Article in the Spotlight

By Barnaby Nicolas, MSIS

In our monthly “Article Spotlight” series, we’re taking a closer look at highly cited articles by Mount Sinai faculty and researchers using PlumX to determine their altmetric impact. This month, we’re looking at a multi-author article with contributions by Dr. Eric Schadt, PhD, Director of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology, Chair of the Department of Genetics and Genomics Sciences, and the Jean C. and James W. Crystal Professor of Genomics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Dr. Ruth Loos, PhD, Professor of Preventive Medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Director of the Genetics of Obesity and Related Metabolic Traits Program in the Charles R. Bronfman Institute of Personalized Medicine.

Citation: Locke AE, Kahali B, Berndt SI, Justice AE, Schadt, EE, Loos, RJ, et al. Genetic studies of body mass index yield new insights for obesity biology. Nature. 2015;518(7538):197-206.

Article Summary: This is the largest Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) meta-analysis for BMI.

genetic studies

BACKGROUND: Obesity is heritable and predisposes to many diseases. To understand the genetic basis of obesity better, here we conduct a genome-wide association study and Metabochip meta-analysis of body mass index (BMI), a measure commonly used to define obesity and assess adiposity, in up to 339,224 individuals. This analysis identifies 97 BMI-associated loci (P < 5 × 10−8), 56 of which are novel. Five loci demonstrate clear evidence of several independent association signals, and many loci have significant effects on other metabolic phenotypes. The 97 loci account for ~2.7% of BMI variation, and genome-wide estimates suggest that common variation accounts for >20% of BMI variation. Pathway analyses provide strong support for a role of the central nervous system in obesity susceptibility and implicate new genes and pathways, including those related to synaptic function, glutamate signalling, insulin secretion/action, energy metabolism, lipid biology and adipogenesis.

Citation: Locke AE, Kahali B, Berndt SI, Justice AE, Schadt, EE, Loos, RJ, et al. Genetic studies of body mass index yield new insights for obesity biology. Nature. 2015;518(7538):197-206.

URL to this article on PlumX

Dr. Schadt’s profile

Dr. Loos’ profile

Academic Medical Illustrators Participate in the Art of the Brain Exhibition

Members of the Icahn School of Medicine’s Academic Medical Illustration Department are honored to be included in the Art of the Brain exhibition, currently on display at the Grady Alexis Gallery in Manhattan.


ISMMS Medical Illustrators Christopher Smith, MA (left) and Jill Gregory, MFA (right)

Organized by The Friedman Brain Institute, the Art of the Brain showcases photographs and illustrations that celebrate the beauty of the brain as seen through the eyes of some of the world’s leading researchers and medical illustrators.

With the aid of the latest technological advances, as symbolized by these images, scientists are better able to understand how the brain works and accelerates the development of new treatments for many brain disorders including Alzheimer’s Disease, Autism, Drug Addiction, Schizophrenia and Parkinson’s Disease.


Figure 1 – Illustration of a pituitary tumor by Jill Gregory, MFA and developing brain in an embryo by Christopher Smith, MA

The Grady Alexis Gallery is located at 215 East 99th Street and is open 10-6 Monday through Thursday, 12-4 on Friday and 10-1 on Saturday. The Art of the Brain exhibition is on display from March 14-19, 2016.

For more information about commissioning custom illustrations or animations from the Academic Medical Illustration department, please visit or contact AMI’s Manager, Jill Gregory, at

For more information on The Friedman Brain Institute and Brain Awareness Week events, please visit

Need Help Improving Your BLAST® Search? Bioinformatics Support Services Coming Soon to Levy Library!

Last week Levy Librarian Rachel Pinotti, MLIS traveled to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland to attend a course offered by the National Center for Bioinformatics (NCBI) called A Librarian’s Guide to NCBI.  The course was designed to help librarians learn to use several databases administered by NCBI including Nucleotide, Gene, Protein, Structures, dbSNP, and MedGen.  The course also covered use of NCBI tools such as BLAST® and Cn3D.  Through lectures, demonstrations and exercises, the class learned the purpose of these important resources, how to use them, and how to assist and support users of these tools at their institution.

LibsGuide to NCBI 2

The week-long course wrapped up with a tour of the National Library of Medicine, including the library’s impressive Rare Books and Special Collections room which contains such gems as Dr. Marshall Nirenberg’s Nobel Prize and a first edition copy of the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin.


Says Rachel, “I came out of the course with a clear understanding of the central dogma of molecular biology and of how to utilize sequence data databases.  Search techniques needed in these databases is quite different than searching traditional literature databases such as PubMed.  I am excited to develop services to support basic and translation scientists here at ISMMS improve their search capabilities and make more meaningful use of the incredible tools offered by the National Center for Bioinformatics.  The quality and quantity of sequence and variation data accessible through these tools is really quite amazing.”

Rachel can help with improving your BLAST® search and can help you navigate through a GenBank flat file or Gene record. She can be reached at

LibsGuide to NCBI 1

Levy Library Education & Information Forum Wrap Up

By Robin O’Hanlon, MIS

Thanks to everyone for making the first ever Levy Library Education & Information Forum a great success. The event took place on Tuesday, March 8th in the Mount Sinai Hospital Guggenheim Atrium. Our visitors learned about library resources and services and gave us valuable feedback about how we can better serve the Mount Sinai community. Medical Illustrators Chris Smith and Jill Gregory and representatives from the Masters in Healthcare Delivery Leadership program also participated in the Forum. We also offered attendees a booklet featuring our Women in STEM interview series in celebration of International Women’s Day.

We’ll see you all next year!

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