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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Farewell to a Legend – Levy Library Honors Dr. Carol Porter: Part 2

Carol Porter, DNP, RN, FAAN

Chief Nursing Officer / Senior Vice President

Edgar M. Cullman, Sr. Chair of the Department of Nursing

Associate Dean of Nursing Research and Education

Mount Sinai Hospital, NYC

  1. What were your main priorities when you became the Chief Nursing Officer and Chair of Nursing especially in the areas of quality and patient safety?

In January 2005 I was appointed as the Chief Nursing Officer of Mount Sinai Hospital. I brought my strong background of clinical operations, quality and interdisciplinary collaboration to this position. My focus was to improve the quality of patient care, nursing practice and to promote the profession of nursing at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Improvements are accomplished and sustained by interdisciplinary teams from the clinical frontline up. Having learned this in my career I started my CNO position spending time on every patient unit/service finding out what worked well and what the challenges were that needed my focus and support. I asked a very important question over and over – “tell me what you have identified as an issue or have asked for over the past 5-10 years even if you have never got this approved”.  I found if I did not make it clear that I welcomed hearing about the long term requests as well as the current requests I may miss an opportunity for improvement.

In fact my “M.O.” has always been that “I want to hear everything from the small issues to the large ones” and which gives me the opportunity to be of assistance.

My reputation grew as a “go to” person who focused on improvements.

From the beginning I worked through my Nursing Leadership team and front line nursing staff to make improvements in nursing practice, patient care delivery and to support a safe and positive nursing practice environment that supports excellent patient care. I also focused on promoting professionalism in nursing and have mentored numerous nurses on their journey to become expert nurses and nursing leaders. I wanted frontline nurses and advanced practice nurses to reflect on the importance of their work and the impact that they have on a patient and their family during all aspects of life.

I have a true open door policy and have always been very approachable at any time. I am accessible to anyone that needs my assistance. I have been known on many occasions to redirect my day dependent on an urgent request from a colleague.

Building trust based on honesty and transparency creates a spirit that supports wanting to know the true issues that get in the way of excellent patient care and nursing practice. I have been able to assist in numerous instances to improve quality and patient safety through the identification of issues by frontline staff and clinical leadership.

Nurses are an integral part of all quality and safety improvements that are achieved. They are a profession that is consistently interacting with the patients and families which gives them an opportunity to make a significant impact on improvements in care and safety.

  1. What do you think are your major accomplishments in these areas?

We have made significant improvements in the quality of patient care delivery through promoting the interdisciplinary team model. Bringing interdisciplinary teams together to work on identifying issues and working on improvements is a comprehensive approach and draws strength from multiple perspectives and expertise from the teams.

We have developed a practice environment that empowers nurses to take charge of their nursing practice and strive to achieve higher professional goals. We celebrate their professional achievements and contributions to the profession of nursing.  We promote ongoing education and professional development for nursing staff and have been able to sustain a nursing workforce where over 78% have BSN and higher degrees in Nursing. The literature points to higher quality and safety in patient care when the nursing workforce has a BSN or higher degree in nursing.

We developed the MSH Center for Nursing Research and Education (CNRE) into a recognized entity and have held numerous ongoing programs to address the educational needs of the nurses. In 2008 we established our Global Nursing Leadership Academy (GNLA) as part of the CNRE. We have had over 230 nursing leaders from many countries around the world participate in an immersion experience with our nursing teams. We have found that the exchange of information between the MSH nurses and the international nurses is rewarding for all parties involved.

We have been fortunate to move nursing forward professionally as evidenced by sustaining our ANCC Magnet Program Designation from 2004 thru 2018. I have also represented Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai Queens Nurses on a national and global level and we have made a significant mark in the profession.

I became the inaugural Edgar M. Cullman, Sr Chair of the Department of Nursing which was endowed by the Cullman family and established in 2010. The convocation was a great day for MSH Nursing. I became the first Chair of Nursing at MSH and during the Convocation ceremony in 2010 I represented every current nurse at Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai Queens as well as paving the path for future Chairs of Nursing at MSH.

  1. What personal experience has inspired you professionally?

I have had many inspirational moments with patients as well as with nurses.

I am humbled by the ability of nurses to make such a significant impact on the well- being of patients and families. Conveying kindness, caring and safety is what nurses do so well. Nurses are able to add the human face to caring. They recognize and take actions to ensure that patients are treated with dignity and respect and honor special requests that have a real impact on the well-being of the patient and family.

  1. In your opinion what is the biggest opportunity you see for nurses in research?

Nurses are involved in many aspects of research as primary investigators,   co-investigators, members of research teams and primary nurses caring for patients involved in research protocols.  Nurses are important members of research teams in translational research and clinical trials.

Nurses as partners in research add a comprehensive dimension to studies. Nurse researchers are sought after for their expertise and value to research teams. Chief Nursing Officers should ensure that they encourage and support the important role that nurses have in research.

Farewell to a Legend – Levy Library Honors Dr. Carol Porter: Part 1

Today marks nursing leader Dr. Carol Porter’s last day at the Mount Sinai Health System. In keeping with the 2016 Levy Library Year of the Nurse campaign and to honor her significant contribution to the Mount Sinai community, we present a two part blog post featuring Dr. Porter. Part 1 explores her numerous career achievements at Mount Sinai and beyond. Part 2 is an interview in which Dr Porter discusses the challenges and rewards she has experienced over the course of her incredible career.

Carol, here’s to you!

Carol Porter, DNP, RN, FAAN

Chief Nursing Officer / Senior Vice President

Edgar M. Cullman, Sr. Chair of the Department of Nursing

Associate Dean of Nursing Research and Education

Carol Porter Head Shot 2015

Dr. Porter is the inaugural Edgar M. Cullman, Sr. Chair of the Department of Nursing.  She has had a major impact in fostering the professional growth of our Department of Nursing as evidenced by sustaining our American Nurses Credentialing Center Nursing Magnet-designated status continuously since 2004.

In 2006, Dr. Porter was appointed as the Chief Nursing Officer at MSH and in 2009 she also assumed responsibility for nursing practice in the Department of Nursing at Mount Sinai Queens (MSQ). The culmination of this partnership resulted in a first Magnet designation for MSQ as a component of the third Magnet designation for MSH in 2014. This achievement reflected tremendous gains in nursing practice and quality at MSQ under Dr. Porter’s leadership.

As the Associate Dean for Nursing Research and Education and the Director of the Center for Nursing Research and Education (CNRE), she has developed and shaped our Global Nursing Leadership Academy.  The Academy has become a destination partnership for over 230 nursing leaders worldwide, managing our ongoing international nursing relationships and programs for nursing leadership.

Dr. Porter has academic appointments at the University of Hong Kong, Tung Wah College, the Institute of Advanced Nursing Studies in Hong Kong, and at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. She is a Wharton Nurse Executive Fellow, a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and a graduate of the International Council of Nurses Global Nursing Leadership Institute in Geneva. Dr. Porter is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nurses and a member of the Academy’s Expert Panel for Building Health Care System Excellence.

Focused on innovative approaches to improving patient experience, Dr. Porter led the implementation of Relationship Centered Care at both The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai Queens. With the creation of the Mount Sinai Health System, Dr. Porter was appointed in 2013 as the Chair of the Nursing Quality Leadership Council, unifying all nurse executives and focusing on patient care and improving nursing outcomes.

In addition to her numerous leadership roles and accomplishments, Dr. Porter remains intimately involved with critical issues in nursing through her own research, which focuses on the effect of collaborative partnerships between clinical nurses and management on nurse satisfaction, turnover and nursing practice.  Carol has focused on teamwork among all staff to enhance our provision of quality patient care in a positive work environment.

Dr. Porter earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice from Case Western Reserve University and her Master’s in Public Administration- Health Administration from Rutgers University.  She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from William Paterson University.

Article Spotlight: Getting to Know Altmetrics

By Barnaby Nicolas, MSIS

Altmetrics is a term you’ve probably heard of, but what does it really mean?  Altmetrics is an emerging category of impact measurement premised upon the value of “alternative metrics”. They are useful supplementary measures of impact, best used in tandem with traditional measures like citation counts. In short, Altmetrics is all about illustrating the full impact of a scientific work.

PlumX , is a tool that gives researchers and institutions a more complete view of the impact of their publications by harvesting and aggregating altmetrics data in five major categories: usage, captures, mentions, social media, and citations.

In our monthly “Article Spotlight” series, we will take 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. Paolo Boffetta, MD, MPH, Associate Director for Population Sciences of The Tisch Cancer Institute and Chief of the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control of the Department of Oncological Sciences.  He is also the Bluhdorn Professor of International Community Medicine.

Citation: Etemadi A, Kamangar F, Islami F, Abney C, Malekzadeh R, Brennan P, Boffetta P, et al. Mortality and cancer in relation to ABO blood group phenotypes in the Golestan Cohort Study. BMC Med. 2015;13:8.

Article Summary: This large cohort study investigates the association between blood group alleles and disease incidence.


BACKGROUND: A few studies have shown an association between blood group alleles and vascular disease, including atherosclerosis, which is thought to be due to the higher level of von Willebrand factor in these individuals and the association of blood group locus variants with plasma lipid levels. No large population-based study has explored this association with overall and cause-specific mortality. METHODS: We aimed to study the association between ABO blood groups and overall and cause-specific mortality in the Golestan Cohort Study. In this cohort, 50,045 people 40- to 70-years old were recruited between 2004 and 2008, and followed annually to capture all incident cancers and deaths due to any cause. We used Cox regression models adjusted for age, sex, smoking, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, place of residence, education and opium use. RESULTS: During a total of 346,708 person-years of follow-up (mean duration 6.9 years), 3,623 cohort participants died. Non-O blood groups were associated with significantly increased total mortality (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.09; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.01 to 1.17) and cardiovascular disease mortality (HR = 1.15; 95% CI: 1.03 to 1.27). Blood group was not significantly associated with overall cancer mortality, but people with group A, group B, and all non-O blood groups combined had increased risk of incident gastric cancer. In a subgroup of cohort participants, we also showed higher plasma total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in those with blood group A. CONCLUSIONS: Non-O blood groups have an increased mortality, particularly due to cardiovascular diseases, which may be due to the effect of blood group alleles on blood biochemistry or their effect on von Willebrand factor and factor VIII levels.

URL to this article on PlumX

Learn more about Dr. Boffetta’s Profile

Learn more about PlumX at Mount Sinai

Welcome to our new Mount Sinai Beth Israel Librarian, Linda Paulls

Levy Library is pleased to introduce our new medical librarian at Mount Sinai Beth Israel!  Linda Paulls comes to us with many years of experience in hospital and medical libraries including at St. Vincent’s, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where she was most recently the Access Services Librarian.  A longtime Manhattan resident, she earned her undergraduate degree from New York University and her MS in Library and Information Science from Pratt Institute.

Linda Pauls

In her role as medical librarian, she most enjoys helping clinicians find resources to improve patient care and support clinical decision-making.  Linda states: “I really enjoy supporting  a hospital community!”

Her immediate plans for the Seymour J Phillips Health Science Library at MSBI include: designing new quiet study and research areas in the physical library space, launching expanded research services such as expert literature searching consults, and partnering with MSBI faculty and staff on evidence based medicine educational initiatives.  Please join us in welcoming Linda to Mount Sinai Beth Israel! Linda can be reached at

Levy Library Information & Education Forum

Save the date, Tuesday, March 8th, for the first ever Levy Library Information & Education Forum. The forum will take place between 9:00am-2:00pm in the Guggenheim Atrium (1468 Madison Avenue). Visit to learn more about library resources and services, plus mobile apps for clinical decision support, bioinformatics tools, and much more.

Levy Library Info & Education Forum Spring 2016

Check out our forum video on YouTube!

Contact with any questions.