Mount Sinai Launches Institute for Regenerative Medicine
Institute, including three new centers, will lead research to foster novel discoveries and explore new treatments for a range of diseases from leukemia to Alzheimer’s disease
Regenerative medicine—the process of replacing, engineering or regenerating human cells, tissues or organs—holds exciting potential for the field of health care. It could someday make it possible to grow a new kidney in a petri dish, repair damaged nerve cells, or reverse memory loss.
Continuing a commitment to advance medicine through forward-thinking approaches and groundbreaking discoveries, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is announcing the creation of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine to foster innovative research into new pathways to cure a host of diseases from leukemia to Alzheimer’s disease, breast cancer, and airway diseases—with the promise of improving medical care, quality of life, and longevity for all patients.
The Institute will advance and coordinate research and training in broad areas of regenerative biology and medicine across the basic science and clinical departments at Mount Sinai, and will encompass three centers that each focus on a subset of diseases and disorders. The Institute will include the Alper Center for Neural Development and Regeneration, the Center for Epithelial and Airway Biology and Regeneration, and the Center for Advancement of Blood Cancer Therapies.
“The Institute for Regenerative Medicine is dedicated to making transformations in how we treat regenerative diseases that impact millions of lives,” said Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of Icahn Mount Sinai and President for Academic Affairs of the Mount Sinai Health System. “Clinicians, scientists, and researchers from across Mount Sinai will continue to leverage expertise and discoveries in human biology and regenerative medicine, rapidly translating our findings to improve care and treatment for some of the most crippling developmental and degenerative conditions that impact our patients.”
Alper Center for Neural Development and Regeneration
Researchers, scientists, and clinicians at the Alper Center for Neural Development and Regeneration, which is co-sponsored by The Friedman Brain Institute, are expanding our knowledge and understanding of the brain, its development, and its role in disease. By using innovative research techniques including cell cultures, animal models, and human tissue studies, the scientists are seeking new insights into the workings of the nervous system, identifying new ways to prevent and treat brain disorders—and ultimately transforming the field of regenerative medicine for these devastating illnesses.
“The future of regenerative medicine for brain disorders lies in understanding how the brain develops and maintains itself throughout life,” said the Center’s Director, Nan Yang, PhD, Associate Professor of Neuroscience at Icahn Mount Sinai. “Our goal is to advance research on models of human disease and identify new preventive and therapeutic strategies that can lead to cures or relief for conditions such as neurodevelopmental disorders and neurodegeneration including autism, epilepsy, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis.”
Center for Epithelial and Airway Biology and Regeneration
The Center for Epithelial and Airway Biology and Regeneration, co-sponsored by the Institute for Airway Science, is fostering collaboration among scientists who treat diseases of epithelial tissues including the skin, lung, trachea, oral cavity, breast, liver, stomach, intestine, and esophagus. These conditions include sinus disorders, lung injury, tracheal and lung transplants, breast cancers, severe asthma, eczema, psoriasis, and hair loss. The scientists will advance research related to epithelial development, stem cells, regeneration, and disease. The Center will also offer pilot grant funding for innovative and collaborative research projects, and provide a formal ground for basic, translational, and clinical researchers to collaborate and promote their study findings for application in clinical settings.
“The Center for Epithelial and Airway Biology and Regeneration defines translational research. This unique cross-section of basic and clinical scientists provides a platform to tackle vexing clinical problems and offer real solutions,” said the Center’s Clinical Director, Eric Genden, MD, Isidore Friesner Professor and Chair of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery for the Mount Sinai Health System and Icahn Mount Sinai. “The Center promises to bring basic scientific discovery to the patient bedside and promote novel therapies for the benefit of our patients.” The Scientific Directors of the Center are Ya-Wen Chen, PhD, Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology and Cell, Developmental and Regenerative Biology, and Elena Ezhkova, PhD, Professor of Cell, Developmental and Regenerative Biology and Dermatology.
Center for Advancement of Blood Cancer Therapies
The Center for Advancement of Blood Cancer Therapies, co-sponsored by The Tisch Cancer Institute, is dedicated to the study of childhood and adult blood cancers and the development of new treatments, including conventional drugs and cell therapies. Of particular focus are human models of hematopoiesis and leukemia based on induced pluripotent stem cells and primary blood cells, combined with gene editing and single-cell technologies.
“This new Center brings together investigators with a commitment to blood research that directly aims to uncover mechanisms of human blood diseases such as adult and pediatric leukemias and myelodysplastic syndrome, and develop new therapeutics,” said Eirini Papapetrou, MD, PhD, Director of the Center for Advancement of Blood Cancer Therapies and Professor of Oncological Sciences at The Tisch Cancer Institute, a part of the Tisch Cancer Center at Mount Sinai. “Our researchers will capitalize on recent breakthroughs that have transformed the capabilities of experimentation with human cells, and the Center will foster close relationships between researchers and clinicians. We will continually identify new areas of synergy and encourage these interactions towards clinical translation of new findings emerging from labs affiliated with the Center.”
The Institute for Regenerative Medicine will also now house the Black Family Stem Cell Institute, founded at Mount Sinai in 2005 to integrate research in embryonic stem cells and adult stem cell biology. It will continue to promote research in stem cell biology to accelerate translation that improves care for patients in clinical settings, such as development of new drugs and cell-based therapies that are tested for safety and efficacy. Sarah E. Millar, PhD, who leads the Black Family Stem Cell Institute, will serve as the Director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
“The broader platform of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine will enable us to expand research beyond stem cell-based therapies to other aspects of regenerative medicine including ex vivo development of human tissues for disease modeling, drug screening, and transplantation; approaches to prevent and treat neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases; new methods to promote regeneration of epithelial tissues such as skin, hair and lung; and blood cancer research,” said Dr. Millar, Senior Associate Dean for Basic Research and Lillian and Henry M. Stratton Professorial Chair of Cell, Developmental and Regenerative Biology at Icahn Mount Sinai. “Our aim is to accelerate innovation by integrating and synergizing these efforts across Mount Sinai’s campus and by providing an exciting, welcoming, diverse, and inclusive intellectual environment.”
Michael Rendl, MD, Professor of Cell, Developmental and Regenerative Biology and Associate Director of the Black Family Stem Cell Institute, will serve as Associate Director of the Institute of Regenerative Medicine.
About the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is internationally renowned for its outstanding research, educational, and clinical care programs. It is the sole academic partner for the eight member hospitals* of the Mount Sinai Health System, one of the largest academic health systems in the United States, providing care to a large and diverse patient population.
Ranked No. 14 nationwide in National Institutes of Health funding and in the 99th percentile in research dollars per investigator according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, Icahn Mount Sinai has a talented, productive, and successful faculty. More than 3,000 full-time scientists, educators, and clinicians work within and across 34 academic departments and 44 multidisciplinary institutes, a structure that facilitates tremendous collaboration and synergy. Our emphasis on translational research and therapeutics is evident in such diverse areas as genomics/big data, virology, neuroscience, cardiology, geriatrics, and gastrointestinal and liver diseases.
Icahn Mount Sinai offers highly competitive MD, PhD, and master’s degree programs, with current enrollment of approximately 1,300 students. It has the largest graduate medical education program in the country, with more than 2,600 clinical residents and fellows training throughout the Health System. In addition, more than 535 postdoctoral research fellows are in training within the Health System.
A culture of innovation and discovery permeates every Icahn Mount Sinai program. Mount Sinai’s technology transfer office, one of the largest in the country, partners with faculty and trainees to pursue optimal commercialization of intellectual property to ensure that Mount Sinai discoveries and innovations translate into health care products and services that benefit the public.
Icahn Mount Sinai’s commitment to breakthrough science and clinical care is enhanced by academic affiliations that supplement and complement the School’s programs. Through Mount Sinai Innovation Partners (MSIP), the Health System facilitates the real-world application and commercialization of medical breakthroughs made at Mount Sinai. Additionally, MSIP develops research partnerships with industry leaders such as Merck & Co., AstraZeneca, Novo Nordisk, and others.
The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is located in New York City on the border between the Upper East Side and East Harlem, and classroom teaching takes place on a campus facing Central Park. Icahn Mount Sinai’s location offers many opportunities to interact with and care for diverse communities. Learning extends well beyond the borders of our physical campus, to the eight hospitals of the Mount Sinai Health System, our academic affiliates, and globally.
* Mount Sinai Health System member hospitals: The Mount Sinai Hospital; Mount Sinai Beth Israel; Mount Sinai Brooklyn; Mount Sinai Morningside; Mount Sinai Queens; Mount Sinai South Nassau; Mount Sinai West; and New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai.
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 more than 43,000 employees working across eight hospitals, over 400 outpatient practices, nearly 300 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 7,300 primary and specialty care physicians; 13 joint-venture outpatient surgery centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and more than 30 affiliated community health centers. We are consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals, receiving high "Honor Roll" status, and are highly ranked: No. 1 in Geriatrics and top 20 in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Neurology/Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology/Lung Surgery, Rehabilitation, and Urology. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked No. 12 in Ophthalmology. U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Children’s Hospitals” ranks Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital among the country’s best in several pediatric specialties.