Shutting down inflammation within the body, and then harnessing the immune system to recognize and destroy cancer cells, could provide the one-two punch needed to effectively treat head and neck cancers, according to researchers at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Research into the pivotal role played by the inflammatory molecule inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in promoting cancer growth and immune evasion is being led by Andrew G. Sikora, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor and Director of Head and Neck Translational Research in the Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery.
In 2008, a first-year medical student named Jennifer Ling developed a program called the First Generation College Application Essay Writing and Scholarship Program, under the sponsorship of Students for Equal Opportunity in Medicine (SEOM). There were six students in the program, all of whom enrolled seeking help with their college application essays.
Three years later, Jennifer’s program merged with the Mount Sinai Scholars Program, a tutoring program originally sponsored by Mount Sinai’s Department of Health Education. The combined program was renamed the First Generation Scholars Program, and continues as an SEOM-sponsored program. Since then, the program has grown to include more than sixty students and mentors.
According to the CDC, all “Baby Boomers” should get tested for hepatitis C. This is based only on age and for this recommendation Baby Boomers are defined as those born between 1945 and 1965
Hepatitis C (HCV) is a viral infection of the liver that can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer, liver transplant, and death. It has been found to be very common in this age group, and, as they age, the consequences of the infection can be more severe and be irreversible before there are any symptoms at all!
The CDC also recommends that people who test positive for HCV be counseled about alcohol intake and referred to a liver disease specialist, who is familiar with the treatments available. This is particularly important now for several reasons.
The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences has been training many of our nation’s finest scientists for more than four decades and inspiring them to translate their discoveries into effective treatments for human diseases.
Today, Mount Sinai is a leader in bringing “big data” to biomedical sciences, both in our laboratories and in our classrooms. By connecting with the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology, the Graduate School has developed innovative courses that teach students how to use the new frontier of computational genomics in the laboratory setting. Many of our most devastating diseases are due to complex changes in our genes and how they interact with our environment. Our students learn how to embrace this complexity.
Ramon E. Parsons, MD, PhD, a highly acclaimed researcher in cancer genetics, has joined Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai as the Ward-Coleman Chair in Cancer, and Chair of the Department of Oncological Sciences.
Dr. Parsons succeeds Stuart Aaronson, MD, Jack and Jane B. Aron Professor, whose significant discoveries in molecular oncology include identifying the first normal function of an oncogene, and its role in growth factor signaling. Dr. Aaronson has been appointed Founding Chair Emeritus of the Department of Oncological Sciences, and will continue to lead his highly funded laboratory at Mount Sinai.
In a phase I clinical trial, physicians at The Mount Sinai Medical Center have identified the first drug that appears to stop the progression of myelofibrosis, a life-threatening blood cancer. The investigators found that, at low-doses, panobinostat (LBH589) successfully halted and reversed damage to the blood and bone marrow in several of the forty patients enrolled in the trial. Panobinostat, manufactured by Novartis, is a histone deacetylase inhibitor that affects the chromatin structure of malignant cells.
The study, led by Ronald Hoffman, MD, Albert A. and Vera G. List Professor of Medicine, and Director of the Myeloproliferative Disorders Research Program, and John O. Mascarenhas, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Medical Oncology), was published online in the January 21, 2013, issue of the British Journal of Haematology.
Roger J. Hajjar, MD, a pioneering Mount Sinai researcher who has published cutting-edge studies on heart failure, has been named the recipient of the 2013 BCVS Distinguished Achievement Award by the American Heart Association and the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences. Dr. Hajjar, who is The Arthur and Janet C. Ross Professor of Medicine and Director of The Helmsley Trust Translational Research Center, will be honored at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions Annual Conference later this year.
“Dr. Hajjar will receive the award for his groundbreaking contributions to developing gene therapy treatments for cardiac disease,” says Joshua Hare, MD, who is President-elect of the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences. He will also be recognized for his work on behalf of the Council.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has found that 1 in 88 people are affected by autism spectrum disorders (ASD), a disorder four times more common in boys than in girls. At the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment, we are dedicated to discovering the biological causes of ASD and developing breakthrough treatments. Through molecular genetics, model systems, and experimental therapeutics, we strive to translate scientific research into optimal community care.
Our understanding of the genetic basis of autism and related conditions has changed recently. Based on discoveries made by large genetic consortia including the Autism Sequencing Consortium (ASC) which we lead, we now know that autism can be conceived of as having multiple independent causes, where in many cases the cause can be largely attributed to a specific genetic mutation. The ASC expects to identify half of all ASD genes in the next several years, leading to better diagnosis and treatment.
Marijuana (Cannabis sativa) is the illicit drug most commonly used by teenagers in the United States. Although cannabis is not as addictive as other substances, such as heroin and cocaine, cannabis-dependent individuals still greatly outnumber those reporting dependence on other illicit drugs and the number of people seeking treatment for cannabis dependence continues to increase yearly. Despite these facts, there is a growing perception, particularly in adolescents and young adults, that cannabis is ‘harmless’ and there is currently much debate as to whether cannabis should be legalized. Unfortunately, most of the discussion and policies being made regarding cannabis have been done without significant consideration of scientific data. Our studies directly address the question regarding the long-term impact on the brain as a consequence of cannabis exposure during adolescence, a period of dynamic brain development.
Is it possible to rapidly elevate the depressed mood? This has been a pressing question over the past 50 years because classic antidepressants, such as Prozac, are known to take weeks to reach clinical efficacy; combining medications to enhance antidepressant outcomes may take even longer, generally months. Mount Sinai has put forth enormous efforts to develop rapid treatments for major depressive disorder. Currently, ketamine treatment and deep brain stimulation are being investigated in clinical research and trials for treatment-resistant depressed patients at Mount Sinai.
Mount Sinai faculty has also been dedicated to the discovery of novel antidepressant treatments. As a faculty member in the Department of Pharmacology & Systems Therapeutics, as well as the Department of Neuroscience and Friedman Brain Institute, I am one of the neuroscientists working to reveal new drug and brain stimulation targets in animal models for the rapid treatment of depression.