budget dollars was at the core of SUNY’s tight situation. There are several other priorities “governors and legislators think they’ve got to fund,” Magrath said. Medicaid, the prison system, primary and secondary education are “very compelling competitors for these resources,” he said. Kirschenbaum bluntly criticized the way the state spends its money. He said the state should shift its emphasis from what he called

See GOAL Page 4


Pipe Dream 1/28/11