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

Mount Sinai Introduces New Genetic Screening Tests

The Mount Sinai Genetic Testing Laboratory’s Executive Director, Lisa Edelmann, PhD, left, and Director, Ruth Kornreich, PhD

The Mount Sinai Genetic Testing Laboratory’s Executive Director, Lisa Edelmann, PhD, left, and Director, Ruth Kornreich, PhD

The Mount Sinai Genetic Testing Laboratory in January introduced a new panel of comprehensive pan-ethnic carrier screening tests for 281 genetic disorders, the largest currently available. Mount Sinai’s NextStep Carrier Screening also includes the most comprehensive panel of tests for 96 diseases found in the Ashkenazi Jewish population and is the first of its kind to address the largely overlooked needs of the Sephardi and Mizrahi Jewish populations.

“Building on years of in-house genetic research and technology adaptation in our clinical laboratory, we created tests that not only expand the number of diseases screened, but also increase the breadth of coverage, to improve carrier detection rates and provide more accurate residual risk estimates to patients,” says Lisa Edelmann, PhD, Executive Director of the Mount Sinai Genetic Testing Laboratory within the Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences. 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

New Chairs for Orthopaedics and Neurology

Leesa M. Galatz, MD

Leesa M. Galatz, MD

Two renowned physicians and researchers—Leesa M. Galatz, MD, and Barbara G. Vickrey, MD, MPH—recently became the Mount Sinai Health System Chair of Orthopaedics, and Neurology, respectively, at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Galatz was recruited from Washington University in St. Louis, where she was a Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Chief of the Shoulder and Elbow Service. Dr. Vickrey had served for 25 years on the faculty of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she was Professor of Neurology. Read more

Use of Big Data Leads to Discovery in Diabetes

Joel Dudley, PhDAfter carefully analyzing the electronic health records (EHRs) of 11,000 patients, investigators at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have discovered three potential new subtypes of type 2 diabetes.

The discovery, led by Joel Dudley, PhD, Director of Biomedical Informatics at the Icahn School of Medicine, highlights the power of new technology and the promise of precision medicine, as the Mount Sinai Health System ushers in the use of Big Data in discovering, treating, and preventing disease. The results of the study were published in Science Translational Medicine in October, 2015. Read more

Update on Bias and Racism

David Muller, MD

David Muller, MD

Thank you to all who participated in the recent Town Hall and small group meetings. You’ve helped us better define our goals and contributed excellent suggestions, many of which are being incorporated into the interventions we plan to implement. I want to start this update with a statement of purpose that will continue to be refined over time, will help us clarify our vision and focus our efforts.

“Our goal is to undo racism in all its forms at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. For the past year this has been among our highest priorities and it will remain so for the foreseeable future.”

Read more

Herminia Palacio ’87, MD, MPH Appointed NYC’s Deputy Mayor for Health & Human Services

Herminia Palacio ’87, MD, MPH

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has appointed Dr. Herminia Palacio as the city’s new deputy mayor for health and human services, filling a post that has been vacant since the end of September 2015. Palacio will oversee several key city departments, including the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, NYC Health + Hospitals, the Human Resources Administration and the Department of Homeless Services, among others. Read more

National Recognition for Autism Researcher

National Recognition for Autism Researcher

Joseph D. Buxbaum, PhD

Joseph D. Buxbaum, PhD, a pioneering researcher in the field of autism, recently was elected to the National Academy of Medicine, considered one of the highest honors in medicine. New members are elected annually by current active members through a selective process that recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to advance medical sciences, health care, and public health.

A world-renowned molecular geneticist and neurobiologist, Dr. Buxbaum is Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Psychiatry, and Director of the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He is also Professor of Neuroscience, and Genetics and Genomic Sciences, and the G. Harold and Leila Y. Mathers Research Professor of Geriatrics and Adult Development. Read more

Researchers Honored at First Mount Sinai Innovations Awards Ceremony

Researchers Honored at First Mount Sinai Innovations Awards Ceremony

Presenters and recipients of the Mount Sinai Innovations Awards gathered at the ceremony to celebrate scientific achievements made at Mount Sinai.

Sixteen physicians, scientists, and students were honored for their creativity and biomedical discoveries at the first annual Mount Sinai Innovations Awards Ceremony, held on the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai campus.

“We are building a culture that encourages and supports innovation in medicine, and there is no better way to show how much we value this and spur more innovation than formally recognizing investigators for their outstanding work,” said Scott Friedman, MD, who opened the Awards Ceremony on Monday, October 26. “This culture will benefit our patients and the Mount Sinai Health System.” Read more

Enhancing the Understanding Of Spirituality and Health

Enhancing the Understanding Of Spirituality and Health

Leaders of the Center for Spirituality and Health, in front of the “Tree of Blessings,” which holds patient-written prayers

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has created a new Center for Spirituality and Health that will develop clinical, educational, and research activities to enhance the understanding of the role spirituality plays in the prevention of, and recovery from, illness. The Center, which is an outgrowth of the Mount Sinai Health System Department of Spiritual Care and Education, will also lead a variety of initiatives that support religious expression, promote mutual respect, and encourage open dialogue. Read more