Stuart C. Sealfon, MD, Receives NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Award

Stuart C. Sealfon, MD, Chairman of the Department of Neurology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, receives the Distinguished Investigator Grant Award.

New York, NY
 – May 14, 2010 /Press Release/  –– 

Stuart C. Sealfon, MD, Glickenhaus Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, is the recipient of the prestigious Distinguished Investigator Grant Award from the Brain and Behavior Research Fund, which is known by the acronym NARSAD. Dr. Sealfon has been honored with the grant to support his research on the mechanism of action behind antipsychotic medications.

An international leader in the research of cellular and chemical reactions in the brain and systems biology, Dr. Sealfon plans to study a novel receptor complex consisting of receptors for dopamine and serotonin as a potential target for antipsychotic medications. Using cell lines and animal models, Dr. Sealfon will study the function of this receptor complex. In addition to elucidating how antipsychotic medications work on the receptor complex, Dr. Sealfon hopes the research will explain how problems with these receptors occur in schizophrenia.

“I am honored to be recognized by such a prestigious organization for the work I am doing in schizophrenia,” said Dr. Sealfon. “With NARSAD’s support, we hope to make much-needed progress in finding new drug targets and learn more about the chemical reactions in the brain that cause schizophrenia.”

The NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Award goes to 15 researchers annually, who each receive $100,000 in support of one year of research. NARSAD’s Distinguished Investigator program plays a seminal role in assisting senior scientists who are on the threshold of a breakthrough or wish to pursue a novel research idea.

Dr. Sealfon’s schizophrenia research will be an extension of the work he does at Mount Sinai, where his lab applies a diverse systems biology approach to better understand how cells recognize and generate responses to extracellular signals or stimuli. His research focuses on signaling systems which are critical for understanding cell responses related to a broad range of neurological conditions.

“There is no more deserving recipient than Dr. Sealfon to receive this award,” said Dennis Charney, M.D., Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at The Mount Sinai Medical Center. “His ground-breaking research and contributions to systems biology and brain disease make him a true asset to Mount Sinai and to the field.”

Several of Dr. Sealfon’s research studies have been recognized by the Faculty of 1000 Biology and the Faculty of 1000 Medicine. He has had a number of significant research accomplishments, including identifying the primary structure of the gonadotropin releasing hormone receptor, finding new signaling pathways activated by drugs for Parkinson's disease, elucidating the mechanism of action of hallucinogens, and, now, finding a new brain receptor complex implicated in schizophrenia and as a novel target for antipsychotic drugs.

Dr. Sealfon has contributed to more than 100 original research articles, primarily related to receptors, cell signaling, and brain disease. This body of work has significant potential for therapeutic advance, already having led to two awarded patents. He has also served on the editorial boards of numerous peer-reviewed journals and scientific advisory boards, and has lectured at universities and conferences throughout the world.

After earning his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Dr. Sealfon completed his residency training in neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital. He has been associated with Mount Sinai for more than two decades, as he first joined Mount Sinai as fellow in Neuroscience in 1986. Dr. Sealfon holds board certification in Neurology.

NARSAD’s primary mission is to alleviate suffering from mental illness. Toward this goal, the organization raises funds to advance research on the causes, treatment and prevention of psychiatric disorders. Since 1987, NARSAD has distributed more than $257 million in grants to over 2,900 scientists at over 440 universities, medical centers and research institutes in the United States and 28 other countries.

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center 

The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses both The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Established in 1968, Mount Sinai School of Medicine is one of few medical schools embedded in a hospital in the United States. It has more than 3,400 faculty in 32 departments and 15 institutes, and ranks among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institute of Health funding and by U.S. News & World Report. The school received the 2009 Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service from the Association of American Medical Colleges. 

The Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is a 1,171-bed tertiary- and quaternary-care teaching facility and one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. In 2009, U.S. News & World Report ranked The Mount Sinai Hospital among the nation’s top 20 hospitals based on reputation, patient safety, and other patient-care factors. Nearly 60,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients last year, and approximately 530,000 outpatient visits took place. 

For more information, visit www.mountsinai.org.