News

The Debrief: Alexander Gann, Watson School of Biological Sciences

In terms of size, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s graduate school is a bit short of Ivy League. With seven new Fall 2015 admissions bumping the student body to 41, the Watson School of Biological Sciences has a ways to go to catch the likes of MIT’s 11,000 students or Harvard’s 6,700. But when your namesake is credited with cracking DNA, your work had better be A-grade, and the Watson School’s focus on biological sciences is…


Nada Anid

DARPA, Homeland Security to headline NYIT cybersecurity conference

Distinguished speakers and critical intelligence issues will set the tone at the New York Institute of Technology’s sixth-annual cybersecurity conference. Intended to stimulate dialogue, share ideas and promote networking among leading cybercrime-defense thinkers, the conference is scheduled for Sept. 24 at NYIT’s Manhattan auditorium. Listed keynote speakers include Andy Ozment, a Department of Homeland Security expert in cybersecurity, and Angelos Keromytis of DARPA, the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Nada-Marie Anid, dean of NYT’s…


Women driving the surge in U.S. innovation

By GREGORY ZELLER // Almost 15 percent of Americans are launching or running a startup, the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor reports, the highest rate ever recorded in GEM’s 16 years of research. And the numbers get bigger from there: Twenty-four-million Americans are engaged in startup activities, with another 14 million running established small businesses. Optimism is also at a 16-year high – 51 percent of all Americans see good startup opportunities – and pessimism is inching down, with…


Cold Spring, SUNY Old Westbury land prostate cancer funding

Two awards for Long Island-based research organizations are part of a new prostate cancer research funding initiative announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. All told, 20 research institutions will share a total of $3 million in funding to explore innovative concepts in prostate cancer detection, diagnosis and treatment. Among them are Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, which is slated to receive $300,000 over the next two years, and the Research Foundation for SUNY Old Westbury, set to…


Capping off 30 great years

By GREGORY ZELLER // There’s a few things you should know about EGC 1985 IPA, the newest concoction of Riverhead’s Crooked Ladder Brewing Co. Leaning towards orange in color, the India Pale Ale is made with four varieties of West Coast hops, giving it a powerful aroma and taste. It has a stronger alcohol content than 70 West, the microbrewery’s flagship brew, and significantly more hops. Only about 20 cases of the IPA have been…


SBU names Sotiropoulos engineering dean

Stony Brook University has named a new dean of its innovative College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Fotis Sotiropoulos, director of the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory at the University of Minnesota and an engineering professor at UMN, will take over SBU’s engineering college effective Oct. 15, the university announced Thursday. He succeeds Yacov Shamash, who remains SBU’s vice president for economic development. Sotiropoulos was chosen following a competitive national search and brings extensive knowledge and…


Murray heading new RMF development group

Innovation is in integration at Ruskin Moscou Faltischek, which has combined its zoning, land use and environmental law practice groups into a single unit. The group, chaired by partner E. Christopher Murray, maximizes RMF’s decades of development and zoning experience as an “integrated cross-disciplinary unit,” according to the Uniondale-based firm. Managing Partner Adam Silvers noted development and zoning applications are often “intertwined” with environmental litigation and regulatory challenges, requiring a team effort on most real…


A giant step on the road to precision medicine

By GREGORY ZELLER // This is your brain. This is your brain on antipsychotic medications. Any questions? Investigators at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, the R&D wing of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, have plenty. Among them: Can doctors use brain scans to predict how patients will respond to antipsychotic medications – even before medications are prescribed? Such predictability would allow providers to fine-tune prescribed meds and doses, a potentially enormous innovation in the…


Insurance plan, acquisitions boost NS-LIJ financials

More patients, the acquisition of two new hospitals and increased revenue from its health-insurance subsidiary helped the North Shore-LIJ Health System record a strong fiscal performance over the first half of 2015. An earnings report issued this week by the Great Neck-based health system notes an operating income of $52.7 million for the six months ending June 30, up from $38.1 million over the first half of 2014. The system’s “Discussion and Analysis of Financial…


Cuomo: Your billions for Upstate are paying off

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo took to the Huffington Post on Wednesday to extol what he called “irrefutable” evidence that Buffalo, Rochester and the rest of Upstate New York are on the economic mend. While acknowledging that his plan for an Upstate renaissance had been widely considered a fool’s errand, Cuomo said “any objective source would admit significant progress has been made. Even the skeptics are startled.” “Just yesterday the Buffalo News Editorial Board said, “While…


Thrill of victory, agony of defeat? There’s an app for that

By GREGORY ZELLER // In the land of earned-run averages, yards per game and double-doubles, there’s only one thing fans like more than sports. Statistics. Make that two things: A good rivalry can also outshine the sport itself, whether it’s Yankees/Red Sox, Michigan/Ohio State or two best buddies locked in a $5 Nassau. A new app aims to bring the statistical glory usually reserved for the top 1 percent of humanity’s elite athletes to the…


ExcelAire at 30: It’s been quite a ride

By GREGORY ZELLER // Overhauled business models, an industry-reshaping terror attack, a corporate takeover, shifting international regulations, ever-evolving technologies … nobody said 30 years would be easy. But they have been successful for Long Island MacArthur Airport-based charter-flight manager ExcelAire, which started life as Eastway Aircraft Services back in 1985. Eastway didn’t become ExcelAire until 1997, switching first to ExcelAire Service Inc. and later to ExcelAire LLC. Until then, the fixed-based operator focused on the…


LI Compost lands anaerobic digester project

One of New York State’s most innovative and ambitious sustainable-energy projects will be centered on Long Island. An anaerobic digester – which converts food waste, grass clippings and other organic byproducts that would otherwise clog up landfills into clean energy, water and fertilizers – will be installed at Long Island Compost Corp.’s 62-acre Yaphank facility. The digester, which is projected to be operational by August 2016, will be operated by Westbury-based American Organic Energy, Long…


Happe-ness is a grit-free beach drink

By GREGORY ZELLER // Inventor Jeanne Cilmi is not reinventing the wheel. But her Happe Holder still dreams big. Standing 8.5 inches tall on four sturdy legs, the portable, elevated cup holder aims to keep beverages out of the grass and sand when you’re picnicking at the park or beach – a modest goal, Cilmi admits, though not an unimportant one. “I’m not curing any major illnesses here,” she said. “Just making a day at…


Living it up on good news and positive thinking

By GREGORY ZELLER // If you’d suggested back in 2009 that “Live It Up!,” a kinda-web, sorta-television Long Island video magazine, would be seen in 25 countries and draw 100,000-plus weekly TV viewers, Donna Drake might have expressed doubts. Then again, she might not. Relentlessly optimistic – think Katie Couric meets Gidget – Drake probably would have liked her chances. Her hook, as she sees it, is that she’s a “good-news journalist,” which are in…