• 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

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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