GUT-BRAIN connection: Exploring the role of Microbiome in Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis is an inflammatory demyelinating disorder of the Central Nervous System of debated etiology. While there is general consensus regarding the role of an active immune system in myelin destruction, the questions related to the initial events triggering immune system involvement remain unanswered and the identity of disease course modifiers is only partially understood. Epidemiological studies have suggested the possibility that disease onset and course are the result of an interaction between genetic susceptibility and environmental factors, though much remains to be learned about the identity of the environmental factors and whether they can be modified.  Among the proposed variables affecting MS are geographic location, smoking, vitamin D levels and the much debated diet and infections.

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Introducing the Neuroscience Training Program

Mount Sinai’s Neuroscience Training Program offers predoctoral students an exciting and distinctive curriculum taught by a nationally and internationally recognized faculty, and a laboratory experience that builds on groundbreaking, cutting edge expertise in basic and translational neuroscience across a wide range of psychiatric and neurological disorders. A student’s training experience uniquely interfaces basic research within a clinical context by virtue of the close apposition of basic and clinical research and clinical treatment programs at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Mount Sinai Hospital. Indeed, all graduate students take a class in clinical neuroscience where they meet patients with brain diseases.

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Kravis Children’s Hospital Earns New Ranking

Kravis Children’s Hospital at Mount Sinai is now ranked in 7 of the 10 specialties measured by U.S. News & World Report in its 2013-14 “Best Children’s Hospital” annual guidebook, moving up from six specialties last year. Significantly, Mount Sinai is also ranked as the No . 2 pediatric center in New York City, and is tied for No . 2 in the New York City metropolitan area out of the nine ranked children’s hospitals.

The seven specialties are: diabetes & endocrinology (No . 25), gastroenterology & GI surgery (No . 25),
nephrology (No . 26), urology (No . 28), pulmonology (No . 36), cancer (No . 46), and cardiology & heart surgery (No . 50). Read more

Two Legendary Mentors are Honored

Two legendary mentors at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Arthur H. Aufses Jr., MD, and Nathan Kase, MD, were honored in May by Mount Sinai’s Institute for Medical Education (IME) with Annual Excellence in Teaching Awards that bear their names.

Dr. Aufses and Dr. Kase were cited by IME’s leaders for their legacy to medical education. Dr. Aufses, Professor of Surgery, and Health, Evidence and Policy, retired as Chairman of the Department of Surgery in 1996. Dr. Kase, Dean Emeritus, and Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science, and Medicine, served as Dean of the Medical School from 1985 through 1998.

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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.

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New Discoveries in Head and Neck Cancers

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.

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First Generation Scholars

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.

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Medical Students Celebrate Match Day

This year’s Match Day event—held Friday, March 15, in the Annenberg West Lobby—reflected the accomplishments of the Class of 2013, with well more than half of 139 students at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai matching to residency programs at the nation’s top 20 academic medical centers.

Thirty-six students will be starting residencies at medical centers that include Massachusetts General Hospital; Yale-New Haven Hospital; Johns Hopkins University Hospital; Duke University Medical Center; Vanderbilt University Medical Center; Stanford University Medical Center; and the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center.

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Leadership in Scientific Education

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.

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Icahn School of Medicine Restructures Admissions Criteria

At a time of unprecedented advancements in technology and science, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has taken a bold step in restructuring its medical school admissions criteria to attract gifted medical students from a wide range of backgrounds through its new FlexMed program, which is the first of its kind in the nation.

Starting next fall, half of each medical school class will be guaranteed early acceptance to Mount Sinai during the sophomore year of college without having to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), or a traditional premed course load, under the school’s new FlexMed program. The students will come from majors as diverse as computational science and engineering, the social sciences, and genetics and molecular and cell biology.

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