The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has been awarded a five-year, $55.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) Program.
That will benefit the diverse patient population Mount Sinai serves by accelerating the development of new treatments for leading health conditions, including cardiorespiratory and psychiatric disorders, diabetes, malignancies, and infectious diseases. In particular, this award will be critical to support Mount Sinai’s ongoing response to emerging priorities such as the initial and longer-term management of COVID-19.
The grant will support the work of ConduITS, the Institute for Translational Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is one of 63 sites nationwide in the Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program. Founded in 2009, ConduITS is dedicated to launching clinical studies quickly; enhancing collaborations with other CTSA Programs, community providers, patients, and industry; and promoting team science and effective methods for recruitment and retention of clinical research participants.
This is the third clinical and translational science award that ConduITS has received since 2009. The grant will enable the Mount Sinai Health System to harness its unique strengths in translational research informatics, digital health, and data science to accelerate the translation of research into discoveries that lead to better health outcomes for a diverse patient population across the lifespan. In particular, it will enable ConduITs to evolve its approach to precision medicine to include a precision public health framework that integrates genomics with key public health domains such as environmental health, social determinants of health, and big-data science to address health equity challenges.
“This grant confirms that Mount Sinai is a leader in clinical translational science nationwide. Many CTSA Programs at other leading health systems across the United States leverage unique aspects of our site, such as high-performance computing, research informatics, and our exposomics infrastructure, which is beneficial for us and for the entire network,” says Rosalind J. Wright, MD, MPH, Director of ConduITS, the Horace W. Goldsmith Professor of Pediatrics at Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital, and Dean for Translational Biomedical Sciences at Icahn Mount Sinai.
“With this grant, we will be able to expand that infrastructure to, for example, continue building our integrated informatics ecosystem to facilitate big-data science across the network and enhance accessibility to data streams needed for researchers who are tackling society’s most pressing and complex health-related challenges such as health inequities, thus creating the potential to improve outcomes for all across our diverse patient populations. In this way, the grant, and the science that it will facilitate, ultimately has the potential to be highly impactful in the delivery of health care. This infrastructure proved to be critical during the COVID-19 pandemic and enabled the rapid understanding of this new disease and the development of new vaccines and treatments.”
The time frame for the development of new treatments is typically lengthy, between 10 to 15 years from initial scientific discovery to market launch. ConduITS will use the grant to continue to accelerate that development process and transform the local, regional, and national translational research network by:
- Expanding programs that promote workforce diversity, with an emphasis on underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, and individuals with disabilities or from disadvantaged backgrounds.
- Fostering transdisciplinary learning and team science to encourage innovation through collaborations and analysis across medical disciplines, including emerging fields such as precision medicine, exposomics, and public health.
- Engaging a wide range of translational research stakeholders locally and nationally, including CTSA Programs, biotech and pharmaceutical companies, and most critically, patients.
- Incorporating translational research, with a particular focus on perinatal and pediatric research, geriatric populations, and populations impacted by health disparities.
“Mount Sinai serves one of the biggest and most diverse patient populations in the world, and our footprint as a health system has grown significantly,” Dr. Wright says. “This grant enables us to keep pace with that growth and better serve our patients by raising the bar for the research we conduct and the care we provide. By sharing the discoveries and infrastructure made possible by the grant, we can further support the entire CTSA Program in achieving the same goals, enabling our field to better address the healthcare challenges we, and our patients, are facing.”
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 14th nationwide in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding and among 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 35 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, as well as 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 2,000 clinical residents and fellows training throughout the Health System. In addition, more than 550 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 healthcare 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 the 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.
Photo credit: Rosalind J. Wright.