NYS Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences (CBLS) Welcomes New Executive Director

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

NYS Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences (CBLS) is excited to announce that Norma Nowak, PhD has been appointed to Executive Director. Nowak will replace Alexander Cartwright, PhD who previously served as Interim Executive Director of CBLS, and went on to become provost and executive vice chancellor of the State University of New York system.

Nowak is an acclaimed researcher - a recognized leader in the human genomics field - and an entrepreneur. Her research contributed directly to the Human Genome Project, as well as to genomic-based approaches to understanding heritable disorders and cancer. In 2003, Nowak was named director of science and technology for the CBLS, and holds the rank of professor of biochemistry. Nowak is also the founder and chief scientific officer of Empire Genomics, LLC, a molecular diagnostics firm focused on enabling personalized medicine.

Norma's efforts were instrumental in obtaining more than $70 million in funding for research and infrastructure, and she has authored and co-authored 144 research articles. Among other achievements, she received the 2008 American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) Team Science Award and the 2008 Thomas B. Tomasi Award from Roswell Park Cancer Institute for her outstanding achievements in science. She is a Buffalo Museum of Science board member and was recently appointed to the Empire State Stem Cell Board for New York State and the founding board for 43North.

Nowak is also at the forefront of a new era of personalized medicine. She is a driving force in the governor's investment in UB and the New York Genome Center (NYGC) to create the Buffalo Institute for Genomics and Data Analytics (BIG). The institute, leveraging the assets of our local institutions will aid in the development of related companies that support genomic medicine. UB and Nowak's efforts are positioning NYS as a national leader in genomic medicine, developing breakthrough treatments, improving physicians' ability to identify individuals at risk of disease and creating transformative job growth for our region.

Given her long-standing and accomplished service to the CBLS in a critical scientific leadership role, coupled with her research and entrepreneurial accomplishments, Nowak is well poised to assume the center's executive leadership reins. She is intimately familiar with and a champion for the organization's mission to drive innovation and facilitate economic development. We have full confidence that she will lead the CBLS to even greater heights than it currently experiences.
Please join me in congratulating Dr. Nowak on this new appointment.

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