Mount Sinai Firsts

Mount Sinai has achieved international acclaim for its lengthy list of firsts in research, education, and patient care. Among those firsts:


2012 Mount Sinai scientists, in collaboration with an international group of colleagues, discovered five new genetic mutations associated with Crohn’s disease in Jews of Eastern European descent. This marks the largest study to date, and the first to discover the unique risk factors of Crohn’s disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population. The researchers also found that some previously known risk factors are more potent in this population than non-Jews.
  Research led by Avi Ma’ayan and John Cijiang He at Icahn School of Medicine identified a protein kinase that plays a significant role in kidney fibrosis, a condition that results in kidney failure.
2011 Mount Sinai researchers uncover how a gene mutation causes Parkinson’s Disease.
  Mount Sinai researchers help identify differences in disease progression in two subtypes of multiple sclerosis.
2010 Mount Sinai researchers present research showing that the World Trade Center collapse caused potentially dangerous heart problems in responders on-site.
  Mount Sinai Performs first U.S. implantation of new device for aortic stenosis.
2009 Mount Sinai researchers discover potential link between rare blood cancer and environmental contaminants.
2007 Developed an advanced imaging technique to capture the movement of the microdomains of leukocytes, or white blood cells.
  Showed why influenza spreads most rapidly in the cold, dry air of winter, and showed that it can be spread just in the air, without coughing, sneezing, or physical contact.
2006 Identified three proteins found in significantly lower concentration in the cerebral spinal fluid of patients with amytrophic lateral sclerosis than in healthy individuals.
  Identified a gene in the brain — OLIG2 — that may play a causal role in the development of schizophrenia.
2005 Performed first successful composite tracheal transplant, using a method developed at Mount Sinai that allows patients to breathe and speak without a tracheotomy. It is a composite of a donor trachea with the patient’s own tracheal linings.
2004 Identified first common gene variant linked to autism.
2001 Identified the gene that is defective in most cases of prostate cancer.
  Developed a novel isothermal DNA amplification method with an amplification mechanism quite different from conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR), resulting in an exponential amplification that distinguishes itself from the previously described nonexponential rolling circle amplification.
2000 Along with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, determined that HIV-associated nephropathy was caused by HIV-1 infection of kidney epithelial cells. This established that the best treatment for HIV+ patients in renal failure is antiretroviral treatment.
  Became first to use black blood magnetic resonance imaging (BB-MR) to image the human coronary artery lumen.
1996 Identified a gene for a rare bone-thickening disease, pycnodysostosis, which causes dwarfism.
1995 Developed an ultrasound-guided technique to insert radioactive seeds into the prostate to treat prostate cancer.
1991 Along with the University of California, Irvine, College of Medicine, identified a marker for premature birth — the presence of cervicovaginal fetal fibronectin in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.
1988 Demonstrated how asbestos causes cancerous changes in cellular DNA.
1987 Along with Yale University School of Medicine, isolated and cloned a structural gene for human tissue factor.
1986 Performed first blood transfusion into the vein of an unborn fetus.
  Developed an in vitro fertilization technique called zona drilling to help sperm cells penetrate egg cells.
1985 Provided first direct evidence of the involvement of dopamine in schizophrenia.
1981 Discovered the proteasome (multicatalytic protease), the major regulated mechanism for protein degradation in the cell.
1977 Mapped the influenza virus genome.
1971 Discovered that dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) could induce cancer cells to progress or differentiate to a normal pattern of development.
1969 Developed an influenza vaccine — the first genetically engineered vaccine.
1968 Confirmed multiple-factor causation of human cancer through work done on increased incidence of cancer among asbestos workers who smoked.
1964 Established etiologic link between asbestos and cancer.
1963 Became first to use a sequential combination regimen of chemotherapy for adjuvant treatment of breast cancer.
  First description of superior limbic keratoconjunctivitis, now called Theodore's SLK.
1962 Became first to use a sequential combination regimen of chemotherapy for adjuvant treatment of ovarian cancer.
1960 Published first description of postperfusion syndrome after open-heart surgery.
  Performed first radioimmunoassay of a hormone — a test capable of estimating nonogram or even picogram quantities.
1959 Developed radioimmunoassay.
  Developed polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis for separating proteins.
1956 Classified transient circulatory disturbance of the brain, which came to be known as transient global ischemia.
  Developed and standardized the latex fixation test for the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.
1952 Perfected and reintroduced surgery for the mobilization of the stapes.
1951 Became first to perform closed mitral valve commissurotomy.
1950 Developed a portable kidney dialysis machine.
  Published first description of familial lipoprotein deficiency, known as Bassen-Kornzweig syndrome or abetalipoproteinemia.
1949 Published first description of allergic granulomatosis (Churg-Strauss disease).
1947 Performed first kidney dialysis in the United States, using a Kolff artificial kidney.
1944 Inhibited tumor growth by using a folic acid concentrate.
1942 Published first description of collagen disease.
1940 Published first description of eosinophilic granuloma of bone as a distinct entity.
1935 Published first description of the vascular lesions in lupus.
1934 Described the first clinically applicable method for measuring the circulation time to the right heart.
1933 Published first description of a total pneumonectomy in the United States.
  Introduced Hippuran as a radio-opaque medium.
1932 Published first description of regional enteritis — an inflammatory disease of the intestine (Crohn's disease).
  Established bronchial adenoma as a clinical and anatomic entity.
  Described and gave name to bronchopulmonary segments, a hitherto unnoticed feature of the pulmonary lobe.
1931 Coined the term premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
1930 Published first textbook in the United States on pediatric urology.
1929 Developed the first cardiac stress test, the Master Two-Step.
  Introduced Uroselectan (Iopax) as the first radio-opaque media for visualization of the urinary tract.
1928 Published work on "Shwartzman Phenomenon" (SP) — a necrotic reaction to filtrates containing endotoxin of gram-negative bacteria.
1926 Developed test to measure estrogen levels in circulating blood.
  Described pulmonary hypertension as a separate clinical entity.
1925 Published first description of hemolytic thrombocytopenic purpura (Moschcowitz disease).
  Published first textbook in the United States on thoracic surgery.
  Published description of a new lymphatic system disease, later expanded by Douglas Symmers's work, later known as Brill-Symmers disease and then nodular lymphoma.
1924 Published description of atypical verrucous endocarditis, Libman-Sacks disease.
1923 Became first in the United States to publish on gastrectomy — a new surgical procedure for duodenal ulcers.
1919 Introduced the use of peruterine insufflation of the fallopian tubes for the diagnosis and treatment of sterility in women (Rubin test.
  Performed experimental transmission of encephalitis lethargica.
1917 Described idiopathic nephrotic syndrome (Epstein's syndrome) — the cause of swelling in Bright's disease.
1915 Described the minimum amount of citrate required to prevent blood from clotting, making indirect transfusion possible and practical, and allowing blood to be stored for later transfusion. This paved the way for modern blood banking.
1914 Invented first modern electric ophthalmoscope.
  Published first textbook in the field of geriatrics.
  Pioneered salpingography — the x-ray visualization of the uterine tubes with radio-opaque substance.
  Performed first pulmonary lobectomy for inflammatory disease.
1911 Developed first cystoscope for children.
1910 Identified endemic form of typhus fever (Brill's disease).
  Reported on a method of destroying benign tumors of the urinary bladder using electric current (fulguration).
  Developed first practical positive pressure anesthesia technique (endotrachial anesthesia).
  Discovered that Strep. endocarditis is the most common cause of subacute bacterial endocarditis.
  Performed first bypass and resective surgery for inflammatory colon disease.
1908 Published first comprehensive report of clinical and pathological aspects of thrombo-angiitis obliterans (Buerger's disease) — a disease of the blood vessel walls that may result in gangrene.
  Published first mention of using a blood test for compatibility before human blood transfusion. Became first to note that blood groups are inherited according to Mendel's Law. Showed that group O blood could be given to group A and B patients, establishing the concept of the universal donor.
1901 Performed first successful abdominal colectomy for colitis in the United States.
1892 Performed first successful mastoidectomy in the United States.
1888 Published first book in the United States on aseptic and antiseptic principles. This was also the first U.S. medical textbook to use halftone photographs.
1887 Published first description in the United States on familial amaurotic idiocy, later renamed Tay-Sachs disease.