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Empire Discovery Institute

"Transforming Discoveries Into Medicines"


Ron Newbold, PhD

CEO, Empire Discovery Institute 

Welcome to the Empire Discovery Institute (EDI). EDI is an integrated drug discovery and development accelerator located in upstate New York, formed as an equal partnership between the University at Buffalo, the University of Rochester, and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

We represent a nimble and transformative approach to the creation of new medicines, working at the interface between basic academic research, fundamental academic discoveries and the pharmaceutical industry. By coupling scientific innovation, pharmaceutical industry expertise and funding, EDI's mission is to facilitate the efficient transformation of fundamental scientific discoveries into important new medicines for commercialization.

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Satish K. Tripathi, PhD

Former Board Chairman, EDI President, University at Buffalo 

"From our state-of-the-art new home of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences to our innovative Clinical and Translational Research Center, UB has invested significantly to build upon our strengths in bench-to-bedside research and training. Now, with Governor Cuomo's Life Science Initiative spurring the growth of a world-class life science research sector, we are able to establish this important partnership with Roswell Park and the University of Rochester."

Candace Johnson - Business First

Candace S. Johnson, PhD

President & CEO, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

"There are so many promising ideas originating from our basic-science teams, and this groundbreaking partnership will accelerate our ability to translate those Roswell Park discoveries into life-saving cancer therapies. The Empire Discovery Institute will shepherd collaboration between researchers and industry experts, overcoming the many barriers that hamper innovation from moving from bench to bedside, and directly benefitting cancer patients."


Mark Taubman, MD

Former CEO, University of Rochester Medical Center Former Dean, School of Medicine & Dentistry University of Rochester

​"Biopharma companies are increasingly dependent upon academic research for the development of new drugs and the institutions in Rochester and Buffalo possess a strong foundation of research and development in critical life science fields. We are deeply grateful for Governor Cuomos leadership and support for this initiative, which will build upon the University of Rochesters rich history of biomedical innovation and leverage partnerships with industry that will enable us to create a vibrant and growing life sciences economy in the region."

W H A T   W E   D O 

EDI aims to identify medically important pathways and targets related to human disease that will serve as the basis for the discovery and development of novel, highly differentiated therapeutics to address critical, unmet needs for patients.

Selected programs get infused with much needed financial support and pharmaceutical industry expertise from EDI's world-class Scientific Advisory Board, and its extensive network of experienced consultants, contract research organizations and strategic partners.

Programs will progress in a milestone-directed process using quantitative metrics and predictive biomarkers for decision making. EDI will help researchers design and conduct pre-clinical testing of promising compounds discovered in their laboratories. Investigators will also receive expert assistance in de novo drug design, medicinal chemistry, pre-clinical testing, drug formulation, and pharmacology and safety testing to advance candidate molecules through the various phases of pre-clinical testing to first-in-human (IND stage) clinical trials.

By employing a holistic "market-back science-forward" approach, EDI's mission is to create a bridge between academia and the pharmaceutical industry at a critical interface that has traditionally hindered innovative academic research from maturing into viable drug candidates and life-saving medicines.

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P R O G R A M S   O F   I N T E R E S T 

EDI is interested in programs that provide novel insights into the pathways and molecular determinants of human disease. We prefer programs that have a clear mechanism of action or possess a well-defined genetic basis for the underlying condition. Projects with a strong biomarker component are also highly desirable.

EDI is open to applications across a wide range of therapeutic areas, provided a strong scientific, medical and commercial rationale can be made. Programs in the fields of cancer, neurological diseases/CNS conditions and platform technologies with therapeutic potential across multiple diseases are of particular interest. Investigators working in the rare and orphan diseases are also encouraged to apply.

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