Mount Sinai Health System Names Director of Newly Established Ronald M. Loeb Center for Alzheimer’s Disease
Renowned neuropsychiatric researcher Alison Goate, PhD, has joined the Mount Sinai Health System as the founding Director of the Ronald M. Loeb Center for Alzheimer’s Disease.
Renowned neuropsychiatric researcher Alison Goate, PhD, has joined the Mount Sinai Health System as the founding Director of the Ronald M. Loeb Center for Alzheimer’s Disease. Established by a recent $15 million gift from Daniel S. Loeb, CEO and Founder of Third Point, LLC and his wife, Margaret Munzer Loeb, in memory of Daniel’s father, Ronald M. Loeb, the center will provide a focus for a network of research programs closely tied to research and clinical initiatives across the Health System.
As a molecular geneticist, Dr. Goate has established an international reputation for her research to elucidate the genetic, molecular and cellular basis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related neurodegenerative disorders.
“Alison brings to Mount Sinai a research history distinguished by its translational and interdisciplinary focus, integrating molecular and genetic studies,” says Eric Nestler, MD, PhD, Nash Family Professor and Chair of the Department of Neuroscience and Director of the Friedman Brain Institute in the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “Her research team will help Mount Sinai play a global leading role in finding new and better treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other disorders.”
She has identified key gene mutations linked to the heritable risk for Alzheimer’s disease, including her finding that a rare mutation of the PLD3 gene doubles the risk of developing late onset AD. Prior to joining Mount Sinai, Dr. Goate led a team of researchers at Washington University, St. Louis, that performed the largest ever genome-wide association study of protein markers found in cerebrospinal fluid, resulting in the discovery of three genetic variants that may come with an increased risk of developing AD.
“Alison Goate is truly one of the chief architects of the genomics revolution happening in Alzheimer’s disease research,” says Mount Sinai President and Chief Executive Officer Kenneth L. Davis, MD. “Under her leadership, we will bring together Mount Sinai’s core competencies in genomics, bioinformatics, imaging and clinical trials to vigorously pursue major breakthroughs for a disease that touches so many lives.”
As Director of the Ronald M. Loeb Center for Alzheimer’s Disease at Mount Sinai, Dr. Goate will recruit new talent in areas such as induced pluripotent stem cells or IPSCs. In this line of research, researchers take a patient’s skin cells, for instance and coax them back along the differentiation pathway to become stem cells. These induced cells can then be differentiated into any kind of cell in the body, including neurons. Because the resulting cells are genetically identical to those found in the donor, researchers can use them to model disease and safely investigate the efficacy of new drug treatments at the cellular level in a way not previously possible.
“Alison is a transformative recruit to Mount Sinai,” says Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and President for Academic Affairs for the Mount Sinai Health System. “Our mission is nothing less than discovering the causes and better treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and related conditions. Through Dr. Goate’s leadership of the Ronald M. Loeb Center for Alzheimer’s Disease, Mount Sinai is one of the nation’s few centers capable of achieving these ambitious goals.”
Dr. Goate will also establish ties between the Center and the many basic and clinical researchers across the Mount Sinai Health System focused on neurodegenerative disorders. In particular, she will work closely with: the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, funded by the National Health Institute’s National Institute on Aging and directed by Mary Sano, PhD, one of the nation’s leaders in clinical trials of Alzheimer’s disease; the Center for Cognitive Health, directed by Sam Gandy, MD, PhD, an expert on the amyloid plaque protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease; and faculty of the Icahn Institute for Genomics & Multiscale Biology, directed by Eric Schadt, PhD, who have an NIA-funded program that applies multi-scale biology to Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, Dr. Goate has an established research program on the genetics of alcoholism and so will broaden Mount Sinai’s portfolio in this disorder as well.
The team at the Ronald M. Loeb Center will have access to innovative new MRI and PET technology (Mount Sinai is one of the few sites in the U.S. with such advanced technology) and the Minerva supercomputer, the largest supercomputer ever constructed for the purpose of genomic investigation, to aid in their endeavors.
About the Mount Sinai Health System
The Mount Sinai Health System is New York City's largest integrated delivery system encompassing seven hospital campuses, a leading medical school, and a vast network of ambulatory practices throughout the greater New York region. Mount Sinai's vision is to produce the safest care, the highest quality, the highest satisfaction, the best access and the best value of any health system in the nation. The System includes approximately 6,600 primary and specialty care physicians; 10 joint-venture ambulatory surgery centers; more than 140 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and 31 affiliated community health centers. The Icahn School of Medicine is one of three medical schools that have earned distinction by multiple indicators: ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report's "Best Medical Schools", aligned with a U.S. News & World Report's "Honor Roll" Hospital, No. 13 in the nation for National Institutes of Health funding, and among the top 10 most innovative research institutions as ranked by the journal Nature in its Nature Innovation Index. This reflects a special level of excellence in education, clinical practice, and research. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked No. 18 on U.S. News & World Report's "Honor Roll" of top U.S. hospitals; it is one of the nation's top 20 hospitals in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Geriatrics, Nephrology, and Neurology/Neurosurgery, and in the top 50 in six other specialties in the 2018-2019 "Best Hospitals" issue. Mount Sinai's Kravis Children's Hospital also is ranked nationally in five out of ten pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report. The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked 11th nationally for Ophthalmology and 44th for Ear, Nose, and Throat, while Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Mount Sinai St. Luke's and Mount Sinai West are ranked regionally.