Accelerating Innovation and Discovery in the Biomedical Sciences

The Mount Sinai Medical Center is continuing its tradition of fostering breakthrough biomedical discoveries by nurturing a new breed of scientists. These scientists, both faculty and students, are exceptional men and women who have committed themselves to furthering medical science through innovation and are driving translational medicine using new tools, models, and approaches.

I am delighted to be part of this vision, which, combined with Mount Sinai’s history of world-class biomedical research, is now drawing students and faculty from quantitative sciences such as engineering and computer science, as well as other non-traditional backgrounds, to join in the process of creating new technologies for the prevention and treatment of human disease. For example, our recent academic affiliation with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, pools our expertise in biomedical research and patient care with Rensselaer’s talent in engineering and computational science. This unique partnership offers tremendous possibilities as it will enhance the infrastructure needed for translationally-focused faculty and students to develop novel biomedical technologies.

The Center for Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship (cTIE)

The affiliation will benefit cTIE, which I am the founding director of, and which was developed based on my experience interacting with a wide range of scientists in the start-up world, as well as with graduate students in founding and directing the Science and Economics Program at Rockefeller University. The Center is organized around three critical areas:  teaching students how to think about science through solving problems; supporting faculty to develop new technologies by providing clear, milestone-driven frameworks; and exploring the economics of biomedical innovation.

Design, Technology, and Entrepreneurship (DTE)

To train translational basic scientists, cTIE and the Graduate School are launching DTE, a multidisciplinary training area focused on the discovery, design, development and delivery of technology-based solutions to biomedical problems. Students will receive problem-based training in biological sciences, engineering, and social sciences relevant to technology development. Graduates will enter their chosen field, whether academic medicine, biotechnology, or government service, with the technical expertise and practical experience needed to drive novel science from original biologic insight through commercial development.

In addition, cTIE has created the 4D Technology Development Network that includes programs to engage faculty and post-doctoral fellows at every level of the technology-development process, from idea generation through product development and launch. It will also help develop a Mount Sinai-Rensselaer Collaborative Center for Research Innovation and Entrepreneurship to create research breakthroughs and accelerate their progression from the lab to the market.

Supercomputing

Mount Sinai is also investing heavily in the infrastructure needed to develop novel science into applied solutions. Last year, the school launched Minerva, one of the largest supercomputer clusters in academic medicine, and it continues to finance core facilities such as the Experimental Therapeutics Institute,  critical for making progress in drug development.

As we invent new diagnostics, therapies, and technologies, medicine will become more precise.  Doctors will identify risk factors that can predict disease, and administer the best treatments possible for each patient. We know innovation holds the key to solving many medical problems, but it is vital that we conduct research at a scale to help patients and at one we can afford. If, for example, we can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease by five years, we would save Medicare some $111 billion over 10 years, and greatly improve millions of lives.  This is the type of impact we are seeking.

Geoffrey W. Smith, J.D.
Founding Director, the Center for Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (cTIE)
Professor, Department of Health Evidence and Policy, Icahn School of Medicine

 

 

 

 

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