• Press Release

Mount Sinai Recruits Adam Margolin to Lead New $200M Program to Accelerate Data Driven Precision Medicine

Launches Newly Renamed Institute for Data Science and Genomic Technology

  • New York, NY
  • (November 01, 2018)

Adam Margolin, PhD, an internationally renowned computational biologist, has been recruited by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to lead a bold new initiative designed to radically accelerate the pace of therapeutic discovery through integration of large-scale data analysis and advanced genomic technologies.

Dr. Margolin has been named Professor and Chair of the Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences and Senior Associate Dean of Precision Medicine. He will also lead Mount Sinai’s Icahn Institute, which has been renamed the Icahn Institute for Data Science and Genomic Technology. He will lead the new enterprise-wide program that focuses on harnessing huge molecular datasets to predict new therapies for complex diseases by using advanced biotechnologies to rapidly tailor novel therapies to each patient faster than has ever been possible.

"By fundamentally changing the understanding of complex diseases, we can customize diagnosis, prevention, and treatment to individual patients," says Dr. Margolin. "We will bring together the top data scientists, genomic technology innovators, and disease experts who will work side by side every day to understand the molecular causes of complex diseases, rapidly test new therapies derived from these insights, and bring these therapies to patients faster than ever before.”

Over the next 10 years, Mount Sinai plans to recruit 30 new faculty members at the cutting edge of data science and genomic technology in addition to 25 data scientists to lead projects aimed at interpreting large-scale biomolecular data; launch cross-institutional, cross-disciplinary projects to discover new precision therapies in core disease areas; build computational infrastructure to enable integration and analysis of data throughout the Mount Sinai health system and beyond; build technology platforms to implement and develop cutting edge molecular profiling and therapeutic testing technologies; and launch educational programs to train top PhD and Masters students in biomedical data science.

“We are creating a program built for the way science will be done in the future. The traditional academic model, organized around siloed individual labs, cannot achieve the speed, agility, and integration we need to advance biomedical research of today. Our program will be built from the outset to enable world class data scientists, technology innovators, and disease experts to advance large-scale team-oriented goals that could not be achieved in a more traditional model.”

Dr. Margolin is a recognized leader in developing machine-learning algorithms to analyze large-scale datasets, to predict therapies specific to an individual patient, and to infer the key cellular processes that underlie cancer drug susceptibility and other clinically relevant phenotypes.  He is a passionate advocate of highly collaborative team-based research, and has developed software systems to enable collaborative analysis for several of the largest national and international projects in cancer, genomics, cancer immunotherapy, stem cell research, and pediatric diseases.

"With Adam Margolin at the helm, Mount Sinai is committed to recruiting world-class data scientists—the same type of people who would otherwise be working in hedge funds or big tech start-ups—who can apply those skills to analyzing enormous amounts of data on patients,” said Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and President for Academic Affairs of the Mount Sinai Health System. “We are committed to pursuing bold new initiatives that enable the best people to work together to unlock insights from massive datasets that will revolutionize our ability to treat a multitude of diseases.”

With the new program, Mount Sinai is redoubling its commitment to make big data a centerpiece of its institutional strategy. Dr. Margolin will inherit the positions previously held by Eric Schadt, PhD, who was recruited in 2011 to lead Mount Sinai’s programs in data science and genomics. Dr. Schadt is currently Dean of Precision Medicine and Professor of Genetics and Genomic Sciences at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and founder and CEO of Sema4, a molecular testing company that was spun out of Mount Sinai. Under Dr. Schadt’s leadership: Mount Sinai grew the genetics department to rise within the top 5 nationally in NIH funding for research; built the largest supercomputing facility of any academic medical center in the United States; was named by Fast Company among the top 10 most innovative organizations in the world in Data Science; and developed a state-of-the-art genomic technology development program.

Dr. Margolin joins Mount Sinai from Oregon Health & Science University, where he was the Director of Computational Biology and Professor of Biomedical Engineering.  Previously, Dr. Margolin was the Director of Computational Biology at Sage Bionetworks in Seattle. He earned his PhD in biomedical informatics from Columbia University.

About the Mount Sinai Health System

Mount Sinai Health System is one of the largest academic medical systems in the New York metro area, with 48,000 employees working across eight hospitals, more than 400 outpatient practices, more than 600 research and clinical labs, a school of nursing, and a leading school of medicine and graduate education. Mount Sinai advances health for all people, everywhere, by taking on the most complex health care challenges of our time—discovering and applying new scientific learning and knowledge; developing safer, more effective treatments; educating the next generation of medical leaders and innovators; and supporting local communities by delivering high-quality care to all who need it.

Through the integration of its hospitals, labs, and schools, Mount Sinai offers comprehensive health care solutions from birth through geriatrics, leveraging innovative approaches such as artificial intelligence and informatics while keeping patients’ medical and emotional needs at the center of all treatment. The Health System includes approximately 9,000 primary and specialty care physicians and 11 free-standing joint-venture centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida. Hospitals within the System are consistently ranked by Newsweek’s® “The World’s Best Smart Hospitals, Best in State Hospitals, World Best Hospitals and Best Specialty Hospitals” and by U.S. News & World Report's® “Best Hospitals” and “Best Children’s Hospitals.” The Mount Sinai Hospital is on the U.S. News & World Report® “Best Hospitals” Honor Roll for 2023-2024.

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