Nutrition and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

ilana kersch headshot

Guest post by Ilana Kersch, MS RD CDN, Senior Dietitian at the Mount Sinai Hospital.  Ilana works as part of the inpatient liver transplant team in conjunction with the Recanati Miller Transplant Institute, and provides nutrition care for patients pre- and post-hepatobiliary surgery.

In recent decades, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become an important cause of liver disease in the US due to its association with rising prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes.  It is estimated that approximately 30% of the US population now has some degree of non-alcoholic fatty liver, and ~2- 5% of the population have fatty liver which has progressed to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).  If untreated, NAFLD and NASH can progress to liver cirrhosis and malignancy, and is quickly becoming a major indication for listing for liver transplant. Read more

Researchers Discover New Clues in the Development of Transplantable Stem Cells for Blood Disorders

Kateri Moore, DVM, left, with graduate students Andreia Gomes and Jeffrey Bernitz

Kateri Moore, DVM, left, with graduate students Andreia Gomes and Jeffrey Bernitz

For scientists who study stem cells, the ability to produce hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) in the lab and then transplant them into patients with blood disorders has been a long-sought-after goal. Recently, the field took a step closer to that milestone when researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai identified cells in the embryos and placentas of mice that are actually precursors to HSPCs. Hematopoiesis is the daily process by which the human body generates all of the different types of cells found in the blood and immunological system. Read more

Physical Fitness in Late Adolescence May Reduce The Risk of Developing Adult-Onset Diabetes

Casey Crump, MD, PhD

Casey Crump, MD, PhD

Physical fitness in late adolescence may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life, according to a new study from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai that appeared online in the March 8, 2016, issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researchers—led by Casey Crump, MD, PhD, Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai—evaluated data on the aerobic capacity of 1.5 million males who were military conscripts in Sweden between 1969 and 1997. The scientists then compared the men’s aerobic capacity to their medical diagnoses that were made between 1987 and 2012, when the men were a maximum age of 62. Read more


socialmedia-alysiaphotoGuest post by Alysia Johansson MS RD CDN, Clinical Nutrition Coordinator at The Mount Sinai Hospital. Alysia has been at Mount Sinai since 2011 where she works as part of the interdisciplinary Cardiothoracic ICU team. Alysia also coordinates malnutrition efforts for the Clinical Nutrition Department and will be presenting at an upcoming conference on April 21 2016 at The Mount Sinai Hospital, Malnutrition: Implementing Strategies for Medical Nutrition Therapy.

Malnutrition has been recognized as a problem in hospitalized patients for over 40 years. Malnutrition is any disorder of nutrition resulting from unbalanced or insufficient diet, increased needs, or impaired absorption, utilization, or excretion of nutrients – all in the presence or absence of inflammation. Malnutrition contributes to a multitude of poor patient outcomes including decreased function and quality of life, decreased wound healing, anemia, increased risk of infection, increased risk for developing pressure ulcers, increased risk of surgical complications, increased mortality, increased frequency of hospital admissions and increased length of hospital stay. Aside from being detrimental to care, all of these outcomes lead to higher healthcare costs. For these reasons, it is imperative that clinicians be aware of the signs of malnutrition, and take proper measures to enhance the nutritional status of their patients.  Read more

Attacking Two Targets in Multiple Myeloma

Attacking Two Targets in Multiple Myeloma

Investigators, from left, Samir Parekh, MD; and Deepak Perumal, PhD

Research into a novel treatment that could help extend the lives of patients with multiple myeloma—a disease in which cancerous blood cells proliferate in the bone marrow—is being advanced by scientists at The Tisch Cancer Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who recently identified a new drug target called ARK5.

The Mount Sinai scientists discovered that when ARK5 is targeted simultaneously with CDK4, a pathway widely known to have a role in inhibiting multiple myeloma, the results were extremely effective in causing cell death. Their findings were published in the March 15, 2016, issue of the journal Cancer Research. Read more

A New Data-Sharing Platform Developed at Mount Sinai Promises to Advance Digital Health Care


Ashish Atreja, MD, MPH, center, with Bruce Darrow, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) and Chief Medical Information Officer, Mount Sinai Health System, left, and Jagat Narula, MD, PhD, Associate Dean for Global Affairs, the Philip J. and Harriet L. Goodhart Professor of Medicine, and editorial board member of Mount Sinai’s upcoming Journal of Digital Medicine Evidence.

A new knowledge and data-sharing platform created by researchers at the Mount Sinai Health System is designed to help physicians weed through the thousands of mobile health apps that enter the market each year and identify the ones that successfully improve patient health. Called NODE Health (Network of Digital Evidence in Health), the platform was created by researchers at Mount Sinai’s AppLab, which is led by Ashish Atreja, MD, MPH, Chief Technology Innovation and Engagement Officer in the Department of Medicine, and Assistant Professor of Medicine (Gastroenterology). will provide physicians and other health care providers with an evidence-based review process and data-sharing network that is similar to, enabling them to compare studies from around the world to find the health care apps that work best for their specialized needs. Read more

New Technology That Serves as an Artificial Pancreas Is Revolutionizing the Management of Type 1 Diabetes

New Technology That Serves as an Artificial Pancreas Is Revolutionizing the Management of Type 1 Diabetes

The AP (Artificial Pancreas) system runs an algorithm on a smartphone that communicates with an insulin pump and an implanted glucose sensor.

Research under way at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is revolutionizing the management of type 1 diabetes by using novel technology that serves as an artificial pancreas and automatically enables patients to achieve more stable glucose levels 24 hours a day.

Led by Carol Levy, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine (Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Disease), the Icahn School of Medicine is one of nine U.S. and European sites participating in the research, and sharing a $12.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Levy is one of the study’s lead investigators. Read more

Breaking New Ground in Multiple Sclerosis Research

Researchers at Mount Sinai’s Corinne Goldsmith Dickinson Center for Multiple Sclerosis played a key role in developing a potential breakthrough treatment for progressive multiple sclerosis (MS), according to findings that were presented in October 2015 at the meeting of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in MS in Barcelona, Spain. The Center also recently received funding to lead a new international coalition tasked with developing a strategy for diagnosing progressive MS earlier. Both efforts further strengthen Mount Sinai’s reputation as a worldwide leader in MS research. Read more

Big Data Tools Help Decipher Disease Progression

Big Data Tools Help Decipher Disease Progression

The MEGENA tool has 3D spheres that help uncover precise network clusters associated with disease progression.

Two new Big Data analysis tools that help pinpoint specific genes that are actively involved in disease progression were recently made available to the public by scientists in the Multiscale Network Modeling Laboratory at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

The team, led by Bin Zhang, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences, published the pair of algorithm-based tools online in November 2015 in PLoS Computational Biology and in Scientific Reports, a Nature publication. The open-source tools are available to all researchers who wish to gain a better understanding of disease mechanisms in order to develop more effective drugs and create individualized treatments. Read more

Genetic Testing Under Way in Connecticut

Genetic Testing Under Way in Connecticut

In Mount Sinai’s Branford, Connecticut, laboratory, Research Associate Courtney Pietropaolo prepares DNA samples for sequencing.

In its first full year of operation, the Mount Sinai Genetic Testing Laboratory in Branford, Connecticut, has become an integral part of the Mount Sinai Health System’s efforts to better diagnose and treat disease.

The 16,400-square-foot facility, located 85 miles from New York City, has the high-throughput equipment to sequence thousands of samples monthly to uncover variations in DNA that code for Alzheimer’s and coronary disease, and cancer, among other diseases. Read more