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in this Issue Breaking New Frontiers + Revolution in Education + Data’s Human Side + Team Players + How to Innovate + Genomics to the Bedside FALL 2013

Mount Sinai SCIENCE & MEDICINE The Magazine of the Mount Sinai Medical Center

REDEFINING INNOVATION Mount Sinai is firing up discovery and creating solutions



Volume IV, number 1

President and Chief Executive Officer, The Mount Sinai Medical Center

Kenneth L. Davis, MD Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, The Mount Sinai Medical Center

Dennis S. Charney, MD president, The Mount Sinai hospital

David L. Reich, MD


Senior Vice President, Development, The Mount Sinai Medical Center

Mark Kostegan, FAHP Editor

Celia M. Regan Associate Editor

Travis Adkins Assistant Editor

Vanesa Sarić Contributors

Philip Berroll Sara Daniels Don Hamerman Andrew Lichtenstein Edward McGowan Rhianna Morris Barbara J. Niss Sima Rabinowitz Katie Quackenbush Spiegel Radio Co. Illustration

In • no •va • tion Innovation—define it, and everything it connotes seems to disappear; it loses the innate power of its meaning and becomes just a word, like any other. But examine what it really means, the creativity it prompts, the dialogue it inspires, and you can come closer to capturing its essence. So for this issue of Mount Sinai Science & Medicine, we are examining


the concept through actions.

Taylor Design

From research labs, to hospital administrative offices; from first-year

Mount Sinai Science & Medicine is published twice annually by the Office of Development, The Mount Sinai Medical Center, for an audience of friends and alumni. We welcome your comments; please contact us at a or call us at (212) 659-8500. Visit us on the Web at

classrooms, to the work of a singular business pro; from the white boards and dry-erase markers of the Leon and Norma Hess Center for Science and Medicine, to its massive data servers: Mount Sinai’s commitment to fostering innovation is all-encompassing. No area of the medical center is untouched by the power of creative thinking and new concepts. We present you here with the ideas and solutions of the people whose


work serves as the best definition there can be for a word that deserves

Innovation is high tech—and low.

nothing less than our best thinking.

On the front cover: Your brain at work. Photographic rendering of a synapse firing. Created by Spectral-Design. On the back cover: The Hess Center's white and green boards are designed to inspire everything, from scribbles to complex ideas. Photography by Don Hamerman and Andrew Lichtenstein.



LEXICON Throughout the feature section, we define the buzzwords.

Message 02 Innovation is in Mount Sinai’s history—and at the heart of everything we do

News 03 Mount Sinai and Continuum to combine + School of Medicine named for Carl Icahn + New grads urged to bring passion to innovation + Hospital boasts first designated comprehensive stroke center + Campaign surges toward record finish + New logo for Mount Sinai + Sinai Innovations, part two + Founding School of Medicine charter turns 50 + Dr. Fuster = Dr. Ruster + Aspen, USTA partnerships offer new forums + Rensselaer collaboration creates new opportunities + News in brief

Faculty 10 From Alia-Klein to Wasserman: Spotlight on 37 new recruits + Nearly 200 faculty receive honors and recognition + Researchers investigate cell reprogramming, mitigating depression, flu’s internal clock, bypass surgery for diabetics, genomic sequencing and E. coli, hospice’s benefits, therapy for fibrotic diseases, halting myelofibrosis, and ketamine’s effect on treatment-resistant depression

FEATURES Redefining Innovation 16    The Pathway to Innovation

18    The Searchers

46 Campaign Gifts Transforming Mount Sinai + The Tisches to be honored at October Campaign Celebration event + Philanthropy reaches far and wide + Celebrating the Hess Center opening, the Dubin Breast Center, the Cohen Center for Labor and Birth, The Friedman Brain Institute, Children’s Health, Greening our Children, the Crystal Party, Mount Sinai in Palm Beach, and Meet the Directors + Philanthropy at Work: The Mindiches explore children’s health with Dr. Gelb

Alumni 53 Legacy: The Galson family + Dr. Paul Cunningham + Jacobi honorees + Welcoming new alumni director + Valedictory from Dr. Jeffrey Laitman + Reunion 2013

17 innovators who are breaking new frontiers.

26    The Icahn Lift

C  arl Icahn brings an activist approach to investing and philanthropy.

29    Revolutionizing Medical Education

Our students are being admitted and taught to innovate—innovatively.

34    Surprise!


Think like an innovator, in three easy steps.

Jeff Hammerbacher finds the human side of data.

36    Team Play

 Drs. David Reich, Mark Callahan, and Annetine Gelijns make innovation possible.

39    Dialogue

 Drs. Bottinger, Cordon-Cardo, and Kazarskis bring Big Data to the bedside.

42    New Voices

 Mount Sinai’s graduate students give voice to the fresh future of biomedicine.



MESSAGE In the fulfillment of our mission, we have always encouraged brilliant research and the development of its fruits: These are the critical components of innovative thinking—the thinking that led to some of Mount Sinai’s most important discoveries.

Message from

the President       the Dean


But while innovation has been a constant in our history, it is now becoming central to our core values: We are putting our full energy into the creation of the next generation of diagnostics, therapeutics, and devices that will save lives and eradicate disease. To do this, we are fostering a culture of innovation and transformation, where anything is possible; our students and faculty must believe that they can change the future of biomedicine, science, and clinical medicine. We are investing in technology, a new Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship, a host of extraordinary new courses, and significant new faculty recruitments, including an array of professionals with expertise in venture capital and big data analytics. Such a culture is essential to brilliance and success. Our model is Silicon Valley, where charting new directions and alternate paths is almost a way of life. Yet, for the most part, the biomedical universe—including most of the great academic medical centers in this country—does not emulate that model. But we are emulating it—and refining it, beginning by linking disciplines not ordinarily linked. For example, we have made recruitments in mathematics who are helping to forge and solidify connections that seemed unthinkable before we acquired our super computer, Minerva. Adding their expertise to our faculty—and giving them an astonishingly powerful tool like Minerva—allows them to produce algorithms that we know will transform our work: They are already working with our electronic medical records system, analyzing genomic data, and beginning to develop predictive models of disease, as well as identifying patients at highest risk for relapse and readmission; this, in turn, will help us to improve the ways we diagnose and treat patients, and also help to control the costs of health care. An innovative culture like ours builds an institute for genomics whose director thinks

While innovation has been a constant in our history, it is now becoming central to our core values.

differently about how genes interact, applying new predictive models to tens of thousands of genes and proteins to determine the real causes of disease. And an innovative culture extends to its students. By reshaping our admissions process for the MD program, we are expanding the creative range of the student body and encouraging different kinds of candidates to come here, work together, and think innovatively from day one. Even more crucially, an innovative culture takes risks. This is especially important for a health care institution, where failure has serious consequences, because taking no risks—maintaining the status quo—guarantees three things: Chronic diseases will not

Mount Sinai Science & Medicine / fall 2013

be conquered, quality of life will not be improved, and life spans will not be extended.


Passivity is not an alternative to fear of failure; what matters is how we walk the adventurous path. We must recognize that safety must be paramount when we work with patients, but before we get there, we must look at problems in unique ways—and that means trying things that could fail. Great findings come from unexpected places, and Mount Sinai’s culture of innovation means that, in every classroom, in every lab, in every clinical space, the opportunity to change medicine is everyone’s priority. Kenneth L. Davis, MD President and CEO, The Mount Sinai Medical Center

Dennis S. Charney, MD Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, The Mount Sinai Medical Center


NEWS Mount Sinai, Continuum to Combine The Mount Sinai Medical Center and Continuum Health Partners announced that they will combine to form The Mount Sinai Health System, the largest private network in New York City and one of the largest nonprofit systems in the country, comprising seven hospitals and 3,300 beds. “Our goal in combining to form an integrated health care system and academic medical center is to provide exceptional medical care to New Yorkers,” said Kenneth L. Davis, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Mount Sinai Medical Center, who will serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of The Mount Sinai Health System. “The combination will create increased efficiencies and expand access to advanced primary and specialty care throughout this citywide system.” The Mount Sinai Health System will include Beth

Officer of Continuum. Following the completion

Israel Medical Center in Manhattan, Beth Israel

of the merger, Mr. Brezenoff will retire from his

Brooklyn, The Mount Sinai Hospital, Mount Sinai

current role and serve in an advisory capacity to the

Queens, New York Eye & Ear Infirmary, St. Luke’s

leadership during the transition process.

Hospital, and Roosevelt Hospital. The complementary

Physicians and scientists affiliated with Continuum

strengths of the two partners, which together offer

hospitals will assume academic appointments at the

a comprehensive array of primary and specialty care

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. All affili-

programs, will position the new system to success-

ations that Continuum currently has with other

fully navigate the changing health care landscape,

medical schools will be transitioned to Mount Sinai,

said Peter W. May, Chairman of The Mount Sinai

which will be the sole medical school for the System.

Medical Center Boards of Trustees.

Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz

“I am confident that our leaders are working well

Dean of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and

together to create an exceptional health system that

Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs of The

will serve as a model for the entire country,” said Mr.

Mount Sinai Medical Center, sees the opportunity for

May, who will remain as Chairman of the Boards of

increased research collaboration.

Trustees for the new system.

“Bringing together the clinical and administrative

breaking clinical and translational research that has

excellence of Mount Sinai and Continuum will help

led to improved methods of diagnosing and treating

provide us a position of significant strength and

human disease,” said Dr. Charney. “With this combi-

resourcefulness,” said Steven Hochberg, the Chairman

nation, we will widen our research base and accelerate

of the Boards of Trustees for Continuum, who will

the pace of breakthrough treatments and protocols.

serve as Vice Chairman.

The combination will also provide for an outstanding

“This combination makes readily available a more

and diverse educational experience for our medical

robust and multidisciplinary network of services that

students, residents, and fellows.”

neither institution could have offered independently,”

The combination is expected to receive final

said Stanley Brezenoff, President and Chief Executive

regulatory approval before the end of the year.

“We will build on Mount Sinai’s legacy of ground-

Kenneth L. Davis and Peter W. May; Steven Hochberg

“Our leaders are working well together to create an exceptional health system that will serve as a model for the entire country.” – Peter W. May, Chairman,  Mount Sinai Boards of Trustees




Mount Sinai Renames Medical School in Honor of Trustee Carl C. Icahn “Mount Sinai is poised to make enormous breakthroughs in biomedical science, and Carl’s extraordinarily generous gift  will help us fulfill that promise.” – President and CEO Kenneth L. Davis, MD

Mount Sinai has renamed its medical school

faculty, and provide critical support for other

the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in

strategic priorities. In addition to the new name

honor of Trustee Carl C. Icahn, whose November

for the medical school, Mount Sinai renamed

2012 gift—the largest in the institution’s history

its burgeoning genomics program the Icahn

and one of the biggest ever given to a medical

Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology in

school—brings his total lifetime giving to Mount

light of Mr. Icahn’s longstanding interest in the

Sinai to more than $200 million.

field and of the pivotal role the Institute

“Carl’s support enables our scientists and

will play in accelerating groundbreaking

clinicians to continue pursuing groundbreaking

research across disciplines. Mount Sinai will

discoveries. We are honored to bear the Icahn

also designate several of its most outstanding

School of Medicine name as we revolutionize

scientists across several institutes and

health care for Mount Sinai patients and for

departments as Icahn Scholars.

patients around the world,” said President

“Carl Icahn’s generosity has tremendously

Kenneth L. Davis, MD.

strengthened Mount Sinai’s capacity for

Mr. Icahn’s latest gift significantly expands

innovation by allowing us flexibility and oppor-

Mount Sinai’s research capacity by increasing

tunistic creativity, two of the greatest assets for

the budget of the President’s Strategic Initiative

any innovative organization,” said Anne and

Fund, which is used to advance promising

Joel Ehrenkranz Dean Dennis Charney, MD.

research projects, recruit world-renowned

“We are extremely grateful to Carl not only for his philanthropic support but also for his trust and confidence in Mount Sinai and the major role our institution will continue to play in transforming global health care.” Mr. Icahn’s gift ranks among the ten largest ever given to a medical school and among the 20 largest given to an American university or college, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. “Carl Icahn has been a remarkable supporter of the capital campaign, and as a philanthropist, he is a game-changer for Mount Sinai,” said

Mount Sinai Science & Medicine / fall 2013

Chairman Peter May. “His gift helped us to


surpass our original $1 billion goal and gave us the momentum to reach the challenge goal of $1.3 billion.”

“Mount Sinai clinicians and researchers

are performing some of the most exciting, important work in medical science today—work that has the potential to dramatically improve and extend human life,” said Mr. Icahn. “I am Carl Icahn and Kenneth L. Davis in May 2013.

confident that my support will help them shape the future of medicine.”

Innovation, Collaboration, Graduation Highlights from 44th Commencement Held May 10 at Avery Fisher Hall, Mount Sinai’s 44th Commencement saw 307 degrees granted to Icahn School of Medicine students and students in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, including 142 MDs, 63 PhDs, and 98 Masters degrees. Nobel Prizewinning psychologist Daniel Kahneman, PhD addressed the Mount Sinai graduates as commencement speaker and received an honorary Doctor of Science degree. Other honorary degree recipients were Aaron Ciechanover, MD, DSc (Doctor of Science), a Nobel Prize-winning biochemist who has made monumental contributions to the understanding of crucial biochemical processes; Eva Andersson-Dubin, MD (Doctor of Humane Letters) and Glenn Dubin (Doctor of Humane Letters), philanthropic leaders who helped found Mount Sinai’s Dubin Breast Center; and Mortimer B. Zuckerman (Doctor of Humane Letters), one of the most influential voices in print news media in the last 20 years and a generous supporter of medical research.

“ We must possess the intellectual courage to challenge tradition and dogma, the imagination to achieve true innovation, and the passion to deliver on our promise of transformative discovery.” – Dean Dennis S. Charney, MD

“Doctors alone cannot help patients prevent or manage chronic conditions, but a sophisticated, dedicated care team, where all are working to the maximum of their license, can help ensure such change.” – President and CEO Kenneth L. Davis, MD

“ You need the courage to act on your intuition when you trust it, the discipline to follow the rules and skills you have acquired when it’s the best you can do, and the wisdom to know when to use one or the other.”

Hospital is First in NY State to Be Designated Comprehensive Stroke Center Mount Sinai is the first hospital in New York State—and among the few nationwide—to be designated a Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Joint Commission, the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. The designation is awarded only to medical centers that meet rigorous requirements in advanced imaging capabilities, round-the-clock availability of specialized treatments, staff with the unique education and competencies to care for complex stroke patients, and other key criteria. “Mount Sinai has been steadfastly committed to educating our community about stroke risk, signs, and symptoms,” said Stanley Tuhrim, MD, Director of the Mount Sinai Stroke Center and Professor and Clinical Vice Chair of Neurology (at left, above). “We are honored that the Joint Commission has recognized us for our dedication to research and the care of our patients.”

– Daniel Kahneman, PhD




Campaign Surges Toward Finish Line with Transformational Gifts “The phenomenal success of this effort, begun just before the recession of 2008, is an example of how Mount Sinai brings out the best in all of us. The impact of this campaign will be felt for generations.” –  James S. Tisch, Chairman, Campaign for Mount Sinai

Months before its scheduled end in December 2013,

medicine, community health, and global health, and

the Campaign for Mount Sinai has surpassed its new

which will be renamed the Marie-Josée and Henry R.

challenge goal of $1.3 billion, which was set by the

Kravis Center for Advanced Medicine.

Boards of Trustees after the original $1 billion goal was reached in October 2012—more than one year ahead of schedule. The Campaign stands at $1.36 billion as of press time; the new total was powered by five recent transformational gifts: • A $5 million gift from philanthropic leaders Leonard and Emily Blavatnik that will support a variety of initiatives at the Recanati/Miller Transplant Institute, as well as the Ovarian Cancer Translational Research Program and a renovation project to create a floor in the hospital devoted to caring for women with breast or reproductive system cancers. • A $12 million gift from Trustee David S. “Sandy” Gottesman and Ruth Gottesman, EdD, supporting the recently completed renovation of the pediatric intensive care unit, in recognition of which the medical center has named The Alice Gottesman Bayer Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. • A $25 million commitment from Trustee Henry R.

CAMPAIGN TOTAL Mount Sinai Science & Medicine / fall 2013






• A leadership gift from Trustee Eric S. Mindich and Stacey Mindich, bringing their lifetime giving to $15 million, to accelerate translational research in science and medicine for infants, children, and adolescents at The Mindich Child Health and Development Institute. • A $15 million gift from the estate of Ruth Ward Coleman, a longtime Mount Sinai supporter who will be recognized for her generosity with the creation of several Ward-Coleman Chairs, to be held by some of Mount Sinai’s leading physician-scientists. (For more about some of these gifts, see page 46.) “The impressive accomplishments of the Campaign are a testament to the leadership of Ken Davis and Dennis Charney, who defined a strong, essential course for the Medical Center, one that sparked support from the Boards of Trustees at record levels,” noted Peter May, Chairman of the Mount Sinai Boards of Trustees. “Well

Kravis and Marie-Josée Kravis to advance the work

over half our total to date was given by Trustees—a

of the clinicians and researchers housed in the

rare accomplishment for any academic medical center.”

Center for Advanced Medicine, home to many of

“The capital campaign has exceeded our expectations

Mount Sinai’s programs in primary care, preventive

in every way and has given us a deeper appreciation of

just how generous our philanthropic partners are,” said President Kenneth L. Davis, MD, noting that the vast majority of the Campaign’s fundraising total comes from 52 gifts of $5 million and above and 132 gifts of between $1 million and $5 million. Launched in 2007, the Campaign has strengthened Mount Sinai’s position as one of the foremost academic medical centers in the country through its support for the creation of 14 innovative translational research institutes, the construction of new, state-of-the-art research and clinical care facilities, the recruitment of more than 200 leading physician-scientists, and the naming of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Trustee James S. Tisch, who chairs the Campaign, said, “The phenomenal success of this effort, begun just before the recession of 2008, is an example of how Mount Sinai brings out the best in all of us. The impact of this campaign will be felt for generations.” “Our donors have enabled us to increase Mount Sinai’s research footprint by thirty percent and put us in a position to draw more than $350 million in NIH funding over the next five years,” said Dean Dennis S. Charney. “But this campaign has always been about transforming the future of biomedicine. The ultimate measure of its success will be the discoveries we make at Mount Sinai that advance the diagnosis, prevention, and

All-Star Speakers to Discuss “Team Science” at Second SINAInnovations Conference A roster of speakers including leaders from the arts, military, business, and sports worlds will take the field at this year’s SINAInnovations conference to discuss how physicians and researchers can apply the secrets of successful teamwork to discover breakthroughs. To be held November 18 -19, the conference highlights how new technologies and concepts in biomedical science increasingly require teamwork to achieve success, said Scott L. Friedman, MD, Fishberg Professor of Medicine and Dean for Therapeutic Discoveries, who is one of the event’s organizers. “Effective teamwork to foster groundbreaking science is a major element of our efforts to transform the culture at Mount Sinai,” said Dr. Friedman, who noted that the 2012 SINAInnovations conference drew more than 600 attendees to hear from innovative thinkers such as Ivan Seiderberg, the former CEO of Verizon Communications; Paul Stoffels, MD, Chief Scientific Officer and Worldwide Chairman for Pharmaceuticals at Johnson & Johnson; and David Zaslav, President and CEO of Discovery Communications. For more information, visit

treatment of human disease.”

Mount Sinai Introduces New Logo A new logo reflecting Mount Sinai’s mission of cross-disciplinary collaboration and capturing the momentum behind the institution’s continuing growth was unveiled at the December 13, 2012 public opening of the Leon and Norma Hess Center for Science & Medicine. The new logo—intersecting lines that suggest both the historical Mount Sinai itself and the letter M and symbolize the connection among physicians, scientists, patients, and other members of the Mount Sinai community—is the centerpiece of a larger branding campaign that focuses on Mount Sinai’s exceptional care and research.

Five Decades of Excellence Mount Sinai Celebrates 50th Anniversary of School Charter On June 28, 1963, the Board of Regents of New York State approved the charter of what was then known as the Mount Sinai Hospital School of Medicine, marking the first time since 1910 that a hospital in the U.S. had been granted permission to found a medical school. That watershed moment continues to reverberate today, as the Icahn School of Medicine carries on the legacy of breaking barriers and blazing new paths. “We are proud of what we have accomplished in the past fifty years, and excited about what the future holds,” said Dean Dennis S. Charney.




New Forums for Mount Sinai’s Best Ideas Committed to play a leading role in advocacy and education, Mount Sinai is presenting some of its most prominent minds in new settings and partnerships. President Davis was among a group of national figures invited to discuss the future of health care during the 2013 Aspen Ideas Festival, a celebrated forum for thinkers and leaders from around the world. Dr. Davis and other doctors gave Mount Sinai a strong presence at the Festival, providing insights into genetic sequencing and containing medical costs. Other recent partnerships with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (see page 9), the United States Tennis Association (USTA), and The Atlantic magazine have strengthened the Medical Center’s position as a significant contributor to the national debate in terms

Mount Sinai Science & Medicine / fall 2013

of education, research, and patient care. An upcoming Big Data


conference in collaboration with The Atlantic will highlight Mount Sinai’s pioneering position in leveraging supercomputers, complex algorithms, and new information-collection techniques to treat patients more precisely. As the official provider of medical services for the United States Tennis Association, Mount Sinai will deliver on-site clinical care for tennis players competing in the US Open, work with the USTA to develop injury prevention policies, and conduct co-branded educational outreach to promote the health benefits of tennis. For more about the Aspen Ideas Festival, and to view videos of Mount Sinai’s presentations there, visit

Dr. Fuster, Meet Dr. Ruster Valentín Fuster, MD, PhD, Physician-in-Chief and Director of Mount Sinai Heart, has already been recognized by every major award in cardiology, but now he has one more illustrious title to add to his crowded CV: Muppet. Dr. Fuster is the inspiration for “Dr. Valentín Ruster,” a character on “Barrio Sesamo: Monstruos Supersanos”—the version of the “Sesame Street” children’s program shown in his native Spain—who teaches kids about leading healthier lifestyles through exercise and a better diet.

Icahn School of Medicine Forges Partnership with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute The Icahn School of Medicine will combine its leadership in biomedical research and patient care with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s expertise in engineering and invention prototyping through an agreement that calls for the two institutions to collaborate on educational programs, research, and the development of new diagnostic tools and treatments. Announced May 22, the far-reaching partnership will include developing complementary research programs and pursuing joint funding; launching the Mount Sinai and Rensselaer Collaborative Center for Research Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which will focus on transitioning basic research into innovative startup projects; and offering unique educational opportunities such as a program in which students can earn an MD from Mount Sinai and a PhD from Rensselaer. Initially, key areas of collaboration will be in genomics, imaging, tissue engineering, and neuroscience. “With high competition for funding and with the pharmaceutical industry investing less in research and development, institutions with complementary strengths must partner to revolutionize biomedical research,” said Dean Dennis S. Charney, MD. “With both institutions committed to a culture of innovation in research and education, we look forward to working with Rensselaer to help provide the blueprint for 21st century science and health care delivery.”

News in Brief New Admissions Criteria Is a First for U.S. Medical Schools The Icahn School of Medicine announced that under its new FlexMed policy, which begins in 2013, half of the positions in each entering class will be offered to college sophomores with any undergraduate major, with no MCAT required. The School of Medicine is the first in the country to adopt such an admissions policy. (See page 30 for more about FlexMed.)

Three Appointed to Leadership Posts Mount Sinai recently appointed three acclaimed physicians to key leadership posts. David L. Reich, MD has been named President of The Mount Sinai Hospital, leading operations for the 1,171-bed hospital. Arthur Klein, MD has been named President of The Mount Sinai Health Network, overseeing the network of satellite practices, affiliations, and Mount Sinai-owned practices throughout the greater New York City area. Jeremy Boal, MD has been named Chief Medical Officer, directing the Hospital’s efforts in patient safety, quality of care, and other critical areas.

Boards of Trustees Elects Five New Members The Boards of Trustees has elected Gerald J. Cardinale, Gail Golden Icahn, Howard Marks, Kenneth B. Mehlman, and Neil S. Mitchell to serve for three-year-terms. “I look forward to working closely with our new Trustees, each of whom has a distinguished history of philanthropic leadership at Mount Sinai and other institutions,” said Peter W. May, Chairman of the Boards of Trustees.

Andrew Fyfe Stewart, MD Named Director of Diabetes, Metabolism and Obesity Institute Andrew Fyfe Stewart, MD, a foremost expert in the replication and regeneration of the insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells that are destroyed by type 1 and type 2 diabetes, has joined Mount Sinai as Director of the Diabetes, Metabolism, and Obesity Institute. “Mount Sinai is on the leading edge of big biology,” said Dr. Stewart, who was previously at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “My team is thrilled to round out Mount Sinai’s existing diabetes research with our expertise in beta cells.”

Shirley Ann Jackson, PhD, President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Dean Dennis S. Charney, MD, at the signing in May.



FACULTY New RECRUITS The Mount Sinai Medical Center welcomes the following new recruits. Nelly Alia-Klein, PhD, Associate Professor, Departments of Neuroscience and Psychiatry and member, The Friedman Brain Institute; previously at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Nina Bhardwaj, MD, PhD, Director of the Immunotherapy Program and member, The Tisch Cancer Institute; previously at New York University Langone Medical Center. Ira Blaufarb, MD, Associate Professor of Cardiology, Department of Medicine; previously in private practice; also affiliated with Lenox Hill Hospital. Andrew Casden, MD, Associate Professor of Spinal Surgery, Leni and Peter W. May Department of Orthopaedics; previously at Beth Israel Medical Center. Julide T. Celebi, MD, Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Dermatology, Professor, Department of Pathology and member, The Tisch Cancer Institute; previously at Columbia University Medical Center.

Mount Sinai Science & Medicine / fall 2013

Farooq A. Chaudhry, MD, Professor of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Director, Echocardiography Laboratories, and Associate Director, Mount Sinai Heart Network; previously at St. Luke’s Hospital.


Jean-Frederic Colombel, MD, Professor of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine; previously at University Hospital of Lille, France. Veronica Delaney, MD, PhD, Professor of Nephrology, Department of Medicine; previously in private practice.

Pallavi Devchand, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences and member, the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology; previously at Harvard Medical School. Larry Di Fabrizio, MD, Associate Professor of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, Department of Medicine, Director of the Pulmonary Faculty Practice; previously at Lenox Hill Hospital. Nicholas DuBois, MD, Associate Professor, of Cardiology, Department of Medicine; also affiliated with Lenox Hill Hospital. Mary E. Fowkes, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Pathology; previously at Norton Healthcare. Adolfo García Ocaña, PhD, Professor of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Bone Disease, Department of Medicine and member, The Mindich Child Health and Development Institute; previously at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Sacha Gnjatic, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Hematology, and Medical Oncology, Department of Medicine and member, The Tisch Cancer Institute; previously at Memorial SloanKettering Cancer Center. Rita Goldstein, PhD, Professor, Department of Psychiatry/Department of Neuroscience and member, The Friedman Brain Institute; previously at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Jorge E. Gomez, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Hematology, and Medical Oncology, Department of Medicine, Director of the Thoracic

Oncology Program, and member, The Tisch Cancer Institute; previously at University of Miami and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Dorothy Grice, MD, Professor, Department of Psychiatry and member, The Friedman Brain Institute; previously at Columbia University Medical Center/New York State Psychiatric Institute. Fatemeh Haghighi, PhD, Associate Professor, Departments of Neuroscience and Psychiatry and member, The Friedman Brain Institute; previously at Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute. Ching He, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences and member, the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology; previously at Amgen. Donna A. Ingram, MD, Associate Professor of Cardiology, Department of Medicine; previously in private practice; also affiliated with Lenox Hill Hospital. Stuart B. Kahn, MD, Associate Professor, Leni and Peter W. May Department of Orthopaedics and Department of Rehabilitation Medicine; previously at Beth Israel Medical Center. Paul Kuflik, MD, Associate Professor, Leni and Peter W. May Department of Orthopaedics; previously at Beth Israel Medical Center. Francesco Leanza, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and Director, Harlem Residency in Family Medicine; also affiliated with the Institute for Family Health.

































PICTURED: 1. Nelly Alia-Klein, PhD. 2. Nina Bhardwaj, MD, PhD. 3. Ira Blaufarb, MD. 4. Andrew Casden, MD. 5. Julide T. Celebi, MD. 6. Farooq A. Chaudhry, MD. 7. Jean-Frederic Colombel, MD. 8. Veronica Delaney, MD, PhD. 9. Larry Di Fabrizio, MD. 10. Nicholas DuBois, MD. 11. Mary E. Fowkes, MD, PhD. 12. Adolfo García Ocaña, PhD. 13. Sacha Gnjatic, PhD. 14. Rita Goldstein, PhD. 15. Jorge E. Gomez, MD. 16. Dorothy Grice, MD. 17. Fatemeh Haghighi, PhD. 18. Donna A. Ingram, MD. 19. Stuart B. Kahn, MD. 20. Paul Kuflik, MD. 21. Francesco Leanza, MD. 22. Sabina Lim, MD. 23. Joseph Lurio, MD. 24. Michael G. Neuwirth, MD. 25. Samir M. Parekh, BBS. 26. Ramon Parsons, MD, PhD. 27. Linda Prine, MD. 28. Avraham Reichenberg, PhD. 29. Donald Scott, PhD. 30. Amy Tiersten, MD. 31. Rupangi Vasavada, PhD. 32. Alfin Vicencio, MD.

Sabina Lim, MD, Associate Professor and Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs, Department of Psychiatry and member, The Friedman Brain Institute; previously at Yale-New Haven Psychiatric Hospital. Joseph Lurio, MD, Director of the Immunotherapy Program and member, The Tisch Cancer Institute; previously at New York University Langone Medical Center.

Ramon Parsons, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Oncological Sciences and member, The Tisch Cancer Institute; previously at Columbia University Medical Center.

Amy Tiersten, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Hematology, and Medical Oncology, Department of Medicine; previously at New York University Langone Medical Center.

Linda Prine, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health; also affiliated with the Institute for Family Health.

Rupangi Vasavada, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Bone Disease, Department of Medicine and member, Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism Institute; previously at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Michael G. Neuwirth, MD, Professor, Leni and Peter W. May Department of Orthopaedics; previously at Beth Israel Medical Center.

Avraham Reichenberg, PhD, Professor, Department of Psychiatry and member, The Friedman Brain Institute; previously at King’s College, London.

Ellen M. Olson, MD, Associate Professor, Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine; previously at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center.

Robert Schiller, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health; also affiliated with the Institute for Family Health.

Samir M. Parekh, BBS, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Hematology, and Medical Oncology, Departments of Medicine and Oncological Science; previously at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Donald Scott, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Bone Disease, Department of Medicine and member, the Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism Institute; previously at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Alfin Vicencio, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Chief of the Division of Pulmonology, and member, The Mindich Child Health and Development Institute; previously at Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System. Randi S. Wasserman, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics; previously at New York University Langone Medical Center.



FACULTY Kenneth Rosenzweig, MD, Professor and Chair, Radiation Oncology; President-elect, American Radium Society


Recognition   Awards

Julie B. Schur, PhD, Assistant Professor; Early Career Contribution Award, St. John’s University Ming-Ming Zhou, PhD, Professor; fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science

More than 100 Mount Sinai faculty received significant honors in recent months.

The Friedman Brain Institute Dara Dickstein, PhD, Assistant Professor; New Investigators Research Grant; Alzheimer’s Association Charles Mobbs, PhD, Professor; China Strategic Alliance of Prevention and Treatment Technology for Diabetes, Consortium of Chinese Central Government, Universities, Research, Institute and Industries Eric Nestler, MD, PhD, Professor; Anna Monika Prize in Depression Research, Anna Monika Foundation Anne Schafer, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor; Director’s New Innovator Award, National Institute for Health

The Tisch Cancer Institute Margaret Baron, MD, PhD, Professor; Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program, Drexel University College of Medicine Nina Bhardwaj, MD, PhD, Professor; Chair-elect, steering committee Cancer Immunology Working Group, American Association for Cancer Research; member, Scientific Advisory Council of the Cancer Research Institute

Mount Sinai Science & Medicine / fall 2013

Carmel J. Cohen, MD, Professor; National Leadership Award, American Cancer Society


Ross Cagan, PhD, Professor; Editor-in-Chief, Disease Models and Mechanisms Scott Friedman, MD, Professor; Paustian Visiting Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center; Winter Memorial Lecture, University of Chicago, Illinois School of Medicine; Balistreri Visiting Professor, University of Cincinnati School of Medicine; visiting professor, Loyola University, School of Medicine; fellow, American College of Physicians; International Recognition Award, European Association for the Study of Liver; keynote lecturer, International Conference on Viral Hepatitis; keynote lecture, Latin American Association for the Study of Liver

James F. Holland, MD, Professor; Inaugural Fellow of the AACR Academy, American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Hanna Yoko Irie, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor; 2013 AACR—Genentech BioOncology Career Development Award for Research, American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Joseph M. Llovet, MD, Professor; president, International Liver Cancer Association (ILCA); International Hanns Popper Award, Falk Foundation; lecturer and Chair, American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL; lecturer and Chair, European Association for the Study of Liver—the International Liver Cancer Association joint Symposium, Barcelona; lecturer and Chair, Asia-Pacific Primary Liver Cancer Expert Meeting (APPLE 2013); lecturer and Chair, International Liver Cancer Association, Berlin, Germany; keynote lecturer; American Society of Clinical Oncology - Gastrointestinal Cancer Symposium, San Francisco; keynote lecture, European Association for the Study of Liver—The International Liver Congress, Barcelona, Spain; keynote lecture, Israel Association for the Study of the Liver, Tel Aviv; visiting professor, Mayo Clinic, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, NY, Fudan University, Shangai Robert G. Maki, MD, PhD, Professor; Nobility in Science Award, Sarcoma Foundation of America Vesna Najfeld, PhD, Research Professor; member and presenter, Plenary Session presentation “Cytogenomics of MPN”, Myelo Proliferative Neoplasms & related diseases, Euronet Philippe Soriano, PhD, Professor; keynote speaker, Seattle Developmental Biology Winter Symposium; distinguished speaker, National Cancer Institute, Frederick MD; keynote speaker, North East Regional Meeting of the Society for Developmental Biology, Woods Hole, MA Derek Leroith, PhD, Professor; Distinction in Endocrinology Award, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists

Department of Dermatology Kenneth Edelson, MD, Associate Clinical Professor; Volunteer 25th Year Recognition Award, American Academy of Dermatology Emma Guttman, MD, PhD, Associate Professor; Awarded grant to study Biomarks of Pediatric Dermatitis, The American Academy of Dermatology Mark Lebwohl, MD, Chairman and Sol and Clara Kest Professor; Everett Fox Award in Recognition of Expertise in the Clinical Practice of Dermatology and Volunteerism Award, The American Academy of Dermatology; Lifetime Achievement Award, The National Psoriasis Foundation; Lifetime Achievement Award, The American Skin Association; Leader of Distinction Award, Journal of Drugs in Dermatology

Department of Genetics and Genomics Sciences Alessia Baccarini, PhD, Assistant Professor; Paola Campese Award, the Italian Scientist and Scholars Foundation Kurt Hirschorn, MD, Professor emeritus of pediatrics, genetics and genomic sciences and medicine; Victor McKusick Leadership Award, American Society of Human Genetics Robert Desnick, PhD, Professor and Chairman Emeritus; Lifetime Achievement Award, Genetic Disease Foundation; Inventor of the Year Award, New York Intellectual Property Law Association Gurav Pandy, PhD, Assistant Professor; program Chair, Biological Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (BIOKDD) 2013 Workshop Edward H. Schuman, PhD, Professor; Inventor of the Year Award, New York Intellectual Property Law Association

Brookdale Department of Geriatrics & Palliative Medicine Patricia A. Bloom, MD, Associate Professor; Special Recognition Award, The Mount Sinai Medical Center Linda DeCherrie, MD, Assistant Professor; named House Call Doctor of the Year, American Academy of Home Care Physicians

Judith L. Howe, PhD, Professor; Walter M. Beattie Jr. Award, State Society on Aging of New York State Will Hung, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor; New Investigator Award, American Geriatrics Society Amy Kelly, MD, Assistant Professor; Visiting Scholar, Aging Center, Duke University School of Medicine Rosanne M. Leipzig, MD, PhD, Gerald and May Ellen Ritter Professor; named Council of Medical Specialty Societies Liaison, National Board of Medical Examiners; Allan Sandler Visiting Scholar in General Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital; Distinguished Professor in Geriatrics, Society of General Internal Medicine; Visiting Professor, University of Toronto, Baycrest

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; guest speaker, meeting of Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality-Centers for Medicare and Medicated Services Pediatric Quality Measures Program Informatics Workgroup, Innovating Health Information Technology: Moving Beyond the Electronic Medical Record for Pediatric Quality Measure Development; Letter of Honor for Excellence in Reviewing, Annals of Internal Medicine Alan J. Moskowitz, PhD, Professor and Vice-Chair; keynote presentation, Devices are not Drugs: Challenges for Assessing the Value of Innovation, Health Technology Assessment international (HTAi) Policy Forum, Barcelona, Spain

Diane E. Meier, MD, Catherine Gaisman Professor of Medical Ethics; Carol Selinske Founder’s Award, Hospice and Palliative Care Association of New York State; Contemplative Care Award, New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care

Michael K. Parides, PhD, Professor; member, Editorial Board, Stroke

Albert L. Siu, MD, MSHS, Professor and Chair; Scientific Achievement Award, Chinese Medicine Society

Hina W. Chaudhry, MD, TEDMED Innovator Scholar, TEDMED; keynote speaker, Dr. Hans G. Folkesson Memorial Lecture Series, Northeast Ohio Medical University; Best Manuscript 2012, The Editorial Board of Circulation Research at the American Heart Association Scientific Session 2012

Rainier P. Soriano, MD, Associate Professor; Leonard Tow Humanism Award In Medicine, the Gold Foundation

Department of Health Evidence and Policy Deborah D. Ascheim, MD, Associate Professor; Chair, Board of Directors, Physicians for Human Rights Emilia Bagiella, PhD, Professor; member, Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee, U.S. Food and Drug Administration Nina A. Bickell, MD, Professor; member, Cance Education Committee, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annetine C. Gelijns, PhD, Professor and Chair; keynote presentation, Devices are not Drugs: Challenges for Assessing the Value of Innovation, Health Technology Assessment international (HTAi) Policy Forum, Barcelona, Spain Lawrence C. Kleinman, MD, MPH, Associate Professor and vice Chair, Research and Education; 2012 consulting expert, Community Forum, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; guest editor, Pediatrics Supplement on Visioning, Measuring and Improving the Quality of Healthcare for Children: Insights from the

Mount Sinai Heart Institute

Valentín Fuster, MD, Director of Mount Sinai Heart and Physician-in-Chief; Legend of Cardiovascular Medicine, American College of Cardiology; Honoris Causa, La Plata National University, La Plata, Argentina; 2012 Research Achievement Award, American Heart Association; 2013 2013 Münster Heart Center International Award, Münster, Germany; 2013 Simon Dack Award (Opening Lecture), American College of Cardiology, San Francisco, CA; 2013 Leahey Lecture Award, Columbia University; 2013 Ron Haddock AHA/ASA International Impact Award, American Heart Association; 2013 Arthur S. Agatston Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Award, Society of Cardiovascular Computer Tomography (SCCT) Jason Kovacic, MD, Assistant Professor; Emerging Leader, American College of Cardiology and Society of Cardiac Angiography and Interventions; keynote speaker, Annual Scientific Session, Meeting American Heart Association Lori Kroft, MD, Professor; American Heart Association Luminary of Heart, American Heart Association Mary Ann McLaughlin, MD, Professor; American Heart Association Luminary of Heart, American Heart Association

Pedro Moreno, MD, Professor; Two Star Rating, Cardiac Cauterization Safety Rating, New York State Department of Health Jagat Narula, MD, Professor; Master of the American College of Cardiology (MACC), American College of Cardiology Jeffrey Olin, MD, Professor; Chair for Vascular Section for the American College of Cardiology 2014 Scientific Program Committee, American College of Cardiology; Chair Writing Group: American Heart Association State of the Science on Fibromuscular Dysplasia, American Heart Association Robert S. Rosenson, MD, FACC, Professor; board member, National Lipid Association; regional board member, North East Lipid Association; Richard Lewar Plenary Lecturer, University of Toronto; Grand Rounds/Visiting Professor, William Beaumont Hospital-Oakland University School of Medicine (Royal Oak, MI) Partho P. Sengupta, MD, DM, FACC, FASE, Associate Professor; 2013 Fleigenbaum Lecturer, American Society of Echocardiography; 2013 International Lecturer, 2013 Honorary Lifetime Member, Education Committee, British Society of Echocardiography; 2012-2015 Board of Directors and Officers Slate, American Society of Echocardiography David A. Vorchheimer, MD, Associate Professor; Best Presenatation, ACC 2013 awarded to abstract “Dabigatran versus Standard Antithrombotic Therapy for New Onset Nonvalvular Atrial Fibrillation: Impact on Hospice Length of Stay”, American College of Cardiology, Annual Scientific Sessions

Department of Medical Education Joy Reidenberg, PhD, Professor; 2012 World Gold Medal, Best Science/Nature Film category, New York Television and Film Awards Reena Karani, MD, Associate Professor and associate dean for curricular affairs and undergraduate medical education; National Award for Scholarship in Medical Education, Society of General Internal Medicine Ki-Mark Mark, PhD, Associate Professor; 2012 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, Icahn School of Medicine Yasmin S. Meah, MD, Associate Professor; Medical Student Teaching Award, Department of Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine continued on page 57 »




Research Roundup Protein Acts As “Off Switch” for Cell Reprogramming A study led Emily Bernstein, PhD, Assistant Professor of Oncological

benefitting from currently available treatments,” said first author Sam Golden, a graduate student in the laboratory of Scott Russo, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience. “There is a significant unmet

Sciences and Dermatology, showed that the protein macroH2A

need for new drug targets for treatment-resistant depression and for

prevents normal cells from being reprogrammed into stem cells and

better understanding of the epigenetic underpinnings of this disease.”

has broad implications for both induced pluripotent stem cell

(For more information about Dr. Russo’s research,

technology and cancer biology. Dr. Bernstein’s team

see p. 24; for more about Mr. Golden, see p. 44.)

compared cells with and without macroH2A; those without the protein were much more plastic and more easily reprogrammed into stem cells. The study, published in Nature Communications, grew out of Dr. Bernstein’s earlier discovery that the loss of macroH2A is a key factor behind the metastasis of melanoma. “These findings help us to understand the progression of different cancers and how macroH2A might be acting as a barrier to tumor development,” said Dr. Bernstein.

Discovery of How Flu Times its Attack Suggests Novel Therapies

These findings help us to understand the progression of different cancers.

In a finding that could provide a novel design platform for influenza vaccines, a team of researchers led by Benjamin tenOever, PhD, Fishberg Professor of Microbiology, discovered that the flu’s ability to thrive

is predicated upon a precise schedule. If it leaves a cell too soon, the virus is too weak; if it leaves too late, the immune system has time to kill it. Dr. tenOever’s team found that the virus slowly accumulates one particular protein that acts as a timer. “We wanted to tap into the flu’s internal clock and find a way to dismantle it,” said Dr. tenOever. The discovery may lead to a new type of spray vaccine that is composed of a virus with a “defective clock,” which could prove

Mount Sinai Science & Medicine / fall 2013

safer for the very old and very young. The study was


published in Cell Reports.

Researchers Identify Promising Drug Target for Depression Decreased expression of a protein called Rac1 may be a primary

Bypass Surgery May be Best Treatment for Diabetics with Coronary Artery Disease The FREEDOM trial, led by Valentín Fuster, MD, PhD, Physician-in-Chief and Director of Mount Sinai Heart, answered a longstanding question about the best way to treat diabetics who suffer from advanced coronary artery disease: Its conclusive finding shows that bypass surgery is more effective than angioplasty. Heart disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality for people with type 2 diabetes. “Treating people with diabetes and heart disease presents unique challenges due to increased risk for death, heart attack, and stroke,” said Dr. Fuster. “The FREEDOM trial is the first long-term, multisite trial that seeks to firmly establish a standard of care for this high-risk population.” The largest clinical trial of its kind, the study followed 1,900 patients at 140 sites in 20 countries. The results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

New Genomic Sequencing Approach Solves Mystery of E. Coli Outbreak Underscoring the potential impact of “big data” analytical techniques, a team of researchers led by Eric Schadt, PhD, Director of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology, was able to pinpoint the causes of a deadly 2011 outbreak of E. coli bacteria in Germany by harnessing advanced genomic sequencing technology capable of integrating DNA and epigenetic data. The researchers discovered that the unusual virulence of the particular strain in the outbreak was due not simply

cause of depression, according to a study by Mount Sinai researchers

to its genetic code, but also to modifications to that code produced by

published in Nature Medicine. The animal model study also found

different types of enzymes. “Living systems are composed of lots of

that, by increasing the levels of Rac1 through a process called gene

pieces interacting in very complex ways,” said Dr. Schadt, who is also

transfer, researchers could mitigate depression. “Major depressive

the Jean C. and James W. Crystal Professor of Genomics, and Chair

disorder affects millions of Americans, many of whom are no longer

of the Department of Genetics and Genomic Science. “To understand

such systems, we need to take into account more of the information on a global level, not just a single protein level. This is how we can see the whole picture of an organism’s biology.”

Ketamine Shows Significant Benefit in People with Treatment-Resistant Depression Patients with treatment-resistant major depression saw dramatic improvement in their illness after treatment with the anesthetic

Study Shows Hospice Care for Medicare Patients Is Higher Quality, More Cost Effective

ketamine, according to the largest ketamine clinical trial to date, directed by researchers from the Icahn School of

A study conducted by a team of Icahn School of

Medicine. The antidepressant benefits of ketamine

Medicine researchers and published in Health Affairs

were seen within 24 hours, whereas traditional

found that terminally ill Medicare patients who

antidepressants can take days or weeks to demon-

enrolled in hospice for end-of-life care received better

strate a reduction in depression. Dan Iosifescu,

care at a significantly lower cost to the government

MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, and James

than those who did not, and that hospice enrollment

Murrough, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry,

was associated with significant reductions in admis-

co-led the clinical trial with Sanjay Mathew, MD,

sions to hospital and intensive care units, days spent

of Baylor College of Medicine. Dennis S. Charney,

in a hospital, rates of 30-day readmissions, and

MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of the

in-hospital death. “Our study is the first to combine rich survey data and Medicare claims to demonstrate that an investment in the Medicare hospice benefit could translate into millions of dollars saved annually for the Medicare system and higher quality care for patients and families,” said the study’s lead author, Amy S. Kelley, MD, MSHS, Assistant Professor of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine.

Researchers Propose New Strategy for Diagnosing and Treating Fibrotic Diseases

We have patients who are doing well after two to three years.

A team of scientists led by Scott Friedman, MD, Dean for Therapeutic Discovery at the Icahn School of Medicine, recently published a paper recommending a new approach to treating fibrotic diseases of the liver,

Icahn School of Medicine, who discovered the depression-treatment potential of ketamine, hailed the trial’s findings as a breakthrough. “Major depression is one of the most prevalent and costly illnesses in the world, and yet currently available treatments fall far short of alleviating this burden,” said Dr. Charney. “There is an urgent need for new, fast-acting therapies, and ketamine shows important potential in filling that void.”

Phase 1 Clinical Trial Finds First Drug to Stop Progression of Myelofibrosis A phase I clinical trial designed and ran by Mount Sinai physicians found that, at low-doses, panobinostat (LBH589) successfully halted and

lung, kidney, and other organs, which are responsible

reversed myelofibrosis, a life-threatening blood

for as many as 45 percent of all deaths in the industri-

cancer. Ronald Hoffman, MD, Albert A. and Vera

alized world. “Therapy for Fibrotic Diseases: Nearing

G. List Professor of Medicine and Director of the

the Starting Line” summarizes research conducted by

Myeloproliferative Disorders Research Program,

Dr. Friedman and other leaders in the field and finds

and John O. Mascarenhas, MD, Assistant Professor

that many organ-specific fibrotic diseases may share

of Medicine (Hematology and Medical Oncology),

biological triggers that could form the basis for new,

the principal investigators, found that signs of

broadly effective diagnostics and therapeutics. “Our

significant improvement appeared a year after

intention was to capture the leading edge of the science and also to

patients were started on an oral regimen of low-dose panobi-

provide pointers for how to move the field forward,” said Dr. Friedman,

nostat. “We have patients who are doing well after two to three

who was the first scientist to isolate and characterize the hepatic

years, and whose survival was predicted to be on the order of

stellate cell, the key cell type responsible for scar production in liver.

months,” says Dr. Mascarenhas. Results of the clinical trial were

(For more information about Dr. Friedman, see p. 7.)

published in the British Journal of Haematology.


The Pathway t How do you think like an innovator? According to Geoffrey W. Smith, JD, Director of Mount Sinai’s Center for Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship and a professor in the Department of Health Evidence and Policy, innovation is a process—and it can be learned.

Step 1: Identify the Problem and the Need Observation ➔ Problem ➔ Need • Spend time—a lot of time—observing the challenges at hand. • Identify the problem: A recurring situation in which doubt, uncertainty or difficulty is met in the process of what you’re observing. • Reshape that problem into a need: What is the CHANGE in outcome required to address the need? That CHANGE is the INNOVATION.

Step 2: Analyze

Mount Sinai Science & Medicine / fall 2013

Map the Gap ➔ Stakeholders & Markets ➔ Specification


• Do a gap analysis: Build a map to show where are there gaps in the current state of care that could be filled with different technology solutions. • Look at every stakeholder involved in this process and their perspectives: clinical, administration, company, patient perspectives. Who will win or lose based on the invention of a new technology? • Do a market analysis: Do you want to pursue this commercially? • Return to the NEED statement and draft a NEED specification, summarizing in one document all the various components of this first part of the innovation process, and the criteria necessary to solve the problem.

Illustration By radio Co.

Side step: Don’t take at face value what everyone is saying to you. Synthesize, but add creative thinking and move beyond just received wisdom.

Side step: Be sure to write everything down—create a NEED statement that describes the CHANGE you’re looking for. Identifying that NEED is critical and important, because that’s what will create the technology opportunity.

o Innovation SO, how do we follow a structured process to generate ideas? Brainstorming. Brainstorming requires participants to suspend temporarily their instinct to criticize new ideas and open themselves up to a rapid flow of new possibilities and connections. Failure is inevitable—you must be open to failure so that you can eventually get to the right answer.

FOUR THEMES to keep in mind while… 1 : Ideation. Don’t be analytical. Just put aside your critical filter and all preconceived notions. It doesn’t matter if an idea is possible or impossible—it just needs to be new. Ideation in and of itself is valuable. Don’t just accept received wisdom; get outside it. 2 : Cross pollinate. Look across specialties and disciplines; don’t go into your silo and use your usual shorthand. For this, you need people—other people, people who will think differently. 3 : The stage. Apply your ideas across different platforms to see how they will play on different stages. 4 : Repeat. Each idea has to be used repetitively, differently, iteratively in a feedback loop, through different technology. Cover the full range of possibilities available to you.

Step 3: Invent Find the Network ➔ Ideas ➔ Solutions Many of the best ideas are hunches, not revelations—something itching at you in the back of your mind. GENUINE INSIGHT IS HARD TO COME BY. The missing element is often in someone else’s brain, and you need to get to it. • Find and hook into the network that allows you to connect to that missing element. Give it time: You don’t want anything to keep you from following up on that initial hunch. • The natural tendency is to skip straight to Solutions, but we lose the important exploration that comes from coming up with new IDEAS—often dismissed as childlike or a playful waste of time. But it’s just as important as fact-finding because it allows us to envision what is really possible. Generate as many ideas as you can, working with a network of people {for more on this, see sidebar}. • Idea generating leverages a group of cross-functional contributors, people with different perspectives, who are seeking to solve a problem, and not just a single “expert” or group of “experts” to come up with a solution. • SOLVE. Your goal: One good idea, and one good development strategy to support that idea.

Side step: Beware the devil’s advocate, and suspend criticism. We’re great critics but not so good at going with the flow and seeing how many new ideas we can generate.

…you practice these 7 steps to successful brainstorming 1 : Defer judgment. Accept any new idea, and move on quickly to the next concept. Think about the interaction in that room and don’t include people who haven’t bought in. 2 : Have wild ideas. A good idea may be hiding right next to your crazy, goofy idea. 3 : Build on the ideas of others. Force yourself to say, “Building on your idea, what if….” This keeps everyone in the conversation and may get more ideas out of them. 4 : Go for quantity. Set a goal—how many can we generate in the time we have? The target forces the pace. 5 : One conversation at a time. A facilitator can help. 6 : Be visual. People need to see the ideas as they’re being generated. Write them down or project them. 7 : Stay focused on the topic. On a different board, write down ideas that are interesting but not on-topic. And remember—your goal is to connect that hunch that’s been sitting in the back of your mind and waiting to become a good idea.




Searchers By Travis Adkins

Illustration By edward mcgowan


It’s the quintessential plot of a classic Western. An enigmatic stranger rides into town and is inevitably drawn into a confrontation with the villain. And somewhere along the way, one of the locals will deliver a variation on this: “You must be looking for trouble.” What does this have to do with the 17 innovators you’ll meet here? They go in search of problems. They roam the medical frontier because it’s the only place where they feel at home. And though their turf is a lab bench instead of the OK Corral, and they draw samples instead of a six shooter, they don’t back down. And they’re a little more articulate than the prototypical good guy. Let’s listen.

Nina Bhardwaj, MD, PhD

Kristen Brennand, PhD

Director of the Immunotherapy Program at The Tisch Cancer Institute

Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Neuroscience Member, The Friedman Brain Institute

PROBLEM? “I’ve spent my career studying the immune system’s response to cancer. We’ve learned that there are three primary challenges. The first involves optimally activating dendritic cells, the cells that normally initiate a potent immune response by priming T cells that can eliminate cancer cells. Secondly, even if the dendritic cells are making a steady supply of T cells, the cancer can shut the T cells off before they reach the tumor. Finally, the tumor itself is such a ‘messy’ microenvironment that when the T cells get there, they can’t get in and do their job. My lab is tackling all three problems, with a particular focus on dendritic cells.” SOLUTION “I led the first controlled study in humans that showed that we can ‘jumpstart’ the immune system by taking precursors of dendritic cell out of patients, cultivating them in the lab, and returning them to the patient’s body. Now I’m investigating ways to make that process simpler and less expensive; for example, invigorating cells while they’re still in the body with specialized adjuvants. We’re also working to improve other steps in the immune response, such as ‘rearming’ exhausted T cells, and designing drugs that can modify the tumor’s microenvironment. As we learn more about the immune system and cancer, I predict that as many as one-third of patients will be treated with immunotherapies.” AND… I’d like to see this problem solved: “Poverty. Poverty robs people of their potential, especially for children. Without resources so many people cannot dream and cannot hope. Eliminating poverty would level the playing field for so many.”

PROBLEM? “I study schizophrenia. When it comes right down to it, we don’t know what types of neurons are affected in schizophrenia or how they’re altered, at least in part because is it’s extremely difficult to get live cells from human patients. Without knowing what’s going wrong in the disease, we can’t identify new drugs. Every drug used to treat schizophrenia today is derived from one discovered by accident in the 1950s, and they’re all imperfect drugs with serious side effects.” SOLUTION “With induced pluripotent stem cell technology, I can take skin cells from patients with schizophrenia as well as from healthy individuals and turn them into neurons. So then I have live human neurons from patients and controls that I can compare in order to ask simple questions. How are the cells different? How can I make them the same again? We’re able to model how schizophrenia starts developing in its earliest stages, in the fetal or early childhood brain. That’s really important, because up until now, we’ve only been able to look at the endpoint. Now we can ask, ‘What goes wrong twenty years before schizophrenia manifests?’” AND…innovation means: “Asking questions that no one else is asking. The team of researchers that developed induced pluripotent stem cells asked a question that no one else dared to ask, and revolutionized what we know about cell fate determination. Ten years ago people thought cell fate was permanent; now we know they’re much more plastic than anyone would have imagined.”



Arvin Dar, PhD Assistant Professor, Oncological Sciences and Structural and Chemical Biology Member, The Tisch Cancer Institute

PROBLEM? “It’s easy to find drugs that can kill tumor cells—but incredibly difficult to find drugs that can kill tumor cells without affecting normal biology. Right now we might have an idea of what particular gene or protein targets we want to inhibit, but we don’t know which ones to avoid because the network they’re embedded in is very complex; targeting just one part of the network can result in toxic outcomes. We’re identifying genes that are important drivers of disease and pathology, but we haven’t been able to translate that understanding into new therapies.”

Kevin Costa, MS, PhD Director of Cardiovascular Cell and Tissue Engineering Associate Professor, Medicine (Cardiology)

PROBLEM? “The way cardiovascular drugs are currently developed, a

lot of the data and validation process is based on model systems that aren’t representative of what happens in patients. The screening tests required for FDA approval involve either animal studies or human cells that aren’t cardiac cells, which don’t have much relevance. Drugs can make it all the way to preclinical or clinical trials and fail. Or worse, they can get on the market and end up failing because of unexpected side effects.”

Mount Sinai Science & Medicine / fall 2013

SOLUTION “We’re using induced pluripotent stem cell technology to recreate functional, living heart muscle in the laboratory. It’s a brand new approach; my colleagues and I published one of the first three papers to describe it. We’re also developing new technology and analytical tools that will allow us to measure the recreated heart muscle’s function and monitor how it works. Our hope is that by creating something that’s more representative of human heart muscle, we’ll enable more effective screening outcomes and improve the process of drug discovery. I think that within five years, we’re going to be able to routinely create and analyze the unique heart cells of individual patients.”


AND…The person who inspires me is: “The physicist Richard Feynman. He was a fascinating character. He once described how one of the key equations he developed came about when he was sitting in a cafeteria and someone threw a paper plate, and he observed how it wobbled and spun through the air. He worked out the equations that described that motion just for the fun of it, and realized that those equations also applied to the spin of subatomic particles. He ended up getting the Nobel Prize for it.”

SOLUTION “My research focuses in particular on applying a systems pharmacology approach to the oncogenic form of the RAS gene, which occurs in more than twenty percent of all cancers. Instead of focusing on a single target, we design a model of the entire network of which RAS is a part. By genetically engineering fruit flies and other simpler organisms to replicate that network, and probing it with small molecules and compounds, we can immediately get a sense of whether a drug will be useful or toxic. That will bring us closer to our goal of developing therapeutics in diseases where we don’t have any.” AND…The person who inspires me is: “I really admire Steve Jobs for creating an entirely new industry. He once said that Apple created the type of products that people didn’t even know they needed. That’s an amazing vision to see something so far in advance.”

Joel Dudley, PhD Assistant Professor, Genetics and Genomics Sciences Member, Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology

PROBLEM? “Historically there’s been little integration among different medical and biology disciplines, whether through sharing data or working together. An evolutionary biologist might never work with a researcher investigating drug response—even though evolution can clearly inform how people respond to drugs. The same thing is true with disease areas: A cardiologist working on heart disease might never interact with an immunologist who specializes in psoriasis, even though there are well-established links between the two diseases. We need to understand how everything is connected across biology and medicine to discover new findings, new knowledge, and new drugs.”



have the data, the computing power, and the informatics methodologies to identify new opportunities for improved medicine. For example, I developed a software system that matches diseases and drugs at the molecular level, to see if drugs used for one disease can be repurposed for others. One of the matches was between a specific type of small cell lung cancer and imipramine, which is used to treat depression; the results were so promising that investigators are conducting a human trial. Ultimately we want to throw out our preconceptions about how things should be connected, and let data tell us how things are connected.” AND…The person who inspires me is: “Eric Schadt [Director of the Icahn

Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology] is one of the biggest reasons I left sunny California to come to New York. He showed how powerful it was to take broad, genome-wide measurements and develop mathematical and computational methods that are able to figure out connections between the data.”

SOLUTION “We’re harnessing next-generation sequencing technology and mathematical algorithms and developing the biotechnology tools—such as an anaerobic robotic system—to manipulate and quantify large communities of bacteria quickly. I think the thing that sets my lab apart is that we have the mathematical framework to model the whole system, the biotech background to build the tools we need, and the ability to put those skills and technologies together, all in one place.”


AND… I’d like to see this problem solved: “The human

tendency to favor conservative incremental progress, over taking risks that might foster economic, cultural, political, or scientific paradigm shifts.”

Risk: Embracing, not just accepting, the possibility of failure.

Jean-Sebastian Hulot, MD, PhD Associate Professor, Medicine (Cardiology)

PROBLEM? “I’m interested in the molecular and cellular mechanisms and alterations that occur during heart failure, and in how we can directly intervene within heart muscle cells to treat the disease. Specifically, I’m focusing on the role that calcium plays during heart failure. Calcium makes the heart contract. During heart failure, the heart’s ability to contract is impaired, so intuition would tell you that calcium levels must be decreasing. In fact, it’s exactly the reverse: heart muscle cells are completely overwhelmed by calcium, and they don’t know how to use it. We’re trying to understand why that is, and how we can change it.”

Jeremiah Faith, PhD Assistant Professor, Genetics and Genomics Sciences and Medicine (Clinical Immunology) Member, Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology

PROBLEM? “I’m trying to understand how bacteria in our intestine influence our health, in particular in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Every human has about a hundred to two hundred different types of intestinal bacteria, which are difficult to study for several reasons. The sheer number of possible combinations between the way those bacteria interact with each other and with their host is an enormous quantitative problem. Another challenge is that most intestinal bacteria will grow only in an anaerobic (no oxygen) environment; recreating that environment in the lab— without sacrificing the ability to rapidly combine different permutations—is crucial.”



SOLUTION “We’ve identified the signaling error in the protein, Stim1, that allows calcium to continue entering the heart when it isn’t needed. Researchers already knew that heart cells were unable to move calcium to the right place at the right time, but we proved that the problem is much more fundamental. The overactive Stim1 leads to a permanent refilling of calcium that worsens the disease over time. That insight opens up a whole new area of drug targeting possibilities. Most current therapies treat the consequences of the disease, not the cause. Our discovery can change that paradigm.“ AND…Innovation means: “Progressive evolution, not revolution. It’s different teams providing different pieces of a puzzle, and then working together to build something.”

Chang Won Kho, PhD and Ah Young Lee, PhD

Mount Sinai Science & Medicine / fall 2013

Postdoctoral Fellows, Medicine (Cardiology)


PROBLEM? “The discovery of the Serca2a protein, which is deficient in heart failure, by Dr. Roger Hajjar [Director of Mount Sinai’s Wiener Family Cardiovascular Research Laboratories and the Arthur and Janet C. Ross Professor of Medicine]—and Dr. Hajjar’s subsequent work on a gene therapy treatment that can restore Serca2a [MYDICAR, now in phase 2 clinical trials]—has been one of the most tantalizing developments in cardiovascular care of the past decade. MYDICAR has shown extraordinary success in reversing heart failure. The problem has been that the effects of the treatment haven’t been permanent. We wanted to determine why that was.” SOLUTION “We found that Serca2a is regulated by another protein, Sumo1, and that increasing Sumo1 stabilizes levels of Serca2a. That finding has important implications for improving the efficacy of MYDICAR. But beyond that, because Sumo1 protects Serca2a from

being damaged in the first place, it can also serve as the basis for therapies that target heart failure at its earliest stages rather than reversing the damage, as MYDICAR does. In just the two years since we announced our findings, we have already identified two molecules, as well as a gene therapy approach, that could be used to enhance Sumo1.” AND…Innovation means: “Having our different perspectives. Our original research focus was cancer biology, but it turns out that studying how to kill cancer cells also makes it easier to understand how cells can survive heart failure; the mechanisms are very similar. A cancer biology background gave us a perspective that we would not have had as cardiology researchers.”   

Paul Lawrence Vice President, Academic Informatics and Technology

PROBLEM? “My team has been charged with reimagining the way that students, faculty, and researchers access academic content at Mount Sinai by deploying next-generation support environments. Our goal is to make the process simpler, more elegantly designed, user-friendly, and to expand the Medical Center’s ability to deliver scholarly resources and distance learning platforms to constituencies anywhere in the world. There are many incredibly powerful systems in the medical field; the next generation of leading academic medical centers will be those that make those systems easy to use. Our second goal is to evolve our development process into building systems and processes that focus on innovation and usability, encouraging rapid prototyping and deployment. This is a technology support environment that embraces change, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit.” SOLUTION “In practical terms, one of the first things we’ll do is draw up a blueprint for redesigning the Levy Library to become a world-class research and learning commons that sparks intellectual discovery, creativity, collaboration, and scholarly communication. Beyond our Library, we are investing new resources to evolve our classrooms into more flexible learning spaces so that they can meet a variety of teaching styles, especially teaching at a distance. I’m also hoping to improve the day-to-day technological experience so that the next generation of questions will be not, ‘How do I connect my laptop up to the internet?’ but ‘How can technology speed my path to discovery and innovation?’” AND…The person who inspires me is: “Sir Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group. He epitomizes the concepts of innovative thinking, creativity, and world-class service. It’s great to build something innovative— but to ensure that it’s sustainable, and that you can keep that brand consistently excellent, is incredible.”

© stocklight


Hirofumi Morishita, MD, PhD Assistant Professor, Psychiatry , Ophthalmology, and Neuroscience Member, The Friedman Brain Institute and The Mindich Child Health and Development Institute

Michael Linderman, MS, PhD Assistant Professor, Genetics and Genomic Sciences Member, Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology

PROBLEM? “As our understanding of the genetics of disease has grown, we’ve realized that isolating the genes associated with a particular condition is just the beginning. The data aren’t static, they’re dynamic; to think that one analysis, at one moment, will give us the total picture is just not the reality. We have to interact continually with patients and integrate new information about their family, their environment, their reaction to medications, and more to draw LEXICON an ever-richer picture of how the genome affects Phenotype: Observable their health.” characteristics, such as hair or eye color, that correspond to a genetic condition.

SOLUTION “We’re building the technology, the infrastructure, and the capabilities that will facilitate an ongoing conversation among patients, clinicians, and researchers. One of our first priorities is to educate clinicians on how to interpret and manipulate these large, complex sets of data; last year we offered a first-of-its-kind personal genome analysis course in which students had the opportunity to sequence and analyze their own genome. In the longer term, we want to offer patients personalized tools that empower patients to take more control of their health care, like mobile apps they can use to monitor their condition. Leveraging ‘big data’ will enable doctors to work more effectively with their patients to improve their health.” AND…The person who inspires me is: “It’s actually three people: Jerome

H. Saltzer, David P. Reed, and David D. Clark, the co-authors of the paper ‘End to End Arguments in System Design.’ It’s a seminal paper in computer science and system design. It’s not about an invention— it’s about a philosophy on how to approach design in a way that focuses on the end result that you’re really trying to seek, instead of focusing on smaller problems.”

PROBLEM? “One of the most exciting developments in neuroscience in the last 10 years has been new insights into the biology of neuroplasticity, which refers to the brain’s ability to learn, adapt, and rewire itself. Until recently we thought neuroplasticity was limited to a critical period in childhood, and that the window was largely closed by adulthood. That meant that many neurodevelopmental disorders were almost untreatable in adults. But neuroscientists have come to understand that we can actually reopen that critical period later in life. My research uses the visual system to identify the molecular mechanisms that govern neuroplasticity and explores how those mechanisms can be applied to the adult brain for therapeutic intervention.” SOLUTION “We’re looking at a molecule called Lynx1, which acts as a ‘brake’ that limits neuroplasticity. In my previous investigations, I conducted animal model studies of the visual disorder ambylopia (‘lazy eye’), and established that by removing Lynx1, we could reintroduce plasticity and restore normal vision. We also found that an existing drug used to treat Alzheimer’s disease has an opposite action to Lynx1 and could have possible therapeutic value for ambylopia; that finding is now being tested in an early clinical trial. Using Lynx1 as our basis, we’re expanding our map of the molecular network that regulates plasticity. This will allow us to find better, more robust drugs to enhance brain plasticity and to improve therapies for neurodevelopmental disorders from autism to schizophrenia.” AND… I’d like to see this problem solved: “I would like to see Paul Gauguin’s question ‘Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?‘ answered. I believe the key is the merge of humanities and sciences. Science can unmask ‘what are we?‘ but humanity is necessary to decide how we use science and technology to define ‘where we are going.‘”



Ramon Parsons, MD, PhD Chair, Department of Oncological Sciences Member, The Tisch Cancer Institute

PROBLEM? “Cancer is partly caused when the signal that tells a cell to stop growing is switched off or altered in some other way and a communications breakdown occurs. I’m investigating how that happens. If we can gain greater understanding about how cells communicate with each other to control growth, how tumor cells corrupt that process, and how we can regulate these signals, we can potentially suppress tumors from growing or even block them from developing.” SOLUTION “My most significant discovery so far has been the PTEN

gene, a tumor-suppressor gene that is mutated to become inactive in a wide variety of cancers including breast cancer and prostate cancer. Interestingly, we’re seeing evidence that PTEN may be inhibited by insulin. So we’re also exploring the possibility that while PTEN may be inactive in cancer, it may be overactive in diabetes—which could mean that it’s a good target for new diabetes therapeutics as well. Figuring out how PTEN is regulated will give us a better idea of how to intervene therapeutically.” AND… I’d like to see this problem solved: “Job opportunities for young people in

our evolving economy. I feel our society needs to pay more attention to nurturing creativity and productivity.”

Poulikos Poulikakos, PhD

Mount Sinai Science & Medicine / fall 2013

Assistant Professor, Oncological Sciences Member, The Tisch Cancer Institute


PROBLEM? “For as many advances as we’ve made in cancer treatment, the biology of the disease still remains largely a mystery. For example, we do not know why some tumors depend on certain oncogenes and signaling pathways for their growth, whereas others do not. My research is about understanding such fundamental questions using small molecule inhibitors. My focus is to develop strategies that target the BRAF oncoprotein and downstream signaling, which is known to give rise to some forms of melanoma, but I’m trying to use that lens to answer broader questions that may apply to different types of cancer.” SOLUTION “RAF inhibitors—which are the drugs used to treat melanomas with the BRAF mutation—have been shown to be very successful in blocking the growth of the cancer for a significant amount of time, but eventually, the cancer becomes resistant to

the drug. I discovered a molecular mechanism which leads to that resistance—a finding which is important not only because it allows us to begin searching for better RAF inhibitors, but also because it tells us something about cancer biology that we didn’t know before and opens up new avenues of investigation for many forms of cancer besides melanoma.” AND… I’d like to see this problem solved: “The increasing inequality in

the US and the world. Despite the technological advances, more and more people have less access to education and high quality health care. The ultimate goal of our efforts in science and medicine should be to serve people and their needs.”

Scott Russo, PhD Assistant Professor, Neurosciences Member, The Friedman Brain Institute

PROBLEM? “When researchers develop drugs for depression, we

look for drugs that can affect the brain circuits that we know control mood and motivation, so we can get rid of symptoms like anhedonia. The problem is that the brain is by far the most complex organ in body. The very same protein that in one area of the brain causes depression, could be an anti-depressant in another area of the brain. Since it’s so difficult to differentiate between the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ protein, the drug acts on everything and is rendered either marginally effective or results in significant side effects.” SOLUTION “I’m convinced that depression is strongly linked not only to the brain and the central nervous system, but also to the body’s immune system. I’ve conducted both human and animal model studies that have shown there’s a very strong correlation. If my hypothesis is valid, that could mean that depression is partly a dysfunction of the immune system—which, in turn, means that we can target it there, rather than in the brain, which would be vastly simpler. That would give rise to an entirely new class of drugs that would be more effective than those we have now.” AND…The person who inspires me is: “Charles

Darwin. He made a seemingly random observation that led to the formulation of a theory that challenged dogma and transformed how we think about evolution. His theory led to major cultural changes and continues to have a major impact on the fields of science and medicine.”


Hugh Sampson, MD

Robert Wright, MD, PhD

Dean for Translational Biomedical Research Professor, Pediatrics, Allergy, and Immunology

Professor, Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine Member, The Mindich Child Health and Development Institute

PROBLEM? “‘Will my child have a fatal reaction?’ That’s the first question parents ask when they find out their child has a food allergy— and right now, with the diagnostic tools that we have, we can’t give an answer. We have no way of telling how severe the reaction will be, or whether they will outgrow it. Treatment options are also poor. The current standard of care is to recommend avoidance and to provide patients with medication like epinephrine to treat themselves. This has created a situation in which emergency room departments in the U.S. see one anaphylactic reaction every three minutes.”

PROBLEM? “I want to understand why some people are more susceptible than others to developing illness when exposed to chemical toxicants. Some of it has to do with genetics factors, but there are many other susceptibility factors such as nutrition or social conditions. These factors act synergistically with chemicals too and we can use that information to develop treatments. Even genetics needs environmental measures to be understood. Think of the theory of natural selection. Fundamentally, it’s about how genes interact with the changing environment. Somehow, we forgot that principle and study genetics in the absence of environmental measures.“

LEXICON Innovate: To make changes in something established; to introduce new ideas, methods, or projects.

SOLUTION “There needs to be a research investment in the technology to measure our environment that matches the effort we made in measuring our genome. Even genetics research suffers without environmental measures because they interact. What my lab is doing is screening for many different chemical toxicants at once—using patient samples as well as samples from the person’s environment (air, water, etc). We then analyze all that data with novel statistical methods to quantify exposure. That measurement is then linked to genetics and epigenetic measures so we can understand how they all interact and in some cases produce disease.” AND… I’d like to see this problem solved: “The Detroit Tigers really

SOLUTION “We’re developing a diagnostic test that identifies where the IgE molecule—the antibody at the root of allergic reactions— attaches to different food proteins, which will allow us to predict with much greater accuracy the severity of a patient’s reaction. We’re collaborating with an industry partner to commercialize that test. Therapeutically, we’re conducting a phase one clinical trial of an IgE-based vaccine for peanut allergies, and a phase two clinical trial of a compound formulated from traditional Chinese herbal medicines that has shown the potential to block anaphylactic reactions for months and even years at a time.”

need a closer this year. Other than that, I would like to see a national investment in public transportation, especially an increased use of subways and commuter trains in midsize cities. It would help with the environment and increase walking and exercise compared to driving.“

AND… I’d like to see this problem solved: “The loss of civilized, reasoned exchanges of ideas in the political and public arena, and the inability to compromise. The world is not black and white, and our approach to the world cannot be either.”


THE ICAHN LIFT Why the world’s most prominent activist investor picked Mount Sinai as his next investment—and his most meaningful yet.


by Celia Regan and Katie Quackenbush Spiegel Photography by Andrew Lichtenstein

arl Icahn is a force of nature. “I believe strongly in the Graham Dodd philosophy; the only difference is that I am not a passive investor,” he says, using some simple syntax that belies the complex strategic process he brings to his deals. Hundreds of Icahn deals, over decades, have been the result of his drive for success, including corporate shifts that have changed the way entire industries do business. With the stroke of a pen last November, Carl Icahn gave a significant boost to the innovative activity at the heart of Mount Sinai. By donating $150 million to the medical school, and creating the Icahn Medical Research Foundation (a medical research organization), to focus on genomics and multiscale biology in collaboration with the Icahn School of Medicine, Mr. Icahn has voiced his faith in the explosive potential of research and technology at Mount Sinai and its ability to move medical mountains.

Best in class

Left, the view from Carl Icahn’s midtown offices on the November evening when he and Kenneth Davis (insets, above left) met to sign their historic agreement.

Not too bad, as he would say, for the Queens-born son of a cantor and school teacher. Carl Icahn, who is known the world over for his corporate conquests and formidable powers of persuasion in the board room, has earned billions of dollars as a result of careful pinpointing of his potential targets. “In business, I look for undervalued companies that have good assets but that can be improved. Sometimes this improvement is attained by replacing top managers that have done a poor job and are not held accountable. I also look for companies at the edge of secular change— where innovation drives returns,” Mr. Icahn said in a recent interview. That approach has been extremely successful for him. Since 2000, the stock of his flagship company, Icahn Enterprises, has increased well over 1,000 percent in value, which translates into an annualized return of approximately 20 percent for those who owned the units through that period. “I have a tremendous passion for what I do,” he says. “The most exciting thing for me is when I find an undervalued situation—something really new. I read a biography of Alexander the Great, and I can understand his need to succeed. I’m certainly not Alexander, but like him, I am a strategist.” His success in business has also propelled his efforts in philanthropy. Over the years Mr. Icahn’s generosity has benefitted—among others—various children’s welfare organizations in New York City, Mount Sinai, and Princeton

University, his alma mater. In 2010, he signed Warren Buffet’s Giving Pledge, answering the call to contribute a substantial part of his fortune to charity. Aware of the pressing need for education reform, in 2001 Mr. Icahn and his wife, Gail Golden Icahn, embarked on a program to build charter schools in the Bronx. Spurred on the by the program’s academic success, this year the seventh school is opening its doors, and there are plans to open a high school next year. “We are very excited by the charter movement and, among other initiatives, we hope to collaborate with the experts at Mount Sinai to help train the health care workers of tomorrow from our community of committed and successful students,” Mr. Icahn said. “It’s important to me to give back to this country that gave me so much. I try to give money in ways that I think will improve people’s lives and that will give the best benefit to society for the dollars to be spent.”

Conversation A member of Mount Sinai’s Boards of Trustees since 2000, Mr. Icahn made his first contribution to the Medical Center in 2001. That gift, which resulted in the creation of the Icahn Medical Institute, began a close relationship between the Icahn family and Mount Sinai as its strategic plan took shape. Mrs. Icahn joined her husband on the Boards of Trustees earlier this year; she has been involved with the Icahn family philanthropic effort in health care and education for

many years. Kenneth L. Davis, MD, the Mount Sinai CEO who was recruited in 2003 by a Trustees committee that included Carl Icahn, noted that “Carl is extremely trusting of our relationship, and he and Gail have made an intellectual commitment to believe in the management team and the direction of Mount Sinai. They share our desire to retain and attract extraordinary people to create innovative medical treatments based on leading-edge science.” After his arrival at Mount Sinai, Dr. Davis and Mr. Icahn began to meet every few months at a restaurant, or at Mr. Icahn’s apartment, to talk about changes at Mount Sinai. Dr. Davis says that as an investor in a number of biotech and pharmaceutical companies, Mr. Icahn understands the methods and goals of medical research and the transformative nature of the work of the Medical Center. “He knows about the opportunities that lay at our doorstep.” In turn, Dr. Davis learned more about Carl Icahn: his drive for new challenges; his insatiable appetite for reading; his love of chess—“things that didn’t have to do with his business.” A philosophy major who attended Princeton on a scholarship, Mr. Icahn had enrolled in medical school at New York University but dropped out to join the Army, and then headed to Wall Street, working for Dreyfus & Co. Mr. Icahn and Dr. Davis have forged a friendship based on mutual respect, through which the former’s intellectual interests—research, education and



Mount Sinai Science & Medicine / fall 2013

NEED: A challenge or problem of profound significance that a solution must meet to truly be called an innovation; something that matters.


strategy—were matched with the latter’s evolving vision for Mount Sinai’s future. “The recent donation came together through our shared conversations and friendship,” says Dr. Davis. According to Dr. Davis, Mr. Icahn’s gift will evolve over many years. “It’s not just putting his name on something. What he is facilitating is the recruitment of many of the world’s greatest scientists, particularly in the areas of genomics, computational biology, and big data management,” said Dr. Davis.

Logical empiricism Maybe it was his NYU experience that instilled in Mr. Icahn an affinity for and sense of trust in the medical school setting, where ideas flow and are exchanged, synergies happen, and collaborations are formed. Or maybe it was his love for philosophy, honed at Princeton, which energized both his passion for investment and his fascination with science. “I really got deeply into philosophy,” Mr. Icahn said, “especially the meaning of empiricism. I believe that you have to have a very logical approach to what you do. When you have that approach, you are in the best position to overcome the limiting structures that may appear to be insurmountable. I believe that scientific methodology and the philosophy of science can change your society, and this, in turn, plays into my love of strategy.” While Mr. Icahn certainly has an interest in research overall, genomics is the area in which he has decided to make an impact with his monumental philanthropy. “What is so fascinating to Carl about genomics is that he understands it is the key that can unlock the pathophysiology of the diseases,” said Dr. Davis. “And Carl knows

that genomics will give us targets for many new therapeutics.” “In the future, medicine will be so personalized,” said Eric Schadt, PhD, Director of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology, where he and his team are using leading-edge sequencing technologies and powerful supercomputers to build disease models based on a vast bank of samples collected at Mount Sinai and other institutions. Ultimately, Dr. Schadt and his team are creating a huge, but accessible, data analytics center where researchers can make inquiries, characterize disease, and learn. “The health care provider (of the future) will have such a fine-grained understanding of what has perturbed the network of networks that resulted in the individual’s disease that the physician will have both the knowledge to predict the course of the individual’s disease and the tools to treat or even prevent it,” says Dr. Schadt. Kind of like investing. “But instead of asking which companies to bet on, we’re using mathematical techniques to bet on which patients require treatment, and for those patients requiring treatment, we determine what the best treatment is for them.”

GREAT PEOPLE/ Great science Intellectually and financially, with the naming of the Icahn School of Medicine, Carl Icahn has invested in the education of the next generation of outstanding doctors, and in the kind of research that will soon transform the treatment of human disease. He has leveraged his reputation and name, once again, to help transform an institution and facilitate innovation—and this time, improve the health and well-being of many people. Dr. Davis hails the evolutionary nature of the gift—and Mr. Icahn welcomes that evolution. “In business, secular change is often an indicator of significant financial opportunity,” said Mr. Icahn. “I believe that genomics is a secular change in science and health care, change that can be realized at Mount Sinai. Money can do great things in providing the opportunity for engaged and dedicated people to unleash the power of ideas. I am very proud to have the opportunity to help unleash the power of Mount Sinai and am confident that, over time, we will all see the benefits of that investment.”

“I am very proud to have the opportunity to help unleash the power of Mount Sinai.” – Carl Icahn

Carl Icahn and Gail Golden Icahn after the signing.

Mount Sinai is reimagining, reshaping, redesigning, and


Medical Education By Sima Rabinowitz PhotoGRAPHY by Andrew Lichtenstein and don hamerman


icture yourself in the future— not so far from now—with your primary care doctor. She speaks English, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish. As an undergraduate she majored in international relations and minored in history. She never took the MCATs—the standard test required for admission to schools of medicine in the US—yet she excelled in medical school, where her classmates had bachelor’s degrees in computer science, music, American literature, and engineering, among many other fields,

including biology and biochemistry. She is a graduate of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Or maybe this is the future you: Your cancer has been in remission for years and you feel strong and healthy. The scientist who discovered the small molecule that led to the treatment that has changed your life brought the novel therapeutic from conception to market by challenging preconceived notions about the treatment of cancer. He collaborated with colleagues who had expertise in genomics, epidemiology, virology and biomedical engineering. His seamless relationship with investors and industry allowed him to turn his out-of-the-box idea

into a therapy available to patients like you. He is an alumnus of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. In both scenarios, the smart, creative, and nontraditional students trained at Mount Sinai provide the new paradigm for health care. Diversifying the health care workforce, accelerating the development of effective therapies from the lab to patients’ lives, and helping consumers take advantage of the knowledge scientists possess about human biology requires innovation, a willingness to take risks, and a commitment to new ways of educating physician-scientists.


Mount Sinai Science & Medicine / fall 2013


While biomedical science has changed dramatically over the last century, medical school admission requirements and curricula, and training in the biological sciences, changed relatively little. At the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Graduate School of Biological Sciences, we’re in the process of transforming every aspect of our approach to education, from admissions policies and requirements, to restructuring of conventional science curricula, to paradigm shifts in the undergraduate medical education curriculum, to professional development for faculty. Mount Sinai’s recent affiliation with the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute adds another new dimension: access to engineering and the computational sciences. “Our times require the commitment and courage to pursue better ways of preparing students for careers in health care and biomedical science,” says David Muller, MD, Dean for Medical Education, Professor of Medical Education, and Professor of Medicine. His perspective is shared by leaders across the institution. “We must think differently,” says John Morrison, PhD, Dean of Basic Sciences and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and Willard T.C. Johnson Professor of Geriatrics and Adult Development in the Neurobiology of Aging. “We cannot and will not sacrifice scientific rigor. At the same time, we must find ways to translate science into the realm of public policy and public health, industry, advocacy, and even venture capital,” he says. “We have an obligation to lead.” Icahn School leaders and faculty are working with great urgency and creativity to ensure that graduates of our educational and training programs will be the researchers and clinicians who will revolutionize biomedical knowledge and health care practice and policy in the 21st century.

“Our times require the commitment and courage to pursue better ways of preparing students for careers in health care and biomedical science.” – Dean David Muller

An Alternative to Traditional Pre-Med Preparation FLEXMED Beginning in the 2013-2014 academic year, Mount Sinai will recruit up to half of its incoming classes from applicants who will not be required to complete traditional pre-medical science requirements or to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). A quarter century’s experience with the Humanities and Medicine Program (HuMed), our “early assurance” alternative to the traditional pre-medical track, has shown that students who did not pursue traditional pre-med science preparation perform as well as their peers in medical school. The new program, called FlexMed, will recruit students in their sophomore year of college. These students may pursue any major of their choosing and, if admitted, will be expected to pursue that area of academic interest to its fullest extent, driven more by passion and intellectual curiosity than by pre-determined medical school requirements. Admitted students must maintain a 3.5 grade point average (GPA) and complete a senior thesis or the equivalent. They will be required to take courses that are far more relevant to the practice of medicine and biomedical science, including subjects such as health policy, bioethics, and statistics. Students will be strongly encouraged to gain proficiency in Mandarin Chinese or Spanish and to take a

year off between college and medical school to volunteer or engage in scholarly or professional pursuits. Those who have not taken advanced science classes as undergraduates will be required to participate in a six-week summer enrichment program at Mount Sinai prior to their first year at Icahn. “We believe this program can dramatically expand the educational, cultural, and socioeconomic diversity of entering classes and our health care workforce,” says Dean Muller. “By eliminating MCAT use, outdated requirements, and ‘premed syndrome,’ we aim to select students who are self-directed, who will pursue independent scholarship, and who will be lifelong learners.” The FlexMed program will enable talented students who are passionate about becoming physicians, yet who want to focus on non-traditional disciplines as undergraduates, to take advantage of a Mount Sinai education. “A student who studies theater arts, international affairs, mathematics, or engineering, rather than spending four years memorizing facts for the MCAT, will be just as well equipped as a student who has spent most of her undergraduate career studying chemistry or biology,” says Dean Muller. “We’re uncoupling pre-med preparation from the MCAT and developing more relevant criteria for admission.”


“We’ve got to step out into the real world. Scientists must know how to apply what they’ve learned.”– Associate Dean Ross Cagan

Real-World Smarts

Disruptive innovation: Any technology, business strategy, or scientific breakthrough that creates an entirely new market and renders the previous paradigm obsolete.

NEW CURRICULA IN THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES “We must transform basic science education and research to reflect what the 21st century will look like,” says Ross Cagan, PhD, Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Professor of Developmental and Regenerative Biology, Professor of Oncological Sciences, and Professor of Ophthalmology, “We’ve got to step out into the real world. Scientists must know how to apply what they’ve learned.” At Mount Sinai, this means training that can lead to innovative thinking, awareness of the options for scientific careers outside of the traditional academic laboratory environment— industry, public health, advocacy, and business, among other endeavors—and a focus on translating scientific knowledge rapidly into effective treatments for patients. “We may be one of the only schools in the country educating basic biomedical scientists to write business plans, explain their work to non-scientists, contribute in specific ways to public policy decisions, or pitch highly promising discoveries to potential investors,” says Dean Morrison. The PhD program offers students an opportunity to pursue eight unique multidisciplinary training areas (MTAs), soon to be joined by a ninth: Design, Technology, and

Entrepreneurship. New, innovative offerings include Translating Science and Translating Neuroscience, two courses which focus on translational research (“bench to bedside” approaches) and expose young scientists to clinicians and patients, as well as to experts in other professions (foundations, private firms, community leaders, financial professionals, and practicing physicians); Becoming a Professional Scientist, training in organizational skills, financial planning, media relations, and related areas to enable scientists to optimize the value of their work outside of the lab; a genome-sequencing course through the Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences for PhD and MD students as well as students in the Masters in Genetic Counseling program—the first of its kind in the country— in which students can opt to sequence their own genomes; the QED Project, a course that implements engineering and design school models of team-based, problem-solving learning in which students develop prototypes of innovative technologies to solve real-world problems [see page 32]; and the 4D (Discover, Design, Develop, Deliver) Technology Development Program, a similar educational opportunity for faculty, that will lead to pilot funding for the most promising projects.

“This is a moment of great opportunity for young scientists,” says Dean Morrison. “We have a duty to refrain from insularity, to not only push scientific discovery forward, but also to reach out and educate the community and disseminate science information and knowledge more broadly. Our work can impact and benefit Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry, public policy, and patients’ lives, and that, of course, is our most pressing concern. Ultimately, innovation must result in real change for patients.”


Applying Scientific Discoveries THE CENTER FOR TECHNOLOGY, INNOVATION, AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP (cTIE) Mount Sinai leaders agree: Innovation in the 21st century will require cross-disciplinary partnerships. And our students uniformly express their appreciation for an environment that supports and encourages collaboration. “The opportunities to collaborate are great,” says Lauren Peters, a PhD student in immunology. “Our graduate school is unique in this regard and it was one of the reasons I chose Mount Sinai.” Given the specificity of scientific specialties (from neuroscience, to immunology, to cancer biology) and the complexity of affiliated fields (bioinformatics and the analysis of “big data,” for example), scientists and clinicians from multiple disciplines and specialties must work together to identify problems

and design solutions. To foster cross-disciplinary work, Mount Sinai has established the Center for Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship (cTIE) to bring together research, education, and training at the intersection of basic science discovery and applied science implementation. cTIE director Geoffrey Smith, Professor, Department of Health Evidence and Policy, says, “Technology is not just about devices. It’s really a process of taking inputs—information, capital, labor, materials—and creating higher value out of them. To develop new technologies to treat unmet clinical needs, we need to bring these elements together, and scientists need to be engaged at all levels in order to effectively bring their discoveries to market.”

cTIE educational programs will focus on teaching processes for reliably producing creative solutions to problems in biology and medicine. “Mount Sinai is the ideal place for this Center,” says Smith, who has a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania, is a co-founder and partner in a local venture capital firm, and serves as adjunct faculty at Rockefeller University’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science. “Mount Sinai has focused on translational research, applying scientific knowledge to real-world outcomes. Mount Sinai’s leaders understand that to innovate, we have to disrupt traditional paradigms and train our students differently. And that’s what we’re doing. ”

At the end of the semester, students in the QED Project present their work to their peers and visiting corporate leaders.

The QED Project Mount Sinai Science & Medicine / fall 2013



In the first year of this pioneering course, students in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences—taught by Geoffrey Smith—worked in teams to develop innovative solutions to problems they identified. How did it work? Five of them tell us below. Matthew: Our team thought deeply about how non-scientists can take advantage of knowledge that scientists possess. We created an app called PharmaGnome to help consumers who’ve had their

genomes sequenced—which sooner or later many people will do—to find out how non-prescription medications may affect them, given their unique genetic make-up. Mount Sinai is a place where students are encouraged to challenge conventional thinking and dogma. And that’s my goal. I want to be an investigator who knows how to create something attractive, accurate, and useful that contributes to people’s lives. Sebastian: I want to do something I’m passionate about that gives something back. That’s the biggest reward. So learning how to develop new tools to make the communication of science engaging and comprehensible was a great opportunity. There’s a huge need to make science more accessible. Our team created a suite of dynamic digital materials to explain complex scientific

information in a way that is compelling and exciting, including an online textbook and e-learning tools with really cool graphics. Our product was designed for scientist-to-scientist communication, as well as to enhance science literacy for the public. Neil: Young investigators need to know what’s been published in their field over the last thirty or forty years. But the basic resource, Pub Med (the web site that aggregates research publications), which gets 80 million hits a month, has a very inefficient interface and it’s extremely time-consuming to locate the relevant articles. The team I was on designed a simple Web interface so that scientists can access information more quickly and efficiently. One key aspect of our project—our customer is our QED class. So our classmates essentially served as a mini clinical trial.

“Mount Sinai’s leaders understand that to innovate, we have to disrupt traditional paradigms and train our students differently. And that’s what we’re doing.” – Geoffrey Smith, JD

Lauren: We were presented with an entire toolkit. We learned how to evaluate an idea, develop strategies for execution, how to interact with investors, how to network to promote the idea, how to maintain optionality, and how to think through the challenges and opportunities. There’s so much to consider: marketability, regulations, usability, framing the value proposition to differentiate the product, profitability. I have degrees in economics and in biotech. But, immunology is what fascinates me. QED has helped me understand how I can bridge my business experience and scientific knowledge to achieve something meaningful in the field of immunology. Juliet: I am starting a job at the University of Washington in Seattle this summer in a computational biology department. Eventually, I would like to work in an academic lab and also to develop a start-up company so that I can move my discoveries quickly from the lab to the clinic. This class has been enormously helpful. I’ve never taken any other like it. I always thought innovation was something you just had to understand intuitively—but QED showed me that a class can teach the strategies, tactics, and techniques to become an innovative thinker.

The STUDENTS Lauren Peters PhD student; MS in biotechnology, Columbia University Matthew Pendleton PhD student; MS in pharmacology, University of Minnesota Neil Dawhan PhD student, MS in molecular biology/ genetics, Columbia University Juliet Morrison Post-doc, Microbiology; PhD in microbiology, Columbia University Sebastian Aguirre Post-doc, Microbiology; PhD in biotech, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina

Mission Driven “ Our educational mission is to graduate physicians and scientists prepared to enter society as informed advocates and activists, able to advance clinical care and science, and capable of promoting change.” –David Muller, Dean for Medical Education “Our imperative was to create a curriculum aligned with our mission and committed to and invested in graduating physicians who will be nimble, adaptable, resourceful, innovative, and collaborative. These are the skills and attitudes physicians and scientists need to address the incredibly complex health care challenges we will face in the twentyfirst century,” says Reena Karani, MD, MHPE, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education and Curricular Affairs. The new curriculum is the result of a rigorous and thoughtful process involving Icahn School of Medicine leaders, faculty, students, and staff. The curriculum team reviewed national guidelines and accreditation mandates, best practices from across the country, and Mount Sinai student outcomes, among other data and materials, and met with thought leaders from across the institution. Their research and analysis led to the creation of 11 guiding principles (including integration of the biological and social determinants of health, disease, and treatment; and commitment to the dignity of patients, health advocacy, and social responsibility), which, in turn, led to the development of 80 measurable competencies in four core competency domains constituting the knowledge, skills, and attitudes expected of all graduates. The new curriculum, to be implemented this fall, builds on the School’s strengths articulated as four central curricular themes— research and discovery, service learning, global health, and frontiers in science—and incorporates significant innovations in each year of the four-year program. “Two fundamental goals drove the design of the new curriculum: to enhance what we excel in and what makes Mount Sinai unique, and to provide an education on the leading edge of science,” says Associate Dean Karani. Innovative opportunities begin in the first year with incorporation of Mount Sinai’s pioneering Longitudinal Clinical Experience, which gives students the earliest and most intense exposure to patients of any medical school in New York City, into Art and Science of Medicine, a two-year integrated course that

combines study with direct patient contact and care. From the very first days of their medical education, Mount Sinai students interact with patients in some of the nation’s most diverse and underserved neighborhoods, an approach that is consistent with the School’s long history of emphasis on the vulnerability of patients, urban primary care, and reflective practice.

New curricular additions include: •  InFocus: Total immersion experiences during each year (no other classes or activities are scheduled) focused on critical themes in science and medicine. Key topics include research skills and scholarly dissemination, global health, service learning, patient safety and quality, health policy and delivery, innovation, the business and economics of medicine, and leadership training. •  Frontiers in Science: Every course across the curriculum includes a Frontiers in Science component. A Mount Sinai leader in translational research will serve as a guest presenter to educate students about the relationship between scientific knowledge and the potential for specific patient outcomes. • FlexTime: One half-day every week for the first two years is protected time, devoted to self-directed learning, discovery, and leadership opportunities.

“We’re also formalizing our approach to research training and scholarship,” says Associate Dean Karani. “We want to be sure that our students have the skills to design and conduct leading-edge biomedical research.” All MD students will be required to complete a research project by graduation. “How will you be a leader?” asks Associate Dean Karani. “Our new curriculum has been designed to ensure that students understand the complex and critical relationships among scientific knowledge, patient care, biomedical research, human rights, public health, and advocacy.”


If I were to look for where innovation is going to happen in health care delivery, it’s probably going to be where you want to be able to deliver the high quality care at a much lower cost.


Jeff Hammerbacher, a pioneer shaper of Facebook and the founder of Cloudera, joined the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai faculty. He will join the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology to apply his expertise in working with data to the domain of medicine. Mount Sinai: You’ve worked with data all your professional life. Have you lost your capacity to be surprised? Jeff Hammerbacher: That’s a very good question. I’m still surprised by things, but it is kind of like a slow motion surprise. There are a lot of things that I suspect can be done with data and they get uncovered gradually. When you are a child and you read popular books on science, you get the sense that just like out of nowhere, something gets created. But it’s really hard to pull one thing out of your hat and say, “Hey look what I found!” On the other hand, there are things that I thought that we would be able to do, but actually can’t do; I would say that those are far most frequent than the upside surprises. MS: This fall you told the SINAInnovations audience, “Failure hurts more here.” JH: A lot of the skills and the mindset that I’ve built up for problem-solving came out of my experiences in the consumer Web and enterprise software domain, where the problems are not really life or death… MS: Well, maybe they are to teenagers. JH: That’s true—that’s actually a fairly profound statement: bullying and suicide, these are real life or death problems that happen on some consumer Web properties. But I will say that life and death will be more present in my work here.

MS: How about teams working in isolation? In the medical field, teams in different places are often tackling the same problems. JH: Yes—what happens when multiple groups of people work on the same problem in isolation, and then seeing how different solutions arise? During the Cold War there was an interesting pseudo-experiment, when Russian scientists worked on advancing math in one direction, and American scientists worked on advancing math in another direction, and it was fascinating when things started to come together. Integration plays a very large role; you can see how the ideas evolve differently. There is definitely value in allowing groups to pursue different paths to solutions for the same problem, but the most interesting things happen when you bring them together. “What did they do differently?” “Where did we go faster?” A lot of innovation happens because of the constraints imposed, not because the engine within an innovator’s head is faster or more capable, or because they combine sets of ideas with more volatility.

MS: What will your Mount Sinai work entail? JH: I’m working on a program to take cancer patients who have exhausted their treatment options, and see if we can use some data analysis to emerge some potential treatment options for them. As soon as you have someone in front of you whose life depends on your work, you really can’t think about, say, what’s neat about the theoretical underpinnings. You have to focus on actually building something that will help this person. MS: Is that one of the draws that working for Mount Sinai has for you? JH: I think the most exciting thing about Mount Sinai for me is that having that life and death problem in front of you creates a real sense of presence and immediacy and constraints.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY Andrew Lichtenstein

happens: one is the loner off in the woods, and the other is collaboration. Even that loner off in the woods has a set of ideas, a set of mental constructs built through some form of collaboration, such as reading books. So you may be innovating alone in the woods, but you are not as alone as you think.

MS: How important is the collaboration you will experience at Mount Sinai? JH: Ideas never occur in isolation, and even if they were to occur that way, they would likely not have a lot of relevance to most people. It is a false dichotomy to say that there are two ways innovation

MS: Constraints are good? JH: Constraints are important. Google was able to invent an entirely new infrastructure for doing science because they were faced with a constraint of having incredibly cheap servers. This is pretty exciting for the medical domain as well: If I were to look for where innovation is going to happen in health care delivery, it’s probably going to be where you want to be able to deliver the high quality care at a much lower cost—for instance, places like India and China, where they want to deliver the same standard of care at a very high volume at a much lower cost.


TEAM PLAY By Sara Daniels

Big, game-changing events are more than an “aha” moment, more than the images we conjure up when we envision “innovation”: laboratory scientists discovering a new vaccine; a surgeon applying life-changing techniques for the first time; patients adapting to devices that return function to missing limbs.

Mount Sinai Science & Medicine / fall 2013

Behind these big moments are the equally innovative efforts of background experts and the infrastructure that supports such progress. Technology and rigorous data analysis are the tools of change in 21st century health care delivery, and it takes teamwork to understand how these tools work and to wield them with creativity and precision. Here are three Mount Sinai teams that are innovating in ways you may never hear about, advancing the health of our patients while improving efficiency and directing resources more effectively to enhance the quality of care we deliver.


D. Reich


Setting the bar The Mount Sinai Hospital “The integration of an honor roll hospital with a top 20 medical school that we have at Mount Sinai is something that is relatively unique,” says David Reich, MD, President of The Mount Sinai Hospital and Professor and Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology. “This means we can implement innovative approaches more organically than other institutions can. But with that also comes a responsibility as leaders in both hospital care and in academic medicine to achieve greater things than stand-alone hospitals or medical schools are able to do in isolation.” Under Dr. Reich’s leadership, The Mount Sinai Hospital is developing a wide range of innovative health care delivery programs aimed at applying Mount Sinai’s intellectual and technological resources to transform standards of care. “We’ve found that early intervention is a critical focal point in improving patient care,” Dr. Reich says. “Indeed, early intervention is more than a goal; it’s a strategy. Many programs currently underway at Mount Sinai are investigating opportunities for proactive interventions for at-risk patients.” One such research project, led by Dr. Reich, sends alerts to anesthesia providers through Epic, Mount Sinai’s state-of-the art electronic medical records system, when surgery patients under general anesthesia have mildly low blood pressure at a phase when there is relatively deep anesthesia; even though neither condition is alarming by itself, retrospective data have shown that the combination is associated with worse outcomes for patients. Tracking these alerts, researchers can test their effectiveness; their hypothesis is that prompting anesthesia providers to alter anesthesia levels and blood pressure will lead to better patient outcomes. Dr. Reich is also a sponsor of TeamSTEPPS—an innovative, evidence-based training program developed by the Department of Defense’s Patient Safety Program

in collaboration with the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. TeamSTEPPS uses teamwork as a strategic tool for improving patient safety and quality of care. The program, first launched in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science and now used throughout Mount Sinai’s operating rooms, focuses on building better communication among all members of a care or surgical team, changing team dynamics, and leveraging multidisciplinary expertise for a positive effect on patient care. “Uneven power structures in a team can prevent a person at a lower level of authority from speaking up when he or she thinks something is not going in the right direction,” says Dr. Reich. “What we’re trying to do with TeamSTEPPS and projects like it is level the playing field so that every member of the team feels empowered to speak up for patient safety and best practices in the delivery of care.”

patients to manage their illnesses. Mount Sinai Care has also launched several innovative electronic information tools that can prevent unnecessary events. For example, the ACO uses a predictive mathematical model— developed by Mount Sinai’s Preventable Admissions Care Team (PACT) and incorporated into Epic—to identify the patients most at risk for hospital readmissions. This allows care teams to intervene with appropriate social and medical support to try to keep those high-risk patients healthy. The immediate impact of these interventions is better care coordination and more resources allocated to the care team to help patients stay healthy. Over time, the Mount Sinai Care ACO’s focus on quality and coordination of care is expected to reduce unnecessary admissions and lower health care expenses. “We think the future of medicine is transitioning “A lot of what we spend money on in health care isn’t toward a new model, in which a physician works necessarily good for the patient,” Dr. Callahan points in a team setting to take care of a population of out. “Let’s say a patient’s diabetes isn’t well controlled patients,” says Mark Callahan, MD, Chief Executive and he ends up in the hospital with kidney failure and Officer of Mount Sinai Care, LLC, Mount Sinai’s new needs dialysis. That’s not good for the patient and it’s not Accountable Care Organization (ACO). Mount Sinai good from a cost point of view. Our focus is preventing Care is charged with providing integrated care and disease and then managing chronic illnesses to reduce meeting new quality benchmarks for more than their complications. In some cases that requires more 20,000 Medicare patients throughout the New York resources, used differently. Instead of putting people in metropolitan area—and, once again, teamwork is key. the hospital and treating The ACO, one of only them for advanced illness, ten such organizations “We think the future of medicine we’d rather put resources in in New York State and is transitioning toward a new the outpatient setting and among the few based model, in which a physician prevent advanced illness in an academic medical works in a team setting to take from developing.” center, is building Mount Sinai has gone innovative care teams care of a population of patients.” one step further by applying and closing the gaps in the same innovative tools to its Medicaid population patient care that can lead to complications and unnecthrough the Patient-Centered Medical Home initiative. essary hospital readmissions, especially in patients Additional care coordinators and extra diabetes resources with chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. will help address the unique health care needs of The Mount Sinai Care team includes care coordinators these patients. who work with doctors, nursing staff, and patients to “Mount Sinai is very far ahead of the curve on this,” says facilitate referrals and appointments, ensure patients Dr. Callahan. “By putting the teams and IT resources into get the proper medications, track follow-up procean ACO model now, when a lot of other academic medical dures like mammograms and colonoscopies, navigate centers decided not to do it, we’re building the experience, health insurance issues, and perform other critical the workflows, the care patterns, and the information tools tasks that physicians lack the time and resources to we need to be successful as health care reform comes do. Providing these vital support services means that down the pike.” Mount Sinai Care can be an active partner in helping

Closing the gaps

M. Callahan


LEXICON Transparency: A commitment to sharing information and encouraging communication as a way to bring teams closer together.


important improvements. The outcomes can be dramatic—and surprising. Take the evolution of the Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD), a mechanical pump designed to help Health Evidence and Policy keep patients with advanced heart failure alive while awaiting transplantation. Dr. Gelijns’ team explored the possibility of using these devices in patients Mount Sinai’s ambitious clinical ineligible for transplantation—which turned out to research enterprise is also driving double survival rates in these patients compared with new evidence-based innovations in traditional medical management of their condition. But delivery of care, according to Annetine it was also prohibitively expensive—$600,000 for each Gelijns, PhD, Chair of the Department of additional year of survival—and produced such adverse Health Evidence and Policy. Within the effects as infections, bleeding, and neurological events. Department, the International Center “Clinicians and engineers used the results of that for Health Outcomes and Innovation trial to develop improved devices that minimized Research and the Center for Biostatistics risks and costs,” says Dr. Gelijns. “As a result, we’re enable clinical and translational research now involved in trials evaluating novel LVADs, which partners throughout the institution to are much smaller, with fewer adverse events, and the design and analyze innovative trials. cost of intervention has dropped to $100,000 for each “The research and development additional year of life.” process doesn’t end when a new The Department’s institution-wide mission includes intervention is introduced into practice many more areas of concentration, including helping because the criteria change: how we to lead a community-based Transitions of Care select eligible patients, and how we program, supported by a significant Medicare grant. embed clinical management strategies,” The program tests models for improving care transiDr. Gelijns says. “It’s a moving target and tions from hospitals to other outpatient settings, that’s why it’s becoming increasingly with the goal of reducing hospital readmissions for important to conduct comparative effecMedicare patients by 20 percent over five years. tiveness research after a new intervention Fortunately, says Alan Moskowitz, PhD, Vice Chair has been introduced into widespread of the Department of Health Evidence and Policy, clinical practice.” Mount Sinai was ahead of the game in launching such The research that Dr. Gelijns and her team conduct a program, thanks to its PACT program, originally aims to fill in some of the gaps of medical knowledge developed to reduce readmissions among patients in treating patients. Typically, there are two short-term with heart failure. evaluations, conducted in limited patient populations “We took that program and modified it to suit a over a relatively brief period: exploratory clinical trials, broader population, and we reviewed re-hospitalization evaluating whether an intervention (a new diagnostic, patterns at Mount Sinai to create a statistical model that drug, device, or procedure) is safe and effective, and identified risk factors for readmission—the basis for a confirmatory trials, which are regulated by the FDA profile of high-risk patients to target with the program.” and attempt to validate the safety and effectiveness The result? The of an intervention for a Community Preventable particular population of “Mount Sinai subscribes to the idea Admissions Care Team patients—but long-term that you have to mine the data at (CPACT), which partners outcomes remain your own institution to identify with the Institute for unstudied. problems and monitor solutions Family Health, a large, Dr. Gelijn’s area community-based bridges that gap by to see if they’re really working.” and independently run addressing the whole family practice headed by Neil Calman, MD, Professor spectrum of translational research, from first-inand Chair of Mount Sinai’s Department of Family human trials to large-scale trials and analysis of clinical Medicine and Community Health. data sets, to see how interventions perform over time. “Mount Sinai subscribes to the idea that you have Her team also compares them to other types of interto mine the data at your own institution to identify ventions—say, a beta blocker versus surgery—to assess problems and monitor solutions to see if they’re really cost-effectiveness and key outcomes such as survival working,” Dr. Moskowitz says. “That philosophy speaks and quality of life. That information is then fed back to the innovation that’s going on at Mount Sinai into the clinical and research enterprises, enabling irrespective of what funding opportunities exist.” clinician-scientists and manufacturers to make

Translating data into care

A. Gelijns


LEXICON Adjacent possible: A finite amount of first-order combinations available from a given starting point that, together, lead to an almost infinite amount of further possibilities. As, “Take a few primordial molecules, combine them, and the adjacent possible leads to the building blocks of life; take the building blocks of life, combine them, and the adjacent possible leads to simple one-cell organisms; take a few one-cell organisms, combine them, and the adjacent possible leads to every species we see today.”


Dial Mount Sinai Science & Medicine recently sat down with a trio of Mount Sinai faculty whose work involves massive amounts of information to see how they are collaborating to optimize the impact of data; we began by asking each doctor to talk a bit about what he does. Andrew Kasarskis: The Icahn Institute

for Genomics and Multiscale Biology is focused on bringing to Mount Sinai a degree of comfort with high dimensional data analysis and genomics technologies. We’re working in a team fashion with colleagues from Erwin’s Institute of Personalized Medicine, Carlos’s team in Pathology, and other departments to address large-scale interdisciplinary problems that have a technical component where the different types of expertise could be applied. We have an ambition to make genomic medicine a pervasive influence in the work we do at Sinai, both clinically and in research. That does not happen in isolation: you need to be pretty good at computation as well as genomics, and that is where we have been putting a lot of effort collectively over time. Erwin Bottinger: Our model going forward towards precision and personalized medicine is like a three-legged stool: We have to bring together people like you, Andrew, who generate

The innovative promise of “Big Data” means that we know more about patients and illnesses than ever before. But how do we integrate this knowledge into a clinical care plan and come up with equally innovative changes in patient lives?

new hypotheses and ideas, such as in genomics and multiscale biology and the Department of Genetics; people—like Carlos—who are the experts in how to diagnose and how to run molecular diagnostic tests; and people who think deeply about how to bring the information back to patient care, back to bedside, which is closer to my role. Taking information from a study to a clinical care context, where it is integrated into the clinical work flow and allows our practitioners to deliver optimal care, is critical: We need to bring the newest discoveries in genomics, in molecular diagnostics directly to the fingertips of our physicians. That is what we see as our primary role in the Institute for Personalized Medicine. We are also informing Mount Sinai patients about a groundbreaking research enterprise in which they can participate, which we call the Clinical Care Cohort for Personalized Medicine. Patients consent to make all their clinical information available for research, and donate a tube of blood and some other samples which we can test for genetic variance, conduct sequencing, examine biomarker profiles, and then allow our researchers to bring together the molecular data with the clinical data. We have enrolled over 25,000 patients, but our goal is more ambitious: to expand to 100,000 patients overall. We are truly a digital health care system, which allows us to make the link between the big data capabilities that are presented in genomics and multiscale biology, and the actual clinical records; we


extract information for research, and then also return information into the electronic health record for the purpose of testing new methods of guiding clinical care. Carlos Cordon-Cardo: Our

Department of Pathology is the second largest in volume in the country, performing nearly 23,000 tests every day, including blood chemistries, specimen analyses, biopsies, and autopsies. Dr. Kasarskis: So 23,000 tests today?

That’s a hard act to follow, Carlos. Dr. Cordon-Cardo: Yes, can you believe it?! But what matters so much here— unlike many other institutions where silos are created—is that Mount Sinai has a culture of breaking silos, and this is what leads to innovations. For example, for cancer patients we are now offering panels that include the analysis of body fluids, from blood to urine, and tissue studies that integrate biomarkers and molecular genetics, such as mutational analysis, along with critical information from the patient’s family history and clinical setting. This will produce a comprehensive report that will allow better navigation for managing the case. Our patients will definitely receive a very personalized treatment, guided by clinical and molecular knowledge. Our goal is to translate data into knowledge, and to manage this knowledge to give each patient a better chance of being cured, while offering a superior quality of life.

PARTICIPANTS Erwin P. Bottinger, MD • Director, The Charles Bronfman Institute for Personalized Medicine • Professor, Medicine, Nephrology • Professor, Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics Carlos Cordon-Cardo, MD, PhD • Professor and Chair, Department of Pathology • Professor, Oncological Sciences • Professor, Genetics and Genomic Sciences Andrew Kasarskis, PhD • Vice Chair, Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences • Co-Director, Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology • Associate Professor, Genetics and Genomic Sciences


Carlos Cordon-Cardo, MD, PhD

Dr. Kasarskis: I do not know how many

Mount Sinai Science & Medicine / fall 2013

Dr. Kasarskis: It is so interesting the way all these results, all these tests get captured in a way that allows us to exploit the information using the clinical cohort that Erwin has put together, and the electronic medical records system. It is really quite exciting and it is one of my favorite things going on around here. And some of the most interesting work—where the rubber meets the road—is in your work, Erwin, to actually educate the general practitioners and other Sinai physicians as to what needs to happen when they encounter patients whose genetic information is relevant to their care—the IPM Pharmacogenetics project, for example, that is using your CLIPMERGE technology platform.


DR. Bottinger: Yes, this is a huge step forward to run big programs where we examine the real barriers impeding the widespread introduction of genomic medicine in basic clinical practices. Since you mention our CLIPMERGE platform (which stands for Clinical Implementation of Personalized Medicine in Electronic Health Records and Genomics), we believe it could provide in essence a natural conduit for colleagues in Pathology to deliver results to patients, as they are the experts in turning out high quality genomic and molecular diagnostic results—results that come from molecular pathology laboratories or molecular diagnostics laboratories, that can be plucked directly into our CLIPMERGE platform, where genomic results are translated into a language that the physician can understand and convey to the patient. Dr. Cordon-Cardo: In fact, this is going to open the door for a new kind of medicine, in which being more precise will allow us to render superior services to the patient, and as we discussed, a better chance of being cured. In this context, we also hope to offer improved quality of life based on the ability to take this evidencebased scientific approach.

better assess clinical outcome. This can other institutions out there have a vice also help us select treatments that may be chair of pathology who actually has a more efficacious and cost-effective. physics PhD, focused on data analytics! It The reality is that the medical practice of is very nice to have strong partners across today while facing chronic diseases, such the institution who are capturing rich as cancer, offers patients periods of health information on patients, and then actually which are more and more prolonged, building a constructive, computationally along with a better quality of life—but in and statistically rigorous model of what too many situations the disease comes we have learned about those patients— back. It does so because we are treating the Bio Bank—that can then be distilled the symptoms, the by-products of the down to actionable infordisease, such as the cellular mation in any given patient’s growth in cancer, but not “Our Department case. And perhaps change necessarily the disease itself. of Pathology is the course of care. It is an Why is this? Because we the second largest empowering thing, contemdo not know the cause. We in volume in the plating what the actual do not know where cancer country, performing starts. We do not know where support system of a medical decision would be based hypertension starts. Our nearly 23,000 tests on: not just HPA1C blood every day, including hypothesis is that by assempressure, LDL cholesterol, bling and implementing a blood chemistries, HGL cholesterol and so forth, multidimensional approach, specimen analyses, but also potentially more pathologists, geneticists, biopsies, and information-rich things. At clinicians, and basic scienautopsies.” the Icahn Institute, we focus tists—working together and on integrating the full range using innovative tools—may of molecular measures you can get from be able to drill down to find, in at least DNA and RNA sequencing and other high some diseases, the causation. We will then information content technologies with be armed to move forward and design the longitudinal clinical information in our effective, individualized, personalized treatpatients’ electronic medical record, to ments, targeting that very specific element. better understand disease in general and It will be wonderful. better manage the well-being of individual DR. Bottinger: Because we’re located at patients. a medical center in northern Manhattan, Dr. Cordon-Cardo: The wave of serving diverse communities throughout “innovation” that Mount Sinai is leading the region, we have a particular responsiextends to several critical areas, including bility to make genomic medicine a reality technology. Some technologies—like for all of our patients irrespective of their microscopes—have been quite similar color. There is great concern that genomic for the past two hundred years. So one medicine will be a domain for a privileged of the areas we are further developing is patient population, but, based on characoptical engineering; we have attracted teristics of our diverse patient populations faculty coming from the fields of physics and the diverse communities who come and engineering who are assembling for excellent health care, Mount Sinai has a microscopes that use liquid crystal lenses, tremendous opportunity to seek innovative allowing us to use the tissue as the ultimate ways to actually microchip. In addition, we are expanding our armamentarium in pathology to add to our diagnostics tools a series of novel predictive tools, so we can more Erwin P. Bottinger, precisely ascertain MD what may happen to a patient based on the knowledge we obtain by bringing together his or her specific genotypes and phenotypes, along with clinical variables in order to

bring genomic medicine to anybody that receives care here regardless of color or ethnic background. In fact, this is a huge opportunity where together we can create new paradigms for many other large cosmopolitan, urban areas and the health care practiced there in the future. Dr. Kasarskis: That’s the difficulty: trying

group management approaches that stratify patients into disease categories and apply therapies based on pre-determined protocols, to a patient-specific approach that integrates unique clinical and biological characteristics to predict treatment efficacy and drug sensitivity.

Dr. Kasarskis: That has got to be good for to calibrate any new technology for genertraining as well. ating molecular information is dependent Dr. Cordon-Cardo: It is. Right now, we on what is “normal.” “Normal” for a have one department of medicine, one group of Caucasian people of Northern department of surgery, but maybe one day European ancestry—such as families when we all have learned how to work from Utah, which was how a large chunk together and validate each other’s assays, of the genetic research was done in the we may be able to integrate pathology, past—does not necessarily translate very genetics, and even radiology to form a well to our patient population out in, say, department of advanced diagnostics. Queens. Our patient population here has certainly proven to be interested in genetic Dr. Kasarskis: We could call it the information. They want to understand and department of diagnosis—and maybe the are willing to participate in research when department of prediction. approached which gives us an ability to actually start to develop technologies for Dr. Cordon-Cardo: We are in part our patient population in a way that reflects implementing it—many tangibles prove their characteristics and redefines “normal.” that this is happening. We are designing Be it a fancy new imaging technology, biomarker panels together, we are a fancy new molecular technology, one implementing strategies that use superior thing is for sure: there is a huge amount of biological tools, and we are validating innovation going on with new techniques each other constantly, learning together to generate data on biological systems, and for the good of the patient and our we are working to keep pace with that in community. terms of how to integrate that information and model it. But none of that DR. Bottinger: I think, gets you anywhere unless you “There is a huge Carlos, you a raise a very actually have good samples that amount of critical point for genomic are linked to rich history about innovation going medicine in clinical care: the individuals from whom the on with new the quality and excellence in samples have come to us. techniques to training, performance, and generate data on practice of the clinical staff. Dr. Cordon-Cardo: Senior biological systems, Over the last few years, we leadership at Mount Sinai has have engaged very actively a unified vision, supports our and we are with our clinical staff in efforts, and is quite unaffected working to keep various practices about by academic politics. I have pace with that delivering genomic medicine; been able to recruit over in terms of how they are all highly motivated, twenty-five faculty members in to integrate that fascinated, and willing to the past two years, from basic information and participate in the kind of to translational scientists, from translational research required model it.” mathematicians to clinicians. to make genomic medicine We have also renovated major happen. Let us make no mistake, the time service laboratory areas and brought in is now and it is up to us, the genomic state-of-the-art equipment. Another scientists, the molecular pathologists, the major asset here is our outstanding clinical clinicians, the outcomes researchers to colleagues. The reputation that we have in demonstrate that all of this can improve the medical community comes from great care, outcomes, the utilization of health clinicians who put so much detail into services, patients’ lives—and last but not their work; it is so granular that together least, also reduce health care costs. Mount with the new innovations in the laboratory, Sinai is a unique place to actually make we can generate and implement a new first-in-class kinds of contributions. I am paradigm in patient management. We can certainly an optimist but I am confident optimize outcomes by switching from

that we will be able, together, to demonstrate that this is indeed the medicine of the future. And we can do it. Dr. Kasarskis: What is really interesting, Erwin, is that when you are talking about diagnosis and prevention, you are also talking about behavioral change. We all know that behaviors are hard to change. There is a lot of applied behavioral science and human factor engineering involved in actually defining risks, being sure that we really believe the risks, and that they are accurately measured, and then reflecting that in a way that changes behavior. But difficult as this is, it is ultimately what we want to do if our goal is to focus our business on promoting health as opposed to simply wishing people Godspeed. But I believe there is a lot to gain from addressing behavioral change over the next decade or two. Dr. Cordon-Cardo: It is part of our mission to pioneer change in health care management. This will be achieved mainly through more precise diagnosis, a better selection of appropriate therapies, and an enhanced understanding of the predictive course of the disease. DR. Bottinger: Carlos has provided, I think, the key word: Prediction. For hundreds of years, medical students have been taught based on chief complaints: A patient comes and says, “Something is wrong, doctor”. We are at a very good spot to transition to teaching medicine and practicing medicine in the future around, “What is the risk for you, our patient, that we need to be careful about?” We can devise particular plans to limit that risk and keep you from ever having a complaint. So the curriculum will change, and students will be taught to look at genetic data, molecular data, lifestyle data, all the data analyzed together for a true prediction of what is to come.

Andrew Kasarskis, PhD

LEXICON Big data: The practice of analyzing enormous sets of data, such as the human genome, with mathematical and computational techniques to find previously undiscovered patterns and connections.




Mount Sinai Science & Medicine / fall 2013

“ This is a wonderful time to be training young scientists. These students see the opportunities in front of them very clearly. They know that rigorous training in fundamental basic science is essential for them to be what they want to be. However, they also know that they can and should go beyond that wonderful moment of discovery, and bring their discovery to the rest of the world through innovation. They assume that their science will improve the lives of patients and they would not have it any other way.” – Dean John H. Morrison

By Rhianna Morris


ere are the voices of a group of young gamechangers who are students in the Graduate School of Biological Sciences, addressing what it means to be innovative, how innovation applies to their work, and why Mount Sinai inspires innovative thinking.

Arielle Klepper, MD/PhD 2016 Expecting to defend her thesis in January, Ms. Klepper is investigating how the Hepatitis C virus affects the liver—and how different forms of treatment affect patient outcomes. She also plays a leading role in two Mount Sinai student/faculty organizations that promote awareness and unity of underrepresented groups: Women in Science and Medicine, and Students for Equal Opportunity in Science.

In order to innovate, you need to be able to maintain pathways, pipelines, and ways to make sure everybody is in the fold and can succeed. Mount Sinai is growing and expanding. The new Hess Center for Science and Medicine is a great example of this. The face of Mount Sinai is also changing. Thus, having organizations such as Women in Science and Medicine represents promoting equal opportunity on multiple levels, like for women or for minorities. It really is timely and hopefully can make an impact as the institution grows. It is important to develop those things to ensure that the recruitment we are doing translates into improved representation and success. And I think that ties in to the patient side, too—having a more diverse population of physicians is obviously important to understanding your patients and where they come from.


Sam A. Golden, PhD 2014

Theodore Pak, MD/PhD 2020

One of Mr. Golden’s major projects in the Department of Neuroscience recently was published in the prestigious journal Nature Medicine: Following chronic stress, robust restructuring of neurons can occur; his work has been instrumental in illuminating one of the mechanisms involved in the restructuring, offering the potential for this mechanism to aid in the development of targeted therapeutics for depression.

Mr. Pak is passionate about the intersection of medicine and technology, especially in genomics and bioinformatics. Although he’s just finished his first year of studies, he is already following his research passion in a laboratory in the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology by working on predicting influenza virulence using machinelearning algorithms. He also is involved in developing a mobile web application for medical students working with Mount Sinai’s East Harlem Health Outreach Partnership. These efforts will help the students efficiently coordinate the care provided at this free community clinic.

 What is affecting the world we live in today? What are the things in the news that make you either smile or frown? The nice thing about being in the translational research environment of Mount Sinai is that you can ask those larger questions, and then you can find a clinical population to look at. You are given the freedom to investigate your questions at a very deep level. Innovation requires this process. It is having those questions and wanting to follow through. You know you have a difficult road ahead when you have a question that you know is completely outside the scope of anything anyone else is doing and still say, “I’m going to spend a couple years working on this.” It is a high risk situation. But you also know that if it’s high risk, it could also be high reward.

Innovation, as it applies to my interests, can be looked at as marrying two distinct disciplines and trying to find new connections between them in ways that perhaps only few can see. When I came to Mount Sinai for a visit and interviews, I met researchers who all had this mindset: They actively sought investigators across the many disciplines to collaborate with. I saw a lot of groups where there were two people on different sides of the fence, so to speak, and one might say to the other, “If I could work with you for some computational analysis, we could take this research to the next level and make more of an impact with the results.” This is exciting; it jumped out at me and encouraged me to come here.

Jillian Shapiro, PhD 2013

Mount Sinai Science & Medicine / fall 2013

Faces to the voices: (from left) Thomas Gardner, Sam Golden, Theodore Pak, Jillian Shapiro, Benjamin Laitman, Jie Su, and (inset) Arielle Klepper


No stranger to the spotlight, Dr. Shapiro was named by Forbes as one of 2012’s “30 Under 30 Rising Stars Transforming Science and Health,” an accolade which highlights how much she has accomplished in a very short period of time. Her research in microbiology has focused on one of the major challenges that had stood in the way of advancing the emerging field of microRNA-mediated therapeutics. She developed a novel method for delivering any small RNA sequence to a target cell’s cytoplasm— something previously thought not possible—and now has accelerated the move toward more effective therapeutics for a range of diseases.  In my opinion, innovation is taking existing knowledge and building on it or putting it together in a different way to create something new that has the capacity to positively affect society. While innovative research most certainly requires a deep understanding of the problem at hand and ready knowledge of any current related issues, at the same time, one really needs to let go of preconceived notions of how a problem may be solved and just try something new, regardless of whether people say it’s “impossible.” Once I understood this, I was able to approach problems from a different angle, allowing for really innovative research to take place.

Benjamin Laitman, PhD 2016/MS 2018 With the first part of his medical education coming to a close, Mr. Laitman will soon be starting his research in Mount Sinai’s Department of Neurology. He is interested in exploring the mechanism that leads to the degradation of myelin in multiple sclerosis, ultimately hoping to find new therapeutic targets for the disease. Mr. Laitman also was a student panelist at the inaugural SinaInnovations conference last year, where he took part in discussions that explored Mount Sinai’s thriving culture of innovation. When you’re walking around the Medical Center, you see doctors, patients, researchers, students; everyone mixed in together. No one is isolated. This is where the students are, this is where the researchers are, this is where the doctors are. And I think that’s a great thing about Mount Sinai. All of these different worlds have been brought physically together, and that becomes very inspiring. My ultimate dream is to be that person who discovers a new treatment for a disease and then actually implements it. I know that this is a place where I can go after that dream.

Thomas Gardner, PhD 2015 In his work with cytomegalovirus (CMV) at Mount Sinai’s Center for Therapeutic Antibody Development, Mr. Gardner is attempting both to discover more about the basic mechanism of this common infection and to find new therapeutic targets to aid the patient population that is susceptible to its more dangerous effects. He was able to develop an assay that allows one not only to learn new information about how CMV recognizes and enters cells, but also to measure precisely the severity of an infection. This work has led to his recent awarding of a Pre-Doctoral Fellowship from the American Heart Association.

I know this is a cliché, but you really have to think outside the box when trying to be innovative. For example, many people would see the assay system I developed and say, “This has one purpose and that is to quantify an infection.” But when you think outside the box, you often just can’t stop considering all of the potential applications of the work. I think this obsessive thinking is part of being a scientist. You start to see all the potential, all of the off-shoots that can happen, and the different ways to interpret the data. You throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. And then that’s what you go with. You become accustomed to a certain amount of failure in the process, but it ends up driving you. When you do have something that works, it’s super invigorating.

Jie Su, PhD 2013 In trying to understand the pathways involved in stem cell differentiation, Dr. Su came across a certain enzyme that had never been reported in stem cell science before. However, it had been linked to a mutation in cancer, making her discovery an exciting new bridge between these two fields. Her study was published last year in Stem Cell. She now is able to move forward with trying to model the cancer in human induced pluripotent stem cells.

LEXICON Silos: Departmental bureaucracy and other organizational barriers that must be removed to promote collaboration and innovation.

Our lab links basic research to human disease studies. When you move beyond basic studies and start to work with patient samples, the impact of your work really hits you. I thought, “Wow. Real patients are now a part of my research.” Knowing that my work might make an impact on someone’s struggle with a terrible disease like cancer inspired me to work harder. My translational endeavors became that much more exciting when I realized someone’s quality of life might improve because of what I’m doing. I feel very lucky to work in the field that I do because it allows me to pursue my burning questions and search for innovative solutions, while also contributing to new therapies and understandings in biomedical research.



GIVING Campaign Gifts Transforming Mount Sinai “Now, more than two decades after its last face-lift, the newly renovated PICU permits our remarkable physicians, nurses and other members of the interdisciplinary team to deliver care in a unit that is state-of-the-art.” – Lisa M. Satlin, MD

         Left to right: Dean Dennis Charney, Lisa Satlin, President Kenneth Davis, David S. “Sandy” Gottesman, and Ruth L. Gottesman at the dedication of the PICU.

Gift from Trustee Gottesman Supports New PICU

serious illnesses,” said Mr. Gottesman. “Now, more than two decades after its last face-lift, the newly renovated PICU permits our remarkable

Mount Sinai Science & Medicine / fall 2013

physicians, nurses and other members of the interdis-


Trustee David S. “Sandy” Gottesman and Ruth L.

ciplinary team to deliver care in a unit that is state-of-

Gottesman, EdD have made one of the largest gifts

the-art in terms of design, operations and technology,”

to children’s health in Mount Sinai’s history with

said Lisa M. Satlin, MD, Professor and Chair of the

a $12 million commitment to support the recently

Department of Pediatrics, at the dedication. “The

completed renovation of the pediatric intensive care

consolidation of the PICU on one floor optimizes the

unit (PICU), in recognition of which the Medical

smooth and seamless delivery of care, while also giving

Center has named The Alice Gottesman Bayer

patients and their families a single place to gather in

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

support of one another.”

The new unit was formally dedicated at an event in

The renovation project involved a comprehensive

November 2012. Speaking at the event, Mr. Gottesman,

redesign, the major feature of which was consolidating

a Trustee since 1989, paid tribute to his younger sister,

the PICU on the third floor of the Kravis Children’s

who passed away in 1955 and in whose memory the

Hospital from its previous quarters on part of the third

unit is named. “I think she would have had great

and sixth floors—a move that will bring physicians and

pleasure in knowing that this new facility will take

staff closer to their patients and optimize the delivery

care of children who have the most complex and

of care. The new unit provides greater privacy and

comfort for children and their families; each room is

trust to make a difference.”

equipped with a sleep sofa for parents, a wardrobe for

One of the largest donations toward endowed chairs in

patient/family belongings, and other amenities. Other

Mount Sinai’s history, the gift supports six Ward-Coleman

improvements include a family lounge with a special

Chairs to be held by faculty members whose work shows

playroom and a separate family consultation room for

the greatest promise to “enhance the prevention, treatment,

parents to meet privately with physicians.

and cure of diseases, illnesses, and disabilities of human

At the event, Dr. Satlin addressed the Gottesmans

beings,” as Mrs. Ward Coleman wished. Five new faculty have

directly. “Please know how deeply we value your gift

been appointed to chairs to date: Nina Bhardwaj, MD, PhD

and your commitment to child health at Mount Sinai,”

(Cancer Research), Director of the Immunotherapy Program;

she said.

Judy H. Cho, MD (Translational Genetics), Associate Chief of Research in the Division of Gastroenterology, and Vice Chair for Translational Genetics in the Department of Genetics

Full of Life

and Genomic Sciences; Yasmin L. Hurd, PhD (Translational

Mount Sinai supporter Ruth Ward Coleman left an

Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics, and Neuroscience;

unforgettable impression on all who knew her—and a

Paul Kenny, PhD (Pharmacology and Experimental

legacy that will last for generations

Therapeutics), Chair of Pharmacology and Systems

Neuroscience), Professor, Department of Psychiatry,

Therapeutics and Director of the Experimental Therapeutics Ruth Ward Coleman, who was 110 when she died in

Institute; and Ramon Parsons, MD, PhD (Cancer Research),

2012, was never one to take half measures. Passionate

Chair of the Department of Oncological Sciences. At press

and strong-willed, Mrs. Ward Coleman became a

time, one additional appointment was in process.

lawyer at a time when women were discouraged

The fact that the gift will support some of Mount Sinai’s

from harboring such ambitions, and went on to play

most original and innovative physician-scientists is a fitting

an active role in establishing the Social Security

tribute to Mrs. Ward Coleman, whose spirit and energy

Administration during its formative years. “She was

never dimmed even in the last years of her life—as one

so much her own person,” says Maurice Spanbock, her

government agent discovered when he came to investigate

longtime lawyer and the executor of her estate. “She

the rather improbable claim that a 110-year-old woman

was like an Edith Wharton character.” When she and

continued to draw Social Security checks. Dr. Shimony says

her husband, Lucius Coleman, who passed away in

that Mrs. Ward Coleman invited the agent in and gave him

1990, decided to leave their estate to endow a number

a first-person account of the history of the Social Security

of professorships at Mount Sinai, she embraced the

Administration’s creation.

idea with the single-mindedness of purpose that was

“She was a remarkable woman,” says Mr. Spanbock.

her defining quality. The bequest started out as a

“Mount Sinai meant a lot to her.”

$2 million gift when Mr. and Mrs. Coleman arranged it

“Ruth enjoyed immensely over the years discussing how the fund would positively impact basic research and clinical care.” – Rony Shimony, MD

in 1980, but in the 30 years since, Mrs. Ward Coleman guarded her investments carefully and shrewdly to increase the gift into a $12 million bequest. “She made a conscious choice to live modestly so that there would be more in the fund to give to Mount Sinai,” says Rony Shimony, MD, Assistant Professor of Cardiology at Mount Sinai Heart and a longtime friend of Mrs. Ward Coleman. “She enjoyed immensely over the years discussing how the fund would positively impact basic research and clinical care.” “She watched her investments daily, right up until she passed away, and was always focused on the growth of the Mount Sinai trust,” says Chy Bullard, a neighbor whose family Mrs. Ward Coleman regarded as her own.”She had a lifelong dream of building the

Rony Shimony, MD and Ruth Ward Coleman




Center of Attention Henry and Marie-Josée Kravis Make $25 Million Gift A transformational $25 million gift from Trustee Henry R. Kravis and Marie-Josée Kravis will enable Mount Sinai to extend its reach to underserved patients in New York City and around the world by supporting the work of the clinicians and researchers housed in the Center for Advanced Medicine, the base of the Medical Center’s programs in primary care, preventive medicine, community health, and global health. In recognition of Mr. and Mrs. Kravis’s generosity, the building will be renamed the Marie-Josée and

More than 200 Trustees and other close friends of Mount Sinai came together on November 28 to celebrate the opening of the Leon and Norma Hess Center for Science and Medicine; a public ceremony on December 13 featured civic leaders from across New York City, who hailed the impact the new building will have on the community, and a warm welcome for Trustee John B. Hess and his family. “Only by investing in the most outstanding physicians, scientists, and staff, will we ensure that Mount Sinai continues its leadership in medicine,” Mr. Hess said. “My family and I have a deep sense of gratitude for all the wonderful people at Mount Sinai and the outstanding work you do every day to save lives, care for patients, and conduct groundbreaking research.”

Henry R. Kravis Center for Advanced Medicine. “Mount Sinai’s excellence in care, research, and education is changing attitudes and behaviors about healthy living in the neighborhood of East Harlem and around the greater community of New York

“The Kravis Center for Advanced Medicine is both an integral part of the foundation of our surrounding community and the launching pad for our growing global health work.” – President and CEO Kenneth L. Davis

City,” said Mr. Kravis. “Marie-Josée and I are proud to support such a visionary institution.”

recently formed Mount Sinai Cares, a federally

“The Kravis Center for Advanced Medicine is both an integral part of the foundation of our surrounding community and the launching pad for our growing global health work,” said President and CEO Kenneth L. Davis, MD. “Henry and Marie-Josée’s remarkable

Programs headquartered in the 137,000-square-foot Kravis Center include Internal Medicine Associates, the primary care practice, which schedules more than 60,000 visits each year; Mount Sinai Global Health, which oversees and integrates global health activities across the medical center; and Visiting Doctors,

medical centers to find new, cost-effective solutions that will lead to better care and improved outcomes

centered programs emerging from the Kravis Center,” said Dean Dennis S. Charney, MD. “We are committed to redefining the standard of care for hospitals and medical centers everywhere, and the Kravis family’s extraordinary philanthropy will help us live up to that commitment.” Mount Sinai Global Health, which since 2007

homebound adults and is the largest program Mount Sinai Science & Medicine / fall 2013

The ACO designation was created to encourage

ACO is just one example of the innovative, patient-

direction for health care for generations to come.”

which delivers care to more than 1,000


designated Accountable Care Organization (ACO).

for Medicare and Medicaid patients. “Mount Sinai’s

gift will touch countless people, and represents the

of its kind in the country.

has trained nearly 850 health care workers in local communities in more than 30 countries, is deeply rooted in the Kravis Center, according to Philip Landrigan, MD, MSc, Dean for Global Health and the Ethel H. Wise Professor of Preventive Medicine.

“Many of the things we are doing to improve the

Marie-Josée Kravis and Henry R. Kravis

Internal Medicine Associates is also part of the

care of patients right here in New York City are directly applicable to improving global health, and vice versa,” said Dr. Landrigan. “The world needs philanthropic leadership of this caliber to overcome the cultural and economic barriers that prevent underserved populations from practicing good health. We are profoundly grateful for Henry and MarieJosée Kravis’s support.”

Mr. and Mrs. Hess (above, center) surrounded by family, friends, fellow Trustees, and Mount Sinai leadership at the Hess Center opening in November.

Mount Sinai to Honor James and Merryl Tisch at End-of-Campaign Celebration Mount Sinai will honor Trustee James Tisch and his wife, Dr. Merryl Tisch, with the Noble Deeds Society award at a celebration of the successful conclusion of the Campaign for Mount Sinai. The event, to be held at The Plaza Hotel in October, will pay tribute to the Tisches’ generous support of Mount Sinai over nearly three decades and recognize the many leading donors to the Campaign. Mr. Tisch has served as chairman of the Campaign, which raised more than $1.3 billion in philanthropy, since 2008. “Jim and Merryl’s leadership has had an incalculable impact on our success. They were among the first to champion our bold vision for Mount Sinai’s future. Their generosity transformed The Campaign for Mount Sinai, setting the bar for unprecedented giving and inspiring Mount Sinai’s vast community of supporters to invest in our institution’s growth,” said President Kenneth L. Davis, MD. The Tisches have been dedicated members of the Mount Sinai community since the 1980s. Mr. Tisch became a Trustee in 1988; he and Dr. Tisch have built a lasting legacy at Mount Sinai through their transformational gift in 2008 to

create The Tisch Cancer Institute, now taking its place among the most dynamic, innovative hubs for cancer care and research and increasing its global stature. As founding co-chairs of the Children’s Center Foundation, the Tisches have also helped improve the caliber and breadth of pediatric services at Mount Sinai. “Jim and Merryl Tisch embody, in the best sense, the philanthropic tradition that has sustained Mount Sinai for one hundred and sixty years. Their generosity and foresight in establishing The Tisch Cancer Institute have made Mount Sinai an institution of choice for patients facing many of the most common cancer diagnoses,” said Peter W. May, Chairman of the Mount Sinai Boards of Trustees. Mr. and Dr. Tisch have deep roots in the illustrious Tisch family tradition of giving back to the community. In addition to Mount Sinai, they have championed numerous institutions throughout New York with unflagging advocacy and visionary philanthropy. As President and Chief Executive Officer of Loews Corporation, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Diamond Offshore Drilling,

Inc., and a member of the Board of Directors of CNA Financial Corporation and of Loews Corporation, Mr. Tisch leads one of the largest, most influential family businesses in corporate America. Dr. Tisch has built a successful, prominent career in public service. Currently, she serves as the first female Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents.




Celebrations Over the past several months, 22 events in New York City and Florida have drawn more than 2,000 guests. Here are some glimpses of how Mount Sinai continues to celebrate our community of dedicated, committed partners.

Greening Our Children When: May 20 WheRE: Hyatt Regency Greenwich, Old Greenwich, Connecticut WhO: Phillip Landrigan, MD, MSc, and Jessica Alba



Dubin Breast Center Second Annual Benefit When: December 10 WheRE: Mandarin Oriental, New York City Who: 1. Dean Dennis Charney, Eric M. Ruttenberg, Trustee, President Kenneth Davis, Janet Ruttenberg, Kathy Ruttenberg, Eva Andersson-Dubin, MD, Perri Peltz Ruttenberg. 2. Glenn Dubin, Trustee, Perri Peltz Ruttenberg, Eric Ruttenberg. 3. Elisa Port, MD, FACS, Eva Andersson-Dubin.


Meet the Directors of the Leon and Norma Hess Center for Science and Medicine When: April 10




WheRE: Leon and Norma Hess Center for Science and Medicine, New York City WhO: 1. Laurence Magro, Dr. Zahi Fayad, Director, Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute. 2. Susan Mirsky, Dr. Eric Nestler, Director of The Friedman Brain Institute, Nash Family Professor of Neuroscience.

A Prescription for Healthy Aging When: February 21 WheRE: The Brazilian Court, Palm Beach, Florida Who: 1. Maurice Deane, Barbara Deane. 2. Peter W. May, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and Leni May.

Honoring Richard and Susan Friedman 1


When: April 10 Where: Leon and Norma Hess Center for Science and Medicine, New York City Who: Richard Friedman, Trustee, and Susan Friedman

Dedication of The Steven and Alexandra Cohen Center for Labor and Birth

Children’s Health in the News

When: May 30 WheRE: Leon and Norma Hess Center for Science and Medicine, New York City Who: President Kenneth Davis and Alexandra Cohen

When: April 3 Where: 320 Park Avenue, New York City Who: Fabian Silverman, Suzanne B. Price, Jane Novick, Hillary Sherman

2013 Crystal Party When: May 2 WheRE: Central Park Conservatory Garden, New York City Who: 1. Marilyn Friedman and Thomas R. Block, Trustee. 2. Gail Golden Icahn and Carl Icahn, Trustees. 3. Christopher Williams, Trustee, and Janice S. Williams. 4. Eric S. Lane, Trustee and Sarah D. Lane.








Philanthropy at Work The Mindich Child Health and Development Institute Trustee Eric M. Mindich and his wife, Stacey, had one criterion for a leadership gift to Mount Sinai. “We wanted to give to something we feel passionate about, and children’s health galvanized us,” says Mrs. Mindich. The newly named Mindich Child Health and Development Institute (MCHDI), launched three years ago, is directed by Bruce Gelb, MD. “When it comes to children’s health, we should get people fired up about supporting the hospital’s needs, especially for our sickest kids,” says Dr. Gelb. “But we also want to convince people that it’s an important investment to conduct the kind of research that will ensure the kids aren’t there in the first place.” Eric Mindich is a Mount Sinai Trustee and the founder and CEO of Eton Park Capital Management, a successful investment management firm; Stacey Mindich is the producer of such Broadway hits as Annie and Lucky Guy. Over the years, the Mindich family—including their three sons, all born at Mount Sinai—has supported a variety of programs at the Medical Center, including The Zone, a recreational and educational space at Mount Sinai’s Kravis Children’s Hospital. Their oldest son, Russell, has become particularly involved, creating a program

Mount Sinai Science & Medicine / fall 2013

Is the mission something that we believe in and something that’s within reach? Is it part of an institution that’s a winning organization? Does it have the leadership to see that through? This institute met all three criteria and that’s what got us interested. Stacey Mindich: It was important to us that we could be believable in talking about the mission we’re supporting because we’d like to be able to bring other people to the table, and we’ve put a lot of thought into that strategy. We want to focus on the people who can collaborate and understand that the MCHDI’s vision is an investment in the future. Dr. Gelb: It’s been obvious to me in working with you that you’re committed to creating something enduring, and that extends to the way you’ve involved your children. Mr. Mindich: All of our children are excited about the idea of the MCHDI, realize that there’s a stewardship obligation, and have shown an interest in growing their “When it comes to children’s health, we involvement over time. should get people fired up about supporting Mrs. Mindich: Teaching our kids to appreciate the importance of philanthe hospital’s needs, especially for our thropy has been a priority for us. We’ve sickest kids.” – Bruce Gelb, MD been careful to find something that we can really get engaged in, because for The Zone’s in-hospital television network and we want them to learn that philanthropy is a helping to launch Surge, a magazine “written by core value, not a casual commitment. teenagers for teenagers” and produced by the Mr. Mindich: In any organization like this, Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department. it requires a lot more resources than just one Dr. Gelb and the Mindiches recently gift to fulfill the vision over a sustained period discussed building the MCHDI, philanthropy, of time. Bruce, what would be your perfect and children’s health. role for us? Bruce Gelb: What was it about our children’s Dr. Gelb: I see our relationship as a parthealth research that appealed to your philannership and a conversation. We launched the thropic interests? institute three years ago, and it’s still coming Eric Mindich: We’d been discussing for some together; so far, we’ve concentrated on recruiting time making a larger commitment, and as we faculty and doing basic infrastructure building. looked for the area where we could have an We have work to do to make it a substantive impact, we asked ourselves three questions. entity. That’s where our partnership with you


Stacey Mindich, Dr. Bruce Gelb, and Trustee Eric M. Mindich.

can be helpful. Both of you are people who have built things, and that skill set is something that can be applied to building the MCHDI into something that’s highly visible and credible, both internally and externally. Mrs. Mindich: Bruce, what’s your vision for the MCHDI? Where would you like it to be ten years from now? Dr. Gelb: We’re going to be broadening our mission around children’s health over time. We have made a significant investment in basic science research, and that will continue to be an important part of our work, but we’re going to expand our focus into bringing our findings out of the lab and into communities in terms of looking at outcomes and disparities in health. In ten years, I’d like the MCHDI to be a successful, self-sustaining, highly visible endeavor that’s on anyone’s short list of places where great research is being done in children’s health. Mrs. Mindich: That’s going to be a powerful message as we recruit philanthropic partners to join us in this endeavor, filled with promise and potential. Being there at the beginning is exciting. We’re going to travel a long road together and watch something grow.

Al Al

ALUMNI Medicine: The Galson Family Business During their time at Mount Sinai, Steven Galson MD,

found a Mount Sinai mentor of his own: Irving

ISMMS ’83 and Jessie Wolfe Galson PhD, ISMMS ’86

Selikoff, MD, the pioneering public health physician

each found not only a career path, but something

who first alerted the public to the link between

equally important: a life partner.

asbestos and mesothelioma.

Their choices have worked out very well. Dr. Galson,

“He was my strong supporter,” says Dr. Galson, “and

one of America’s leading public health physicians,

he helped me figure out how to pursue this career [in

served as acting Surgeon General in the Bush and

public health], which at that time wasn’t a very well-

Obama Administrations; Dr. Wolfe Galson has had a

appreciated area for medical students.”

successful career as a medical writer. And the couple

During his residency, he spent time in Dr. Selikoff’s

has raised three children, two of whom have followed

laboratory studying human immunodeficiency virus—

in their parents’ footsteps as Mount Sinai students.

soon to be known by its acronym, HIV—which had

Daughter Sophie, after graduating from the Icahn

only recently come to the attention of medical author-

School of Medicine in May, is embarking on a career

ities. “The excitement of being a ‘medical detective’

in emergency medicine, and son Victor is in the

really appealed to me,” he recalls. “That’s what got me

class of 2015.

to join the Centers for Disease Control [CDC] after I

“It’s kind of nice that both of them were interested

finished my residency.”

in the same profession as their parents,” Dr. Wolfe

While he worked at CDC, the Food and Drug

Galson says with a laugh, “because you know it

Administration, and other government agencies,

sometimes has the opposite effect—kids say, ‘I never

his wife was establishing herself as a writer in the

want to do what my dad or mom does.’”

pharmaceutical industry, working for such companies

The senior Galsons met at Mount Sinai through

as Marion Merrell Dow and Otsuka America

a mutual friend who knew they had one important

Pharmaceutical. In 2000, she founded the medical

thing in common: the ability to converse in both

writing department at Human Genome Sciences,

English and French.

located in the Washington, DC suburb of Rockville, MD.

Dr. Galson, a native of Syracuse, decided on a

From 2008-09, the couple were in the Washington

medical career in his senior year at SUNY Stony Brook,

spotlight when Dr. Galson served as acting Surgeon

after spending a semester working at a hospital in

General. (“I was like ‘the first lady of the public health

France—an experience, he says, that made him realize

service,’ ” Dr. Wolfe Galson jokes.) While serving in a

”The excitement  of being a ‘medical detective’ really appealed to me. That’s what got me to join the Centers for Disease Control [CDC] after I finished  my residency.” – Steven Galson, MD

The Doctors Galson hood daughter Sophie at the 2013 Icahn School of Medicine commencement.

“how much I really loved working with patients.” After studying for two years at a medical school in the city of Lille, he then transferred to Mount Sinai. His future wife also had a “French connection” in her background. Dr. Wolfe Galson was raised, along with her three brothers, in Paris before she returned to the US for undergraduate studies at the University of Chicago. Her choice of Mount Sinai was influenced by a family friend, Jack Peter Green, MD, the founder and longtime chair of the Department of Pharmacology. “He got me excited about the Mount Sinai program,” Dr. Wolfe Galson says. While Dr. Wolfe Galson was studying under Dr. Green for her PhD in pharmacology, her husband




position that has sometimes attracted strong controversy, Dr. Galson drew praise from both Republicans and Democrats for his professionalism and his efforts to raise public awareness on issues such as childhood obesity and underage drinking. For the past two and a half years, the Galsons have finally been able to work together—in the Southern California headquarters of biotech giant Amgen, where Dr. Galson is Vice President for Global Regulatory Affairs and his wife serves as Director of Regulatory Writing. They have watched with pride as their children have taken the first steps toward a medical career. Sophie is now a resident in emergency medicine at the University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson; Victor has not yet decided on a medical specialty. Their parents were happy to return to New York to attend Sophie’s graduation. ”As graduates of Mount Sinai, we both got to

From “Country Boy” to Surgeon and Educator

wear the Mount Sinai robes, and we escorted her,” says Dr. Wolfe Galson. “There’s a hooding ceremony where each medical student comes up and gets their diploma and a hood—and we ‘hooded’ her ourselves. It was really wonderful.” – Philip Berroll

Paul Cunningham, MD, ISMMS ’79, a native of Jamaica, had visited the United States several times during his childhood. But nothing had prepared him for the total-immersion experience of a medical student in New York City. “I grew up on an island 144 miles long and 54 miles wide, and I was a country boy, very unsophisticated,” he recalls. “And then I was transported into Manhattan, the most sophisticated, high-intensity outpost of American culture.

Mount Sinai Honors 2013 Jacobi Medallion Recipients

It was incredibly exciting, and also completely distracting. But I was there to learn, so I just took it one day at a time.” What Dr. Cunningham learned at Mount Sinai has served him well in a distinguished career as surgeon and educator. For the better part of three decades, he has taught at East Carolina University in North Carolina, where he currently serves as Dean and Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs at the University’s Brody School of Medicine while supervising residents at the school’s affiliated medical facility, Vidant Medical Center. Dr. Cunningham had dreamed of a career in surgery since early childhood; his role model, he says, was his family physician, who was also a surgeon. But he didn’t think seriously about studying medicine in the US until his senior year at

Mount Sinai Science & Medicine / fall 2013

the University of the West Indies in Kingston.


“One of my fellow seniors had gone to Mount Sinai for an externship in internal medicine,” he recalls, “and he said it was a fabulous facility where he’d had a very valuable, enjoyable experience. So I decided that I wanted to go there, too.”

One of Mount Sinai’s highest awards, the Jacobi Medallion, was presented in March 2013 to a distinguished group of recipients who have had a lasting impact on the institution (from left): Karen Zier, PhD; Michael L. Brodman, MD, ISMMS ’82; Wayne S. Fuchs, MD, ISMMS ’79 MSH ’83; Senior Vice Chairman of the Boards of Trustees Donald J. Gogel; Jeffrey S. Freed, MD, MSH ’76; and Lisa M. Satlin, MD.

At Mount Sinai, Dr. Cunningham studied under distinguished surgeons such as Drs. Isidore Kreel, Robert Paradny, Arthur Sicular and Edward Jemerin. But his greatest mentor, he says, was then-Surgery Chair Dr. Arthur Aufses, Jr. “He remains a legendary figure to me,” says Dr. Cunningham. “He was a ‘surgeon’s surgeon’ who commanded the utmost respect from everyone, because he had enormous compassion and a work ethic which was second to none. He taught me not only the art of surgery, but also how to deal with patients in the most professional manner—to treat each patient as an equal, to do the absolute

A Message from Jeffrey Laitman, PhD ”We need to teach our students to maintain professionalism amidst all the transformative changes taking place in medicine, and to not be distracted by enticements that are more business-related and less professional.” – Paul Cunningham, MD

best for each of them, regardless of who they were.” It wasn’t long before another change of scenery allowed Dr. Cunningham to fully practice what he had learned at Mount Sinai. Two years after graduation, he was working at Joint Diseases North General Hospital in Harlem (later known simply as North General Hospital) when he saw an intriguing want ad in a medical journal. “It said there was a need for a surgeon in Windsor, in a remote part of eastern North Carolina,” he recalls. “There was one aging surgeon serving a population of 10,000 people in the surrounding county. So I thought, why not go take a look? My wife and I flew down there on a four-seat plane provided by the town’s mayor—and I literally fell in love with the people, and decided that I could do more for them than anywhere else that I could imagine.” At Bertie Memorial Hospital in Windsor, Dr. Cunningham performed a wide variety of surgical tasks –from trauma surgery to delivering babies through C-section—while also

As my term as President has recently ended, I want to share the major items I‘ve learned—and especially one thread: Reverence for our home and excitement for our future. I am well aware of many of our accomplishments, legends, and recountings of “The Giants,” as my colleagues often called some of our past greats. I’ve also come closer to understanding the special bond that many have with Mount Sinai. Jeffrey Laitman is Past Born out of necessity, Mount Sinai was founded President of Mount Sinai for the castaways of society, outsiders, secondAlumni Association. class refugees who were not welcome—or cared for—elsewhere. From our beginning, we understood that, if our home was to continue, it had to be stronger than the forces around it; we had to see further and more clearly. Since 1977, when I came to Mount Sinai, and more recently as president of our alumni, I’ve had many instances both to learn and to reflect upon the accomplishments that were fostered here by our own: breakthroughs by insightful physicians who were scientists by night, by incomparable National Academy Members, and Nobel laureates, that led to more diseases being named after Mount Sinai physicians and scientists than at any other hospital. The recent challenges by President Davis and Dean Charney to bring forth a new era of “innovation” are appropriately rooted in the fertile soil of creativity that our forbearers began to till so lovingly in 1852. I’ve also learned that success and survival, now as in 1852, take money. Through the historical generosity of our Trustees the framework of our Medical Center is strong. Now it up to us to assure that the chain of goodness and the values we ascribe to will retain its strength forever. To dig deep, to give generously, is not a burden but a blessing. As our alumni have done since the founding of our “House of Noble Deeds,” we will provide the vision and support to keep the chain strong and enable the spirit of innovation that is part of our genetic blueprint to soar always.

serving as the local medical examiner. In addition, he taught part-time at the ECU medical school, which had opened only four years earlier. By 1984, he was a full-time faculty member; he became a professor of surgery in 1993 and chief of general surgery in 1999. After leaving Windsor to chair the Department of Surgery at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, Dr. Cunningham returned in 2008 to take his present position. “They had been struggling with leadership transitions,” he explains, “and thought that perhaps I’d developed some leadership skills in Syracuse that would help me serve the people of their region. I was intrigued by the responsibilities and decided to take the job.” Dr. Cunningham believes that present-day medical educators face challenges no less serious than in his student days at Mount Sinai. “We need to teach our students to maintain professionalism amidst all the transformative changes taking place in medicine, and to not be distracted by enticements that are more business-related and less professional,” he asserts, “so that they can move our profession forward in a meaningful way—a way

Greetings from the New Alumni Director I am thrilled to serve as the Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving. With more than 10 years experience in development and alumni work, I most recently held the position of Director of Development at The Aleph Society, an organization supporting the work of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz. Prior to that role, I worked with alumni from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. I am excited to grow and strengthen the alumni base in close collaboration with our development team. Sharon Meiri Fox, MPA, joined It is a true privilege to work with Mount Sinai Mount Sinai earlier this year. Alumni representing, not one, but two wonderful institutions: the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and The Mount Sinai Hospital. The degree of cutting-edge research, expertise and camaraderie among colleagues is truly astonishing and no doubt reflects its undisputable reputation. As alumni, you make up the foundation of our continued success and ongoing achievements. We would not be here today without you so please stay in touch and keep us informed of your most recent email address so we can do the same. We can be reached at, and we certainly want to hear from you.

that benefits the people whom we serve.” – Philip Berroll




A Connection That Stands the Test of Time


The pride of Mount Sinai came together at Reunion 2013 as more than 100 alumni gathered to reconnect, celebrate, and pay special tribute to the classes of 1973 and 1988 upon their 40th and 25th anniversaries. Held May 10 in the new, state-of-the-art Leon and Norma Hess Center for Science & Medicine, Reunion



2013 featured campus tours led by current students, the Mount Sinai Alumni Association’s annual Alumni Awards Ceremony, and a special cocktail reception and dinner at which alumni from the classes of 1973 and 1988 were the guests of honor. Graduates from those years recognized their milestone anniversaries by giving more than $40,000 to the Icahn School of Medicine’s scholarship fund; their gift was doubled through a generous match provided by President Kenneth L. Davis and Trustee Bonnie M. Davis, both ISMMS ’73. “Mount Sinai’s graduates are some of the most accomplished physician-scientists in the world,” said President Davis. “It is an honor to call them my fellow alumni.”

4 Pictured: 1. Members of the ISMMS class of 1973 celebrate with each other and their families. Sitting, from L: Justin Rispler, son of Jacob Rispler, MD; Ilene Steiman, Dr. Rispler’s wife; Dr. Rispler; and Jeremy Tortsveit, MD. Standing, from L: Dorothy Morrison, mother of Bonnie M. Davis, MD; Dr. Davis; Samuel Nussbaum, MD; President and CEO Kenneth L. Davis, MD; and Shawn Tortsveit, Dr. Tortsveit’s wife. 2. Trustee Jean C. Crystal, winner of the Alumni Association’s Dr. Sidney Grossman Distinguished Humanitarian Award, and Trustee James W. Crystal. 3. From L: Debra Wattenberg, MD, Julie Fox, MD, and Susan Drossman, MD, members of ISMMS Class of 1973. 4. Members of the ISMMS Class of 1988 and their families. Standing, from L: Marjorie Seidenfeld, MD; Mark Seidenfeld (husband of Marjorie); Jeffrey Erksine (husband of Pamela Marcus); Anthony Weiss, MD; Jeffrey Levine, MD, Steven Lev, MD, Nancy Basri (wife of Bill Basri), and Bill Basri, MD. Seated, from L: Pamela Marcus, MD, and Jill Baron, MD.

Mount Sinai Science & Medicine / fall 2013

Medicine is a calling. Scholarships are an answer.


With one of the lowest tuition rates of any top-ranked school in the country, Mount Sinai is committed to helping the next generation of physician leaders take on the medical challenges of tomorrow without taking on excessive debt. But with the cost of attending medical school rising every year, it is still a financial challenge for even the best students to pursue their dreams. Your support can be the difference. Please consider making a gift to scholarships at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

For more information, please contact: Lisa Harper Kennedy Director of Development and Alumni Relations 212.731.7492

continued from page 13


Recognition   Awards

Jeffrey Laitman, PhD, Distinguished Professor; Doctor of Medical Science (D. Med. Sc.) honoris causa, Medical College of Wisconsin; elected Fellow American Laryngological Association (Associate/Scientific Fellow Category, American Laryngological Association) Gary Butts, MD, Professor; appointed to the NYS Council of Graduate Medical Education, Council of Graduate Medical Education; appointed co-chair of the newly established Mount Sinai Diversity Council in 2012

Samuel Bronfman Department of Medicine

Donald Gardnier, DNP, FNP-BC, Assistant Professor; awarded NP/PA Clinical Hepatology Fellowship, American Association for the Study of Liver Disease; appointed to Board of Directors, American Association of Nurse Practitioners; appointed to Hepatology Association Committee, American Association for the Study of Liver Disease; awarded Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing Alumni Award for Outstanding Clinical Competence, Case Western Reserve University Eliza B. Geer, MD, Assistant Professor, Medicine and Neurosurgery; awarded Endocrine Society Presidential Poster Award, Endocrine Society; awarded The Mount Sinai Medical Center Dr. Harold and Golden Lamport Research Award for Research, The Mount Sinai Medical Center Charles Gerson, MD, PhD, Clinical Professor; appointed Fulbright Specialist, Fulbright Scholar Program; awarded Rome Foundation Fellow, Rome Foundation

Ashish Atreja, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor; fellow, Rome Foundation; Career Development Award, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America; member, Executive Board, Center for GI Innovation and Technology, American Gastroenterological Association; web-editor, American Gastroenterological Association

Susana Gonzalez, MD, Assistant Professor; awarded American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy the 2013 Cook Medical Don Wilson Award

Zachary T. Bloomgarden, MD, MACE, Clinical Professor; awarded Master of the American College of Endocrinology, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists

Joseph Kannry, MD, Associate Professor; awarded Mentored Cancer Prevention, Control, Behavioral Sciences, and Population Sciences Career Development Award, National Cancer Institute

Christoph Buettner, MD, Associate Professor; Outstanding Scientific Abstract, Endocrine Society (abstract will be included in the Guidelines for Writing Scientific Abstracts) Lawrence B. Cohen, MD, Clinical Professor; elected chair, Standards of Practice and Publication Committee, World Endoscopy Organization Stephanie Factor, PhD, Assistant Professor; inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society, Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society Gerald Friedman, MD, PhD, Clinical Professor; Guest Editor, Gastroenterology Clinics of North America; member of NIH Working Group on Further Directions for Medical and Other Health Professionals Nutrition Education, Training and Research, National Institute of Health Christopher DiMaio, MD, Assistant Professor; elected Membership Chairman, Executive Council of the New York Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Emily Gallagher, MD, Assistant Professor; poster presentation, American Diabetes Association

John Ci-jiang He, MD, Professor; President, Chinese American Society of Nephrology

Michelle Kim, MD, MSc, Assistant Professor Department of Gastroenterology; Inducted as an American Gastroenterological Association Fellow; appointed President of New York Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Asher Kornbluth, MD, Clinical Professor, Department of Gastroenterology, Co-Director of first annual Mount Sinai—Hadassah Inflammatory Bowel Disease course in Eilat, Israel; Co-Director of 2nd Annual “Great Debates and Updates in IBD” course in San Francisco Rauf Latif, MD, Assistant Professor; Endo 2013 Oral Presentation, Endocrine Society Mikyung Lee, MD, Assistant Professor; appointed Faculty Member, Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, Lambda Chapter; awarded Teaching Excellence Award and Solomon Berson Award, Department of Medicine, The Mount Sinai Medical Center Staci Leisman, MD, Assistant Professor; Student Council’s Edward J. Ronan Award, Icahn School of Medicine

David DeLaet, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor; awarded fellowship, American College of Physicians and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Derek LeRoth, MD, PhD, Professor; awarded Distinction in Endocrinology Award, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists Jenny Lin, MD, Associate Professor; Mentored Cancer Prevention, Control, Behavioral Sciences, and Population Sciences Career Development Award, National Cancer Institute Aimee Lucas, MD, Assistant Professor; awarded KL2 Translational Research Faculty Scholar award Luz Amarilis Lugo, MD, Assistant Professor; awarded 2013 Latin Trendsetter, Latin Trends Magazine Richard MacKay, MD, Assistant Professor; awarded Fellow of the American College of Physicians, American College of Physicians James Marion, MD, AGAF, Associate Clinical Professor; President, Charaka Club; Physician of the Year, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America Jeffry I. Mechanick, MD, Clinical Professor; appointed President-Elect (2013-2014) American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists; appointed Lead Editor (2013-2015), President’s Council on Fitness Sports and Nutrition-Research Digest; appointed Chair, Transcultural Diabetes Nutrition Algorithm, Core International Committee Adolfo García-Ocaña, PhD, Professor; Editorial Board of American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism, American Physiological Society Grishma Parikh, MD, Assistant Professor; Poster presentation, “A Case of Ketoacidosis in Pregnancy”, Endocrine Society Elliot J. Rayfield, MD, Clinical Professor, Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Bone Disease; member, Annual Steering Committee, Endocrine Society Rajeev Rohatgi, MD, Associate Professor; 2012 Renal Paper of the Year, “Flow-induced prostaglandin E2 release regulates Na and K transport in the collecting duct,” AJP Gina Sam, MD, Assistant Professor; elected to the Executive Council of the New York Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy as Committee Member, NYSGE Membership Committee




Recognition   Awards

Xiaoming Yin, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor; presented at ENDO 2013, Endocrine Society

Department of Microbiology Bruce Sands, MD, MS, Professor; Thirteenth Annual Burton A. Shatz Visiting Professor, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO; Chairman, International Organization for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IOIBD) Donald A. Smith, MD, MPH, Associate Professor, member of Mount Sinai Heart; appointed to Board of Directors, National Lipid Association; appointed Associate Editor, Journal of Clinical Lipidology, National Lipid Association Brijen Shah, MD, Assistant Professor Department of Gastroenterology; 2013 Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award; 2012 Department of Medicine General Teaching Excellence Award Theresa Soriano, MD, MPH, Associate Professor; awarded Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Early Career Physician Award for Palliative Care Leadership, Hastings Center and Cunniff-Dixon Foundation; awarded Cornell University College of Human Ecology Recent Alumni Achievement Award, Cornell University Yaron Tomer, MD, Professor; elected member, Interurban Clinical Club Eva Waite, MD, Assistant Professor; awarded fellowship, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Mount Sinai Science & Medicine / fall 2013

Richard Warner, MD, Professor; awarded Abramson Cancer Center, Penn Medicine: Focus on Neuroendocrine Tumors Distinguisher Partner in Hope Award; elected to Scientific Advisors Board of The Sandler-Kenner Foundation; Appointed Advisor to the Editors of the Journal of Clinical Oncology


Jerome Waye, MD, Professor; appointed President of the World Endoscopy Organization; awarded Mount Sinai Alumni Outstanding Teaching Award, Mount Sinai Medical Center; awarded Hippocrates Award for presenting a paper in Athens, Greece; Visiting Professor, Panama Society for Gastroenterology; honored by Wong-Tang Fellowship in Advanced Endoscopy at Mount Sinai Medical Center Robert Yanagisawa, MD, Associate Professor; awarded Clinical Professorship of Medicine, Tohoku University, Japan; awarded Department of Medicine Teaching Award for 2012 Best Grand Rounds Award, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Benjamin tenOever, PhD, Fishberg Professor of Medicine; Palmenberg Award, American Society of Virology Peter Palese, PhD, Horace W. Goldsmith Professor and Chair; Sanofi–Institut Pasteur Award for Biomedical Research, Sanofi–Institut Pasteur; member, Institute of Medicine of the National Academies

Estelle and Daniel Maggin Department of Neurology Steven Frucht, MD, Professor; named Associate Editor, Movement Disorder Journal; Leadership Award, Dystonia Medical Research Foundation Fred Lublin, MD, Saunders Family Professor; elected Chairman, Clinical Advisory Committee, National Multiple Sclerosis Society/Southern New York Chapter; Co-Chief Editor, Multiple Sclerosis and Related Diseases; William S. Fields Lecturer and visiting professor, University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston, December 14, 2012 Aaron Miller, MD, Professor; elected Secretary, American Academy of Neurology Rajeev Motiwala, MD, Assistant Professor; A. B. Baker certificate for excellence in Neurologic Education, American Academy of Neurology Warren Olanow, MD, Professor; Henry P. and Georgette Goldschmidt Professor; Honorary FRCP, Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom; Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Movement Disorders; Keynote Speaker, Japanese Neurological Society Meeting Pullani Shashidharan, PhD, Associate Professor; named Regional Editor of Central Nervous System Agents in Medicinal Chemistry David Simpson MD, FAAN, Professor; Best Doctors, Castle Connolly, New York Metro Area, Best Doctors in America Kristina Simonya, MD, Assistant Professor; Award of Merit for Contribution to Neuroscience and Psychiatry, St. John’s College Coro Paisan-Ruiz, MD, Assistant Professor; 2012 Lucien Côté Early Investigator Award in Clinical Genetics, Parkinson’s disease Foundation Janet C. Rucker, MD, Associate Professor; elected Chair, Neuro-Ophthalmology and Neuro-Otology Section, American Academy of Neurology

Ruth Walker, MD, PhD, Associate Professor; Associate Editor, Tremor and other hyperkinetic movement Zhenyu Yue, PhD, Associate Professor, Appointed Director for Basic and Translational Research in Movement Disorders; a regular member of NIH/ NINDS study section CMND

Department of Nursing Carol Porter, DNP, RN, FAAN, Edgar M. Cullman, Sr. Chair of Department of Nursing, Chief Nursing Officer, Senior Vice President for the Mount Sinai Medical Center Associate Dean of Nursing Research and Education; Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, American Academy of Nurses Janet Johnson, MA, ACNP, ANP-BC, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Mount Sinai Heart, Cardiology ADS Service; Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, American Association of Nurse Practitioners Dianne LaPointe Rudow, DNP, Associate Professor; Keynote Speaker, University of Alabama Joint Doctor of Nursing Practice Intensive; awarded 2013 Clinical of Distinction Award, American Society of Transplantation

Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences Michael Brodman, MD, professor and Chair; 2012 Saul Horowitz, Jr. Memorial Award, The Mount Sinai Hospital; 2013 Jacobi Medallion Award, The Mount Sinai Hospital Katherine Chen, MD, Associate Professor; keynote speaker, “Interactive Techniques for Teaching the Millennial Learner”, 2012 Institute of Medicine Faculty Development Seminar, Icahn School of Medicine Nimesh Nagarsheth, MD, Associate Professor; Purple Passion Prize, National Award by Foundation for Women’s Cancer

Department of Ophthalmology Tamiesha Frempong, MD, Assistant Professor; member, Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society Naomi Goldberg, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor; presented Diagnostic Challenges in Uveitis and the Role of Ancillary Testing and Imaging, Women in Ophthalmology, New York Chapter

Carlo Iomini, PhD, Assistant Professor, 2012 Speaker, “Cornea, Biology and Pathobiology”, Gordon Research Conference, Ventura, CA Douglas A. Jabs, MD, MBA, Chairman and Professor; 1st Annual A.E. Finely Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC; 29th Annual Marion K. Humphries Jr., MD Lecture, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA Edward Raab, MD, Professor; appointed to Board of Governors and Advisory Council, American College of Surgery Janet Rucker, MD, Assistant Professor; appointed Chair, Nuero-Ophthalmology and Neuro-Otology Section, American Academy of Neurology

Leni and Peter W. May Department of Orthopaedics Andrew C. Hecht, MD, Assistant Professor; NFL Brain and Spine Committee, National Football League James Iatridis, PhD, Professor; Chair, Skeletal Biology and Structural Regeneration (SBSR) Study Section, National Institute of Health (two year appointment); guest faculty, the Anatomical Society Summer Meeting in Dublin, Ireland

Department of Otolaryngology Anthony Reino, MD, Associate Professor; Physician of the Year, James J. Peters VA Medical Center

R. Sean Morrison, MD, Herman Merkin Professor and Director; Distinguished Achievement Award, American Cancer Society; Excellence Award in Scientific Research in Palliative Care, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine; Presidential Citation, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine Albert L. Siu, MD, MSPH, Professor and Chair; Circle of Life Award, Department of Emergency Medicine, the Mount Sinai Medical Center

Jack and Lucy Clark Department of Pediatrics Corinne Benchimol, MD, assistant Professor; NY “Superdoctors” list,; Top Pediatric Nephrologists, US News & World Report Angela Diaz, MD, Professor; Legacy Award, San Ysidro Health Center; New York “SuperDoctor”,; Best Doctor in Adolescent Health, Castle Connelly Anne Nucci-Sack, MD, assistant professor; Best Doctor in Adolescent Health, Castle Connelly Jessica Reid-Adam, PhD, Assistant Professor; awarded a KL-1 research grant, Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), Mount Sinai Medical Center Jeffrey Saland, MD, Associate Professor; New York “Superdoctors” list,; Top Pediatric Nephrologists, US News & World Report

Helen M. Fernandez, MD, MPH, Associate Professor; outstanding Mid-Career Clinical Teacher of the Year Award, American Geriatrics Society

Lisa Satlin, MD, Chair and Herbert H. Lehman Professor; Castle Connolly list of Best Doctors for the region; J. Lester Gabrilove Award, Mount Sinai Medical Center; Hans Ussing Lecturer, Annual Meeting of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology 2013; Jacobi Medallion recipient, Icahn School of Medicine

Reena Karani, MD, FACP, Associate Professor; Scholarship in Medical Education Award, the Society of General Internal Medicine

Annemarie Stroustrup, MD, Assistant Professor; member, Society for Pediatric Research; member, Perinatal Research Society

Amy Kelley, MD, MSHS, Assistant Professor; Outstanding Junior Investigator of the Year Award, the American Geriatrics Society

Dorothy H. and Lewis Rosenstiel Department of Pharmacology

Lilian and Benjamin Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute

Leslie Libow, MD, CMD, Professor; James Pattee Award for Excellence in Education, the American Medical Directors Association Diane E. Meier, MD, FACP, Catherine Gaisman Professor of Medical Ethics; Medal of Honor for Cancer Control, the American Cancer Society; Edward Henderson Award, the American Geriatrics Society

Lakshmi A. Devi, PhD, Professor; National Institute for Health Merit Award, 2012-2022, National Institute for Health; Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science; keynote speaker, 2012 Postdoctoral Scientist Award Symposium, Neuropharmacology Division, American Society for Pharmacology Experimental Therapeutics

Francesco Ramirez, PhD, Dr. Amy and James Elster professor; 2012 fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Department of Preventive Medicine Nils Henning, MD, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor; Award for Outstanding Service in the International Community, Mount Sinai Auxiliary Board and the Young Women’s Division; symposium speaker “Making the Leap: From Training to a Career in Global Health”, The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygine (ASTMH) Annual Meeting; keynote speaker at the International Health and Development Conference, Cornell University Emily Senay, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor; first place National Headliner Award, PBS news magazine Need to Know Susan Teitelbaum, PhD, Assistant Professor; keynote speaker, “Looking Upstream for Environmental Links to Breast Cancer”, Cincinnati Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP) at Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati

Department of Psychiatry Cindy J. Aaronson, PhD, Assistant Clinical Professor; member, Board of Directors of Anxiety and Depression Association of America Schahram Akbarian, MD, PhD, Professor; Eva King Killam Research Award of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP); Distinguished Investigator Award, Brain Behavior Research Foundation (BBRF) Sam Gandy, MD, PhD, Professor; Chairman, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund International Stem Cell Consortium Rita Z. Goldstein, PhD, Professor; Joel Elkes Research Award, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) Marianne Goodman, MD, Assistant Professor; Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 3 Directors’ Award for provision of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy to clinicians across the VISN Wayne Goodman, MD, Professor and Chair; Career Achievement Award from the International OCD Foundation; Elected to the Scientific Council of Anxiety and Depression Association of America




Recognition   Awards Hirofumi Morishita, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor; 2012 Travel Award, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology; 2013 Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award, March of Dimes Larry Siever, MD, Professor; Invited Plenary Speaker at: IASR 2013 World Congress on Suicide (June 2013); XIIIth International Congress on the Disorders of Personality (ISSPD) (Sept 2013) James Strain, MD, Professor; Master Teacher Award, Institute of Medical Education

Department of Radiology Burton P. Drayer, MD, Dr. Charles M. and Marilyn Newman Professor of Radiology; appointed to Board of Chancellors, American College of Radiology; appointed Board Member and Treasurer, Radiology Society of North America, Research and Education Foundation Lale Kostakoglu, MD, Professor; Honored Educator Award, Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Thomas Naidich, MD, Professor; named Honorary Founding Member and Invited Lecturer, Opening Session of Inaugural Meeting, Russian Society of Neuroradiology Moscow, Russia; appointed consultant Neuroradiologist, New York State Krabbe Consortium William Simpson, MD, Associate Professor; appointed Chairman, Radiology Section, The New York Academy of Medicine

Mount Sinai Science & Medicine / fall 2013

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine


Joshua B. Cantor, PhD, ABPP, Associate Professor; member, Board of Governors of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine; Chair-elect, Brain Injury Special Interests Group of American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine; Associate Editor, Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation Wayne Gordon, PhD, Jack Nash professor; Gold Key Award, American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine Kristjan T. Ragnarsson, MD, Lucy G. Moses Professor and Chairman, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine; president, Foundation for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation;

Board Member and immediate Past President, Association of Academic Physiatrists; recipient of “The Excellence Award” by the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals; named G. Heiner Sell Distinguished lecturer 2013, the American Spinal Injury Association

Fellow; Charter Member, NIH Center of Scientific Review Clinical Molecular Imaging and Probe Development Study Section

Ruth J. Maxwell Hauser and Harriet and Arthur H. Aufses, Jr., MD Department of Surgery

Michael J. Droller, MD, Katherine and Clifford Goldsmith Professor; visiting professor, Department of Urology, University of California, San Francisco; visiting professor and Battert Lecturer, Department of Urology, Ohio State University; guest speaker, Urologic Journal Editors Meeting, Hefei China; guest speaker, Department of Urology Medical Center, University of Santiago Medical Center, Santiago, Chile

Joel J. Bauer, MD, Clinical Professor; keynote speaker, Joint Meeting of Israel Society of Colorectal Surgery and the Israel Society of Minimally Invasive Surgery Celia M. Divino, MD, Professor; keynote speaker, National Leadership Institute, Student National Medical Association (SNMA) Neil A. Halpern, MD, Associate Clinical Professor; Roger C Bone Memorial Lecture in Critical Care, American College of Chest Physicians Thomas M. Heimann, MD, Professor; New York State Chair, Area B, Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons William B. Inabnet, III, MD, Professor; Chair of the Fellowship Accreditation Committee, Chair of the Collaborative Endocrine Surgery Quality Improvement Program (CESQIP) Committee, American Association of Endocrine Surgeons (AAES); Chair, Standards Committee , the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program, American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery; Chair of the Executive Committee for VideoBased Education, American College of Surgeons; Arthur M. Shipley Award, 124th Annual Southern Surgical Association Session; fellow, American Surgical Association at the 133rd Annual Meeting; keynote speaker: America Thyroid Association, 82nd Annual Meeting; Argentina Congress of Surgery, 83rd Annual Meeting; Southern Surgical Association; The 4th Annual International Consensus Summit for Sleeve Gastroectomy (ICSSG-4) Lester Silver, MD, Professor; President’s Award, American Society of Plastic Surgeons; Honorary Fellow, West African College of Surgeons

Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute Zahi Fayad, PhD, Director; Henry I Russek Distinguished Lecturer, 45th Anniversary of the American College of Cardiology Foundation New York Cardiovascular Symposium; International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine

Milton and Carroll Petrie Department of Urology

Grace Hyun, MD, Assistant Professor; 2012-2013 Leadership Program, American Urological Association; member, Urology Committee, New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) Michael Palese, MD, Associate Professor; invited speaker, Department of Spiritual Care and Community Education; 2013 grant committee member, National Medical Research Council, Ministry of Health for Singapore; grand rounds speaker; Urology Grand Rounds of Beth Israel Medical Center; invited speaker and panel member, the New York Section of the American Urological Association, Taormina Sicily; invited speaker, Intensive Update with Board Review in Geriatric and Palliative Medicine: 2012 Continuing Medical Education Course, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; moderator, multidisciplinary Minimally Invasive Surgery, Minimally Invasive Robotic Association (MIRA) & Society of Robotic Surgery (SRS) Joint Annual Meeting, Society of Laproendoscopic Surgeons; 2013 Superdoctors, Superdoctors of New York, New York Times; 2013 Patient Choice Award, Jeffrey Stock, MD, Associate Professor; Blue Ribbon, the Institute for Medical Education (IME), Icahn School of Medicine

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Mount Sinai Science & Medicine Fall 2013  
Mount Sinai Science & Medicine Fall 2013  

Fall 2013: Redefining Innovation Mount Sinai is firing up discovery and creating solutions.