No. 394: On cancer centers, secure weed and Asian affairs (plus: naughty books in Huntington)

Character study: Booker T. Washington -- the educator, author, orator and Presidential advisor who championed equality through education and entrepreneurship -- was born on April. 5, 1856.


Don’t know how you do it: But you’ve done it again, dear reader – it’s Friday and you’re sprinting toward the finish line of another busy workweek, with another well-earned weekend in the offing. Nicely done.

It’s April 5 out there, and if you had Alexander Nevsky’s Russian forces turning back the Teutonic Knights in the Battle on the Ice on this date in 1242, pozdravlyayu! The state gratefully collects 200 rubles on your behalf.

Pie eyed: We’re laying off the carbs these days, but for those digging the slices of life, today is National Deep Dish Pizza Day.

It’s also National Read a Road Map Day, which encourages us to give the GPS a rest and sharpen those map-reading skills – perchance to find new pizzerias.

Chamber music: The New York Chamber of Commerce, recognized as the very first U.S. chamber of commerce, was founded by 20 industrious merchants on April 5, 1768, inside Bolton and Sigel’s Tavern. (Now Fraunces Tavern, a landmark NYC museum/restaurant. Try the snapper.)

Putting on the squeeze: Connecticut inventor Isaac Quintard earned a U.S. patent on April 5, 1806, for his “apple cider and bark mill,” the first apple juice press.

Other patents issued on this date include one in 1881 for innovators Edwin Houston and Elihu Thomson and their “centrifugal separator” – a spinning vessel that was pretty handy for separating milk and cream, among other uses.

Stay calm: The first U.S. institute dedicated to the research of nervous diseases, The Neurological Institute of New York, was incorporated on April 5, 1909.

Pumped up: And the Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. began production of inflatable “balloon” tires in Ohio on this date in 1923.

Stamp of approval: Booker T. Washington (1856-1915), the American education pioneer and first African American on a U.S. stamp, was born on April 5.

So were British merchant, slave trader and Yale University namesake Elihu Yale (1649-1721), horticulturist and seed company founder Washington Burpee (1858-1915), groundbreaking pediatrician and microbiologist Hattie Alexander (1901-1968) and racquetball inventor Joseph Sobek (1918-1998).

King maker: And take a bow, U.S. Rep. Peter King – the Seaford Republican and frequent defender of President Trump turns 75 today.

Whatever your political affiliation, wish the 14-term congressman and the rest a happy birthday at Dropping off a story tip or calendar item seems the patriotic thing to do.


A few words from our sponsor: Northwell Health is New York’s largest healthcare provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, more than 700 outpatient facilities and 68,000-plus employees. We’re making research breakthroughs at the Feinstein Institute and training the next generation of medical professionals at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. Visit



ETCHed in stone: At least, permanently inked, as a Stony Brook biotech and a Canadian pharmaceutical-solutions provider have formalized an exclusive, long-term licensing deal first announced in February.

Supply chain sheriff Applied DNA Sciences and Canadian/Panamanian cohort TheraCann International Benchmark Corp. have finalized a definitive agreement that applies Applied DNA’s CertainT integrity platform to TheraCann’s ETCH BioTrace seed-to-scale tracking system, a match made in global legal-marijuana authentication heaven.

The deal (which runs for 20 years or until applicable patents expire) is set to pay Applied DNA $5 million over the next four months, the largest score in company history and “further validation of our DNA technology platform,” according to President and CEO James Hayward. “The impact on our balance sheet is beneficial and will allow us to respond to the requests for pre-commercial pilots we have already received.”

Fifty Shades of Huntington: Love them or loathe them, the “Fifty Shades” books are bona fide blockbusters – and British author E.L. James is a genuine literary force.

The polarizing poet of erotic thrillers (real name: Erika Mitchell) is scheduled to visit the Book Revue – Long Island’s largest independent bookstore, family owned since 1977 – for a special meet-the-author event on April 15, packing stacks of “The Mister,” her new naughty novel. Lucky ticket-holders (more info here) will score a copy a day before the book’s official April 16 release date, and James will even sign it.

“The Mister” is “a roller-coaster ride of danger and desire,” according to publisher Penguin Random House, featuring a familiar James gang – handsome rich guy, haunted young woman, secret pasts, mortal danger, etc. But pardon the New York Times No. 1 bestselling author if she doesn’t mess with the formula too much: The “Fifty Shades” trilogy sold more than 125 million copies worldwide.



A-O-MSK: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has cut the ribbon on its ultramodern $180 million outpatient treatment facility in Uniondale.

Asian influence: Adelphi University has selected an experienced academician, seasoned administrator and expert in Chinese and Taiwanese affairs to head its liberal arts programs.

Insurance deterrence: It was another tough quarter for Farmingdale-based life-sciences firm Enzo Biochem, which is battling declining insurance reimbursements.



Building better biomedical entrepreneurs, speeding up prototyping services and throwing funding to the wind.



Innovate LI’s inbox overrunneth with inspirational ideas from all North American corners. This week’s brightest out-of-town innovations:

From Texas: Beaumont-based Infrared Cameras Inc. launches new “multi-sensor payloads” giving aerial-inspection drones infrared, ultraviolet and other EM-spectrum peepers.

From Indiana: The FDA clears Carmel-based Innovative Neurological Devices’ Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulator, designed to zap anxiety, depression and insomnia.

From California: Yorba Linda-based regenerative-medicine manufacturer Liveyon introduces a stem-cell industry podcast focused on education and public perception.



+ Jared Sherman has joined Uniondale-based Farrell Fritz as a corporate associate. He previously served as an associate at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, both in New York.

+ Melissa Scarabino has been hired as a law clerk at Melville-based Tenenbaum Law. She’s a recent graduate of Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University.

+ Jarrett Behar is now a partner in the Litigation Practice Group of Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman and will be based in the Hauppauge office. He previously was a partner at Central Islip-based Sinnreich Kosakoff & Mesina LLP, where he focused on commercial real estate and development.

+ Angelina Bocanegra has been hired as alternative market program director for Woodbury-based SterlingRisk Insurance and will manage strategic growth within SterlingRisk’s Alternative Market Insurance Solutions Division. She previously served as small business commercial underwriter and personal lines manager for Woodbury-based JLNY Group before assuming the position of marketing manager, business development.

+ Joseph Carofano has been hired as senior vice president for strategy and chief marketing officer at Rockville Centre-based Catholic Health Services. He previously served as vice president for marketing, communications, planning and strategy at Western Connecticut Health Network in Norwalk.



Attentive: The (not so scientific) theories explaining why dogs tilt their heads.

Indifferent: Why cats aren’t good at delivering mail (and 49 other fascinating feline facts).

Studious: Science reveals the secrets of talking parrots.

Pet projects: Please continue supporting the great institutions that support Innovate LI, including Northwell Health, where the Northwell Center for Learning & Innovation is filled with inventive ideas.