Happy Birthday Minerva!

A year ago, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) took a giant step toward tackling some of the most difficult questions in science and launched a new era in scientific computing by building and operating “Minerva,” an on-site supercomputer for genomics and other basic sciences. In that short time, Minerva has helped ISMMS scientists analyze major diseases such as cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s with more precision, and it has also brought the medical world closer to developing more effective drugs and obtaining more accurate pathology results.

Driving Personalized Cancer Therapy

Eric Schadt, PhD, Professor and Chair for Genetics and Genomic Sciences and Director of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology, and his team rank as Minerva’s biggest users. With their research studies offering novel insights into the evolution and signaling of different cancers, they have discovered a vast diversity in most tumors, a diversity that may continue to increase as the tumors mutate to evade treatment. This information has led them to understand that, although analyzing genetic data is vital to delivering the right treatment for a patient’s cancer, it is not the only piece of the puzzle.

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Exploring the Future of Medicine

Cancer biology and immunotherapy, the future of psychiatry, the direction of medical education, and the importance of advance directives were among the topics Kenneth L. Davis, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Mount Sinai Medical Center, discussed at an Aspen Ideas Festival preview event held recently at The Studio Museum in Harlem.

The talk, titled “The Future of Medicine,” was a prelude to a larger discussion in which he will participate at the Aspen Ideas Festival in June. Corby Kummer, Senior Editor of The Atlantic magazine interviewed Dr. Davis for 20 minutes before inviting questions from the audience of about 75 invited guests. The event also featured Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum, who was interviewed by the actor and writer Anna Deveare Smith.

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