• Press Release

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Meharry Medical College Announce Partnership to Address Racism in Basic Sciences and Medicine

Agreement will provide framework to enhance diversity among scientists and physicians

  • New York, NY and Nashville, TN
  • (August 02, 2021)

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (Icahn Mount Sinai) and Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, today announced they have entered into an agreement that will address racism and bias in the basic sciences and introduce greater diversity and inclusion.

The partnership is part of a broader initiative by Icahn Mount Sinai to collaborate with historically Black medical schools, colleges, and universities in a comprehensive, institutional approach.

“We are thrilled to be working with Meharry Medical College, one of our country’s premier historically Black medical colleges. With a strong foundation in health disparities research in critically important areas for the Black population, including sickle cell disease, diabetes, and cancer, Meharry Medical College will be an excellent partner with whom we can share clinical knowledge and enrich each institution’s educational, training, and research enterprise,” said Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of Icahn Mount Sinai, and President for Academic Affairs at the Mount Sinai Health System. 

The affiliation between the institutions will instill a mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and training that could include a joint graduate or educational medical education program; research activities by students and faculties; and administrative guidelines allowing students to study at each institution.

Meharry Medical College is the oldest of the only four historically Black medical schools in the United States, where there are approximately 150 medical schools.  One important goal of the affiliation is to address the critical shortage of Black physicians and scientists across the country. The Association of American Medical Colleges has consistently pointed to this shortage, and extensive reports have described the barriers that minority doctors and researchers face, including a failure among academic medical centers to mentor underrepresented minority faculty.     

“Mount Sinai is a renowned clinical enterprise noted for its innovation and expertise, making it the perfect complement to Meharry’s research and health care efforts. We are honored to collaborate with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and are eager to begin developing dynamic research and educational programs that will directly benefit minority communities affected by countless health disparities,” said James E.K. Hildreth, PhD., MD, President and CEO of Meharry Medical College.

“The MOU provides a framework to work together to attract and support a robust pipeline of Black scientists, bringing structure, scale, and intentionality to build upon earlier independent efforts by Mount Sinai faculty to address the underrepresentation of Blacks in medicine,” says Reginald W. Miller, DVM, Dean for Research Operations and Infrastructure, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who was charged by Dean Charney to lead the Engagement Initiative, resulting in the MOU.

“The engagement we envision is a faculty-to-faculty partnership between the two institutions in the form of collaborative grants, shared mentoring of graduate students, post docs, and faculty, and joint research projects in areas where there are strong opportunities for synergy. Through these joint activities, we hope to increase capacity and diversity of the biomedical workforce by lowering barriers to access, and strengthening our mentorship and training models,” Dr. Miller said. “Training and mentoring faculty in areas such as diabetes, sickle cell disease, cancer, human genetics, and neuroscience will be paramount as we seek to improve our understanding of diseases and how they affect people of African ancestry.”

About Meharry Medical College

Meharry Medical College, founded in 1876, is the nation's largest private, independent historically Black academic health sciences center dedicated to educating minority and other health professionals. True to its heritage, it is a United Methodist Church-related institution. The College is particularly well known for its uniquely nurturing, highly effective educational programs; emerging preeminence in health disparities research; culturally sensitive, evidence-based health services and significant contribution to the diversity of the nation's health professions workforce. Meharry is a leading national educator of African Americans with M.D. and D.D.S. degrees and Ph.D. degrees in the biomedical sciences. Visit www.mmc.edu to learn more.

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.

For more information, visit https://www.mountsinai.org or find Mount Sinai on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.