2016 Mount Sinai Speaker Bios

Kenneth L. Davis, MD
President and Chief Executive Officer of the Mount Sinai Health System

Kenneth L. Davis, MD, is the CEO and President of the Mount Sinai Health System in New York City, one of the nation’s largest integrated health systems, which includes the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and seven hospitals. He is a leader in the move away from fee-for-service medicine to population health with the aim of keeping more patients healthy and out of the hospital. As a neurobiologist, Dr. Davis conducted pioneering research that led the FDA to approve four of the first five drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. In 2002, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. The author or co-author of more than 575 scientific articles, Dr. Davis has been recognized as one of the most highly cited researchers in the field of brain diseases. He has won numerous awards including the George H. W. Bush Lifetime of Leadership Award from Yale University. In 2014, he was named a trustee of the Aspen Institute.

Eric Schadt, PhD
Director, Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology
Professor and Chair, Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Eric Schadt, PhD, Director of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology at Mount Sinai, is an expert on the generation and integration of very large-scale sequence variation, molecular profiling, and clinical data in disease populations for constructing molecular networks that define disease states and link molecular biology to physiology.  He is known for calling for a shift in molecular biology toward a network-oriented view of living systems to complement the reductionist, single-gene approaches that currently dominate biology, in order to more accurately model the complexity of biological systems. Dr. Schadt has published more than 250 peer-reviewed papers in leading scientific journals, and contributed to a number of discoveries relating to the genetic basis of common human diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Sander S. Florman, MD
The Charles Miller, MD Professor of Surgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Director, Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute at Mount Sinai

Sander S. Florman, MD, is a transplant surgeon; Director of the Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute at Mount Sinai; and The Charles Miller, MD Professor of Surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. As the demand for organs has dramatically increased and the supply has remained relatively stagnant, Dr. Florman believes that the U.S. system for both living and deceased organ donation needs transformative changes. He supports exploring innovative ideas for increasing the pool of both deceased and live donors by removing disincentives and allowing incentives, and he believes compensation in the form of education or health care benefits, while controversial, should be considered as the supply/demand gap increases. Dr. Florman has received many honors and has been published extensively. He is active in the transplant community, serving on many national committees and boards, and is the current President of the Board of Directors of LiveOnNY.

Prabhjot Singh, MD, PhD
Director, The Arnhold Institute for Global Health at Mount Sinai
Chair, Department of Health System Design and Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Prabhjot Singh, MD, PhD, is Director of the Arnhold Institute for Global Health at the Mount Sinai Health System. His work combines systems engineering and social mobilization principles, with an emphasis on how the U.S. health care system can learn from other industries and low-resource settings to improve health and health care. He co-founded the One Million Community Health Workers Campaign, an initiative of the African Union and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. This inspired the launch of City Health Works, a Harlem-based social enterprise that develops scalable health coaching services for high need patients, of which he is the founding technical advisor. In 2016, his Arnhold Institute team, in partnership with the UN Secretary General Special Envoy’s Office, will launch ATLAS, an open framework to drive collaboration between data scientists, health system experts and frontline health workers.

Steven Burakoff, MD
Director, The Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Lillian and Henry M. Stratton Professor of Cancer Medicine and Professor of Medicine and Professor of Oncological Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Steven J. Burakoff, MD, is the Director of The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai, a National Cancer Institute (NCI) - Designated Cancer Center. Prior to this appointment, he was Director of the NYU Cancer Institute and the Director of the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine. Before joining NYU in 2000, he was Chair of Pediatric Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Margaret M. Dyson Professor of Pediatrics at the Harvard Medical School, also serving on Dana-Farber’s Board of Trustees. Dr. Burakoff was the first recipient of the Harvard Medical School Excellence in Mentoring Award. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Damon Runyon Cancer Foundation and the Joint Scientific Advisory Board for Stand Up to Cancer. He is the author of more than 300 publications in peer-reviewed journals and received the American Association of Immunologists Lifetime Achievement Award.

Matthew Galsky, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Director of Genitourinary Medical Oncology, Tisch Cancer Institute

Matthew Galsky, MD, is a medical oncologist with a clinical and research focus on genitourinary malignancies. Since 2010, he has served as Director of Genitourinary Medical Oncology at The Tisch Cancer Institute of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. His research has focused on the clinical development of novel therapies for genitourinary cancers with a particular focus on bladder cancer, and he regularly speaks nationally and internationally on the topic. His research has been published in multiple journals including Journal of Clinical Oncology, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Lancet Oncology, and The Lancet, and he has been funded by several organizations including the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute and the Department of Defense. He is a past recipient of the Richard E. Rosenfield Faculty Achievement Award and the Danielson Translational Innovation Award.

Joshua Brody, MD
Director, Lymphoma Immunotherapy Program, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Joshua Brody, MD, is an oncologist, focusing on lymphoma and leukemias. As Director of the Lymphoma Immunotherapy Program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, he oversees development of novel therapies using the immune system to eliminate cancer. While the immune cells (dendritic cells) critical to inducing anti-tumor immunity were acknowledged by the 2011 Nobel Prize, these discoveries have yet to be translated into effective cancer therapies. Dr. Brody has pioneered an elegant approach: an in situ vaccine produced by injecting immune stimulants directly into patients’ tumors, which recruit and activate dendritic cells and teach the immune system to eliminate cancer throughout the body. More than 70 patients with advanced-stage and incurable lymphoma have received the in situ vaccine, producing some remarkable and long-lasting remissions. Dr. Brody’s lab is now studying the precise targets within each patient’s tumor and discovering new molecular switches to increase the potency of anti-tumor immune cells.

Ross L. Cagan, PhD
Professor, Department of Developmental and Regenerative Biology, Icahn School of Medicine for Mount Sinai
Director, Center for Personalized Cancer Therapeutics, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Ross L. Cagan, PhD, is a researcher at The Mount Sinai Hospital and a leader in the field of personalized cancer treatment, focusing on the use of Drosophila (fruit flies) to address disease mechanisms and therapeutics. His laboratory’s work helped validate vandetanib as a therapeutic for medullary thyroid carcinoma, combined Drosophila genetics and medicinal chemistry to develop a new generation of lead compounds that emphasize balanced polypharmacology, and identified novel mechanisms that direct transformed cells into the first steps towards metastasis. Combining these basic research approaches, Dr. Cagan has established the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapeutics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in which new tools including “personalized Drosophila avatars” are developed and used to screen for personalized drug cocktails. He is also a Professor in the Department of Developmental and Regenerative Biology and Director of the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapeutics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.