• Press Release

The Tisch Cancer Institute and Precision Immunology Institute at Mount Sinai Launch Center for Computational Immunology

  • New York, NY
  • (May 09, 2019)

The Tisch Cancer Institute and the Precision Immunology Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have launched the Center for Computational Immunology, a hub that will help researchers studying cancer, genomics, machine learning, and immunology collaborate to find better targeted immunotherapies for patients. Benjamin Greenbaum, PhD, Assistant Professor of Oncological Sciences, Pathology, and Medicine (Hematology and Medical Oncology), will serve as Director.

Immunotherapy, which unleashes the body’s immune system to fight cancer, has had miraculous success in some patients, including former President Jimmy Carter, whose metastatic melanoma had threatened to take his life. But only 20 percent of patients have any response at all. The mission of this Center, the first of its kind, is to find ways to increase the number of patients who benefit from immunotherapy drugs that kill cancer.

“Our focus is on trying to utilize Mount Sinai’s already-established broad expertise in immunology, cancer, and computational sciences to move forward immunological studies in cancer,” Dr. Greenbaum said. “We want to understand how to model interactions between cancers and the immune system to help more people benefit from the life-saving potential of immunotherapy.”

The Tisch Cancer Institute recently recruited two top computational scientists: Marta Luksza, PhD, from the Simons Center for Systems Biology at the Institute for Advanced Study, as an Assistant Professor of Oncological Sciences, and Genetics and Genomic Sciences, and Paz P. Polak, PhD, from the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, who is now Assistant Professor of Oncological Sciences, Genetics and Genomic Sciences, Pathology and Medicine (Hematology and Medical Oncology) at the Icahn School of Medicine. Both will play an integral role in the development of the center.

“The Center will fuel the bench-to-bedside culture already finding great new innovations at The Tisch Cancer Institute,” said Ramon Parsons, MD, PhD, Director of The Tisch Cancer Institute, Ward-Coleman Chair in Cancer Research, and Chair of Oncological Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “This cross-disciplinary team is working to find answers in some of the most promising therapies for cancer patients today.”

“The Precision Immunology Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is excited about this new venture that allows us to look further into the tumor microenvironment for answers,” said Miriam Merad, MD, PhD, Director of the Precision Immunology Institute, Director of the Mount Sinai Human Immune Monitoring Center (HIMC), and Mount Sinai Professor in Cancer Immunology. “We are at a critical juncture of really understanding why patients respond or don’t respond to immunotherapy.”

About the Mount Sinai Health System

The Mount Sinai Health System is New York City's largest academic medical system, encompassing eight hospitals, a leading medical school, and a vast network of ambulatory practices throughout the greater New York region. Mount Sinai is a national and international source of unrivaled education, translational research and discovery, and collaborative clinical leadership ensuring that we deliver the highest quality care—from prevention to treatment of the most serious and complex human diseases. The Health System includes more than 7,200 physicians and features a robust and continually expanding network of multispecialty services, including more than 400 ambulatory practice locations throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked No. 14 on U.S. News & World Report's "Honor Roll" of the Top 20 Best Hospitals in the country and the Icahn School of Medicine as one of the Top 20 Best Medical Schools in country. Mount Sinai Health System hospitals are consistently ranked regionally by specialty and our physicians in the top 1% of all physicians nationally by U.S. News & World Report.

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