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Upstate Medical forms “focused innovation center,” called Upstate MIND

By Adam Rombel


Robert Corona (courtesy of Upstate Medical University)

SYRACUSE — Upstate Medical University announced it has developed a “focused innovation center,” dubbed Upstate MIND, that it contends will “transform innovative ideas into useful, tangible ways to improve the human condition and the delivery of health care.”

Robert Corona, DO, MBA, will lead Upstate MIND, which stands for medical innovation and novel discovery, in the new position of vice president for innovation and business development, according to an Upstate Medical news release.

Corona, who will continue to serve as professor and chair of Upstate’s Pathology Department, is an “experienced neuropathologist and a leader in bioinformatics and the application of technology in medicine,” the release stated. In his new position, he will report to Rosemary Rochford, Ph.D., vice president for research at Upstate Medical University.

Corona says that Upstate MIND is open to anyone who has a good idea and who is looking for collaboration with people who have complementary skill sets. “All ideas are on the table as long as they add value to the practice of medicine,” Corona said in the release. “We are looking for new and creative ways to improve health care practices, whether it is through the discovery of new therapies, devices, or products; to make the patient experience more satisfying; or to improve patient access. If the idea is of value, we will support the innovator in every way possible to bring their idea to the bedside or to market.”

Corona contends he is using targeted strategies to ensure the success of Upstate MIND.

One of his approaches is to house Upstate MIND at the Biotechnology Accelerator Center (BAC). “The BAC provides a stimulating environment where innovation is part of the culture,” Corona said. “At the BAC, our innovators will ‘collide and cloister’ with trailblazers in the fields of science, medicine, engineering, business, product development and licensing. It is here where they will have their questions answered. The BAC also provides us space for those entrepreneurs who are ready to nurture an idea or a new company.”

Corona is also collaborating with other organizations in the areas of research and development, patenting, and licensing, according to Upstate Medical. Partners include the New York State Science & Technology Law Center at Syracuse University’s College of Law and the Herman Miller Healthcare in Grand Rapids, Mich. Sponsored research in digital imaging is already in progress with General Electric/Omnyx. And, Corona is currently in talks with Foundation Medicine, a molecular diagnostics company in Boston; Welch Allyn; and Thermo Fisher Scientific, among other prospective partners, Upstate Medical said.

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