Buffalo is New York's second largest metropolis after New York City and the economic and cultural center of the western part of the state. The city's economy was founded on Buffalo's port, but has since diversified into education, health services, and professional laboratory services. In recent years, Buffalo colleges and universities such as the University at Buffalo and Roswell Park Cancer Institute have helped put Buffalo on the map as a center for bioinformatics and human genome research. These economic developments, along with a resurgence in Buffalo's cultural scene, have helped reverse Buffalo's bad rap as a bleak post-industrial ice box.
Buffalo's economic resurgence can be attributed in part to its strong higher education sector. Buffalo colleges and universities are led by two State University of New York institutions, the University at Buffalo and Buffalo State College, which together serve over 40,000 students. In addition, Buffalo is home to an array of private liberal arts colleges and universities, technical institutes, and public community colleges.