SUNY Downstate's Dr. Mahmood Hussain Receives $50,000 Grant from SUNY Technology Accelerator Fund

Aug 18, 2014

Brooklyn, NY – The State University of New York has announced that $250,000 has been awarded to five campus research projects through the SUNY Technology Accelerator Fund (TAF), which accelerates the development and commercialization of innovations by SUNY faculty, students, and staff. Among the awardees is M. Mahmood Hussain, PhD, distinguished professor of cell biology and pediatrics at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, who will receive $50,000 in TAF funding to advance his research.

Technologies selected for TAF investment go through a rigorous evaluation process, with input from external experts in various fields of science, technology, and business development. Factors considered for the awards include the availability of intellectual property protection, marketability, commercial potential, feasibility, and breadth of impact.

“Technologies and treatments founded on SUNY campuses can be life-altering, and this important program allows us to speed the development and commercial success of our best ideas and innovations,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Projects supported by this most recent round of TAF funding could have an astounding impact on the health and well-being of New York’s citizens, industries, and communities."

Since 2011, the TAF program has invested more than $1.3 million in funding to support the advancement of SUNY innovations from the lab to the marketplace. External partners, including federal agencies, industry licensees and angel investors, have invested an additional $1.8 million in TAF-funded projects.

Dr. Hussain is developing a novel drug based on small endogenous RNAs to reduce hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis. It may represent a first-in-class inhibitor that lowers circulating lipids without the serious side effects of toxic buildup of fats in the liver.

"The investment from TAF will enable the research team to conduct a follow-on study to demonstrate the clinical potential to external partners being sought for commercial development," said David Schoenhaut, PhD, director of technology commercialization, who provided support in developing the TAF proposal. "We believe that Dr. Hussain's research provides a solid foundation for a drug development strategy to address unmet needs in cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment."

In addition to Downstate, TAF awards were made to investigators at the University at Albany, Binghamton University, the University of Buffalo, and Stony Brook University.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States, educating nearly 463,000 students in more than 7,500 degree and certificate programs on 64 college and university campuses, and online through Open SUNY. There are nearly 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit


About SUNY Downstate Medical Center

SUNY Downstate Medical Center, founded in 1860, was the first medical school in the United States to bring teaching out of the lecture hall and to the patient’s bedside. A center of innovation and excellence in research and clinical service delivery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center comprises a College of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Health Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, School of Public Health, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and a multifaceted biotechnology initiative including the Downstate Biotechnology Incubator and BioBAT for early-stage and more mature companies, respectively.

SUNY Downstate ranks twelfth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools. More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school.