The life-saving potential of Mount Sinai’s genomics research programs is nothing short of astonishing. A recent Esquire article entitled “Patient Zero” describes how Dr. Schadt’s team collaborated with Mount Sinai colleagues to pioneer an innovative approach to cancer treatment that has created new hope for Stephanie Lee, an Iraq war widow diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Spotlight: Genomics & Personalized Medicine

A transformational gift from Carl Icahn in 2013 created the Icahn Institute of Genomics and Multiscale Biology, an interdisciplinary genomics research powerhouse that is revolutionizing medicine by developing techniques to study large-scale genetic complexity in search of novel cures for disease. Under the leadership of world-renowned computational biologist Eric Schadt, PhD, Jean C. and James W. Crystal Professor in Genomics, researchers are developing groundbreaking techniques to generate massive data sets that they are using to create predictive models of the human genome—and of common human diseases such as cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
 
With considerable laboratory space in the Leon and Norma Hess Center for Science and Medicine, the Institute’s investigators collaborate closely with colleagues throughout Mount Sinai to analyze samples, identify biomarkers for disease, and reveal complex mechanisms involved in human disease. In this revolutionary work they are armed with state-of-the-art tools, including Minerva—Mount Sinai’s supercomputer, armed with 30,000 gigabytes of memory and providing 64 million hours of computation annually—and the Genomics Core Facility, a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments-certified laboratory that enables investigators to leverage leading-edge technologies and next-generation sequencing to carry out basic and translational genomics research.
 
The life-saving potential of the work of Icahn Institute investigators is nothing short of astonishing. A recent Esquire article entitled “Patient Zero” describes how Dr. Schadt’s team, in collaboration with Mount Sinai colleagues, has pioneered an innovative approach to cancer treatment—using big data analysis, predictive networks, fly models, and other leading-edge techniques—that has created new hope for Stephanie Lee, an Iraq War widow diagnosed with terminal cancer. (There is also a follow-up article, “Patient Zero: One Month Later” that checks in on Ms. Lee’s progress after treatment.)
 
“The Icahn Institute is working with colleagues throughout Mount Sinai to develop a fine-grained understanding of the complex networks in the body and how disease originates so that physicians can predict the course of an individual patient’s disease and effectively treat or even prevent it,” says Dr. Schadt, PhD. “This is a massive effort and it requires a tremendous investment in resources. Philanthropy has been and will continue to be vital to assembling the resources we need to analyze data on the scale necessary for life-changing and life-saving breakthroughs.”
 
The Charles Bronfman Institute for Personalized Medicine, created by a transformational gift from The Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, is closely linked to these efforts and has helped position Mount Sinai at the vanguard of personalized disease risk assessment and translational genomics and genetics research since 2007. Led by Erwin P. Bottinger, MD, Director of The Charles Bronfman Institute for Personalized Medicine, Irene and Dr. Arthur Fishberg Chair and Professor in Medicine, and Professor of Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics, the Bronfman Institute pioneers new advancements in personalized data-driven health care for patients.
 
Fundamental to the Bronfman Institute’s work is EPIC, Mount Sinai’s state-of-the-art electronic medical records system, which streamlines and protects patient health information in order to improve customization and continuity of care. In addition, the Institute’s BioMe Biobank Program is enrolling patients—on average, 600 new participants enroll each month—into a clinical cohort that links genetic and biomarker data with clinical data in the patient’s electronic health record. Through the program, Mount Sinai patients are providing crucial, de-identified clinical and genetic data to research projects worldwide that will accelerate the understanding of disease and improve health outcomes. The Institute’s innovative Clinical Implementation of Personalized Medicine through Electronic Health Records and Genomics (CLIPMERGE) Program similarly links with EPIC, allowing investigators to deliver custom-tailored, personalized clinical decision guidelines that incorporate a patient’s unique clinical and genetic data in their clinical care in real time.
 
"Our goal for the Bronfman Institute for Personalized Medicine is to apply genomic and molecular data to better target the delivery of health care to the right person at the right time using the most effective and safe treatment available,” says Dr. Bottinger. “Donors have been extremely supportive; their generosity has been critical in bringing our vision to life.”
 
Throughout the Campaign, Mount Sinai’s visionary donors have embraced the genomics revolution that promises to transform the practice of medicine in the 21st century. Donor support has helped recruit Dr. Schadt, who is widely recognized as among the leading genomics experts in the world, fuel innovative basic and translational genomics and personalized medicine research, support widespread genomic collaborations within and beyond Mount Sinai, and develop an electronic medical records system that ensures more streamlined and comprehensive patient care.
 
Mount Sinai is honored to recognize the Campaign’s lead gifts to genomics and personalized medicine, and the phenomenal achievements donors have made possible:
  • The Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology, which is working across every boundary at Mount Sinai to support research and drive discovery, supported by Carl Icahn
     
  • The recruitment of Eric Schadt, PhD, Jean C. and James W. Crystal Professor of Genomics, world-renowned for his game-changing approach to biomedical research
     
  • The Charles Bronfman Institute for Personalized Medicine, first in personalized health care to benefit patients today, created by a gift from The Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies
     
  • The Windreich Center for Bioinformatics, an expansive two-phase genotyping- sequencing project which will provide insights into which genes and environmental factors are linked with specific diseases and health conditions, created by a gift from the Windreich Family Foundation
     
  • Our electronic medical records system, EPIC, at the forefront of new technology and working in concert with a host of departments, centers, and institutes throughout Mount Sinai, established by a gift from the The Gaisman Foundation that was directed by Eric J. Waldman
     
  • Research in genomics, focused on inflammatory bowel disease and Alzheimer’s disease, supported by the Litwin Foundation, Carole and Ira Pittelman, and Howard and Michelle Swarzman
     
  • Collaborative work between the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology and Mount Sinai experts in development supported by Gerald J. Cardinale
     
  • Leading-edge network modeling in genomics with a focus on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, supported by a gift from Dwight Merriman
     
  • New York Genome Center, an influential organization transforming biomedical research and clinical care in New York and beyond, with support from Betty and John A. Levin