Empire Genomics Partners with Buffalo's Research Laboratory of Life Sciences and Bioinformatics High School!

2016-03-23 13:54:50

Buffalo public schools set to debut 'rigorous' high school for medical research

Author: Dan Miner | Buffalo Business First

Date: March 23, 2016

A new high school program from the Buffalo City School District will debut this fall with 60 incoming freshman in the former Triangle Academy building in South Buffalo.

The Research Laboratory of Life Sciences and Bioinformatics High School -- one of several significant new academic initiatives in Buffalo schools -- will not be a "criterion" school into which students test, such as City Honors. But it will be a "high-rigor" program for students interested in an intense, four-year immersion in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields, said David Mauricio, the district's chief of strategic alignment and innovation.


The school is motivated by the growth of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and the strength of the health-care industry in Western New York, and the eventual goal is to move its 120 upperclassmen to a full-time site somewhere in that medical corridor. Both Empire Genomics -- a growing diagnostics company -- and the University at Buffalo have signed on as partners to help guide curriculum and foster connections in the medical community.

The school is technically a program of the Math Science Technology Prep high school, but in practice is a distinct high school. It is supported by a three-year, $1.25 million grant that will fund a bridge program for incoming freshmen and faculty training.

One of the key goals of the school is diversity along gender, racial and socioeconomic lines, Mauricio said.

“This is a very small high school program that will focus on high-level STEM activites and experiences, and be designed for children interested in careers related to medical research, the human genome and understanding DNA,” Mauricio said.

The new program is motivated in part by the model of another school operating in the same building, the Emerson Annex, which was opened last year seeking to replicate the success of the Emerson School of Hospitality in downtown Buffalo. It is also among a wave of significant new educational initiatives being formed right now, including a green energy program at South Park High School in partnership with SolarCity and a new program for international students at the International High School at Lafayette.