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$1M Investment from Nappis Establishes Stem Cell Research Activities
A $1 million investment by Syracuse University Trustee Samuel G. Nappi, and his wife, Carol, has established a leading-edge stem cell research laboratory in the Syracuse Biomaterials Institute. Dubbed the System Tissue Engineering and Morphogenesis (STEM) Lab, it will support the Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering’s efforts to improve, extend and enhance the lives of millions throughout the world.
“Modern medical advances are helping people live longer, healthier lives. Scientists and biomedical engineers at Syracuse University, and around the world, are 21st century heroes. We are fortunate to be part of this exciting and challenging research laboratory,” says Nappi. “Carol and I look forward to the breakthroughs the STEM Lab may discover and the promise it brings to humankind.”
Rehabilitative and regenerative engineering is one of the College of Engineering and Computer Science’s top research areas. With the Nappis’ investment, the college can advance this research and further leverage the University’s extraordinary multidisciplinary ecosystem of research and resources to position itself as a leader in this space. The new lab will also bolster the college’s strength in smart materials for healthcare.
“The STEM lab will be an invaluable resource for Syracuse University. It will enable our integrated approach to research and education in biomaterials as well as cellular and tissue engineering. These areas share great interdependency with the emerging field of regenerative medicine,” says R. “Suresh” Sureshkumar, distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering.
Assistant Professor Zhen Ma, the Nappi Research Scholar, leads the new lab. New to the college this fall, Ma brings expertise in developmental biology, tissue morphogenesis, cardiac tissue engineering, regenerative medicine and stem cell engineering. In his research, he uses stem cells to study disease and design personalized treatments that are tailored to patients’ specific genetic makeup.
“Sam and Carol Nappi’s generous support of research and education at Syracuse is an inspiration to us all,” says Teresa A Dahlberg, professor and dean of the college. “Their investment will undoubtedly be transformative for Syracuse University and allow us to continue to attract world-class talent to work, study and collaborate with us in the future.”
About Samuel G. Nappi
Nappi is the chairman of Alliance Energy Group, LLC, which he founded in 1994. Alliance Energy specializes in producing energy in a safe, reliable and efficient manner while simultaneously maintaining a high level of environmental stewardship.
At Syracuse University, the Nappis established the Bassel Al Shahade Endowed Graduate Scholarship Fund and the Ernie Davis Legends Field at the Carrier Dome, in addition to their support of the College of Law’s Cold Case Justice Initiative, the College of Visual and Performing Arts and Syracuse Stage. In 2015, the Nappis initiated and provided funding for the first annual Nappi Family Research Awards, a collaborative research competition between Syracuse University and Upstate Medical University to support research related to biomedical engineering and healthcare.
The Nappis also established the One World Community Foundation, and hosted His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama on campus in 2012 for The Common Ground for Peace forums and the One World Concert with Nobel Peace Prize Laureates from around the world.