Eric Schadt, PhD, Named Director of Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology at The Mount Sinai Medical Center

Dr. Schadt's goal is to create a world-class genomic data center that will help develop and improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients.

New York
 – September 26, 2011 /Press Release/  –– 

Eric Schadt, PhD, a visionary in the use of computational biology in genomics, has joined The Mount Sinai Medical Center to lead the Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology. The Institute is the hub of genomics research at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, collaborating with 13 other disease-oriented and core-technology-based institutes. Dr. Schadt's appointments as Director of the Institute, the Jean C. and James W. Crystal Professor of Genomics, and Chair of the Department of Genetics and Genomics Sciences began August 1, 2011.  

"Mount Sinai is one of only a handful of research institutions around the country focusing on computational biology in genomics," said Dennis. S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs of The Mount Sinai Medical Center. "With Eric Schadt at the helm, Mount Sinai will be at the forefront of the revolution in genetics and genomic sciences, fundamentally changing the practice of medicine."

Dr. Schadt's goal for the Institute is to create a world-class data analytic center where researchers can query and learn from data collected at Mount Sinai. Using cutting-edge technologies like next generation sequencing and emerging third generation sequencing technologies, the Institute will create disease models based on research conducted at Mount Sinai and other institutions that will inform investigations and hypotheses. Researchers will use several technology platforms to query biological data, including the single molecule real time (SMRT™) technology from Pacific Biosciences, where Dr. Schadt is Chief Scientific Officer, and DVS Sciences' CyTOF™ mass cytometry platform. These capabilities will expand Mount Sinai's ability to characterize disease, and ultimately help develop and improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients.

"The only way the models we generate through computational biology are meaningful is if they can be applied in the clinical setting," said Dr. Schadt. "The Mount Sinai leadership is passionate about getting the advances we make in the lab into the hands of physicians quickly to inform treatment interventions and predict patient outcomes. Mount Sinai is uniquely poised to lead the charge in computational biology and genomics because of this inherent focus on translational research."

Dr. Schadt received his undergraduate degree in applied mathematics and computer science from California Polytechnic State University, and continued his studies at the University of California, Davis, where he received a Masters of Arts in pure mathematics. He earned his PhD in biomathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles. His research has contributed to a number of discoveries relating to the genetic basis of common human diseases such as diabetes and obesity.

The leadership of Robert J. Desnick, MD, PhD, Dean for Genetics and Genomic Medicine and former Chair of the Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences, has enabled Mount Sinai to take on this significant research venture. During his 18 years as Chair, Dr. Desnick helped build one of the largest genetics departments in the country, with more than 50 full-time faculty. He is an internationally renowned clinical, molecular and biochemical geneticist, with more than 600 scientific articles and invited chapters. He is the inventor on 14 patents, and has been continuously funded by the National Institutes for Health (NIH) for more than 40 years. He is a Fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Desnick's team is responsible for the breakthrough that led to the development of enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) for devastating genetic diseases like Fabry disease and Niemann-Pick B disease. More recently, his group used positional cloning and genomic techniques to identify the causative genes for several Mendelian disorders and for complex traits, and carried out basic and clinical research in pharmacogenetics and genomics. Dr. Desnick will continue as Dean for Genetics and Genomic Medicine. In this role, he will work to integrate Genetics and Genomic Medicine into the clinical, research, and educational activities at Mount Sinai.  

"Robert Desnick has made an indelible mark on the field of genetics and genomics, as has the department he built at Mount Sinai," said Dr. Charney. "It has been an honor to work with him and I look forward to continuing our partnership in positioning Mount Sinai as a center of excellence in genetics."

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center 

The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses both The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Established in 1968, Mount Sinai School of Medicine is one of the leading medical schools in the United States. The Medical School is noted for innovation in education, biomedical research, clinical care delivery, and local and global community service. It has more than 3,400 faculty in 32 departments and 14 research institutes, and ranks among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding and by U.S. News & World Report. 

The Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is a 1,171-bed tertiary- and quaternary-care teaching facility and one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. In 2011, U.S. News & World Report ranked The Mount Sinai Hospital 16th on its elite Honor Roll of the nation’s top hospitals based on reputation, safety, and other patient-care factors. Of the top 20 hospitals in the United States, Mount Sinai is one of 12 integrated academic medical centers whose medical school ranks among the top 20 in NIH funding and U.S. News & World Report and whose hospital is on the U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll. Nearly 60,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients last year, and approximately 560,000 outpatient visits took place. 

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