A New Era for Biomedical Education, Research

Mount Sinai’s leadership in biomedical research and patient care, together with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s expertise in engineering and invention prototyping, form the foundation for a new academic affiliation agreement between the two institutions. The agreement signals a new era of biomedical discovery and entrepreneurship for the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Rensselaer.

The partnership, commemorated at a signing ceremony on Wednesday, May 22, promotes collaboration in educational programs and research, with the ultimate goal of developing innovative diagnostic tools and treatments for patients around the world.

Mount Sinai and Rensselaer plan to develop complementary research programs in neuroscience and neurological diseases, genomics, imaging, orthopaedics, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and scientific and clinical targets. The agreement also promotes joint funding in research programs, in areas such as precision medicine, drug discovery, stem cell biology, robotics and robotic surgery, novel imaging techniques, cellular engineering, and computational neurobiology.

“With fierce competition for federal research funding, and with the pharmaceutical industry looking for academic partnerships, institutions with complementary strengths can most effectively advance biomedical research,” says Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, The Mount Sinai Medical Center. “Both institutions are committed to a culture of innovation in research and education, and we look forward to working with Rensselaer to help provide the blueprint for discoveries that will lead to better treatments and novel methods of health care delivery.”

Shirley Ann Jackson, PhD, President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, adds: “Combining Mount Sinai’s leadership in biomedical research and patient care—with Rensselaer’s breakthrough research in biotechnology and interdisciplinary studies, rooted in our leadership in science, engineering, and technological entrepreneurship—we expect this agreement to result in radical innovations in health care. At Rensselaer, we have a very simple motto that is nonetheless breathtaking in its audacity: ‘Why not change the world?’ Mount Sinai and Rensselaer are now taking a significant step toward revolutionizing education, research, and practice in the field of medicine—and ultimately, improving human health around the globe.” Rensselaer, located in Troy, New York, is the nation’s oldest technological research university.

Among the many collaborative projects outlined, the institutions plan to develop novel neuroimaging techniques and neurotechnologies to better understand and treat neurological disorders. “Neuroscientists and engineers will work together to identify shortcomings in imaging, develop new diagnostic tools, and even treatment tools, such as a system for helping paralyzed people walk and manipulate their environment with the assistance of robotics,” says John Morrison, PhD, Mount Sinai’s Dean of Basic Sciences and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Also planned is the creation of the Mount Sinai and Rensselaer Collaborative Center for Biomedical Research Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which will join with Mount Sinai’s Center for Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship to  transition research breakthroughs from the laboratory, to patent, and eventually to the marketplace.

“Mount Sinai will benefit greatly from Rensselaer’s expertise in prototyping, engineering know-how, and intellectual property development, and Rensselaer from Mount Sinai’s leadership in biomedical research,” says Scott L. Friedman, MD, Dean for Therapeutic Discovery at Mount Sinai. “This synergistic relationship will propel both institutions to the forefront of therapeutic discovery and development.”

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