Clinical OMICS

JAN-FEB 2019

Healthcare magazine for research scientists, labs, pathologists, hospitals, cancer centers, physicians and biopharma companies providing news articles, expert interviews and videos about molecular diagnostics in precision medicine

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10 Clinical OMICs January/February 2019 News Upscaling and Recruiting Margolin said Mount Sinai plans to scale up its super- computing capacity, deploy advanced computational and data science approaches, and develop a hybrid model of on-premise and cloud-based resources. Over the next decade, Mount Sinai also plans to recruit 30 tenure-track academic fac- ulty focused on data science and developing and applying genomic technologies toward precision medicine. In addition, it will add 25 professional-staff data scientists who will lead projects to interpret large-scale biomolecular data, and launch cross-institu- tional, cross-disciplinary projects to discover new precision therapies in core disease areas. The added staff are also expected to build computational infrastructure to enable integration and analysis of data throughout and beyond The Mount Sinai Health System— which includes the Icahn School, seven hospital campuses, more than 7,000 primary and specialty care physicians, and 12 minority-owned free-standing ambulatory surgery cen- ters. Staff scientists will also build technology platforms for molecular profiling and therapeutic testing; and launch programs to train Ph.D.– and Masters–level students in bio- medical data science. Recently hired faculty members include Alexander Tsan- kov, Ph.D., formerly of The Broad Institute of MIT and Har- vard; and Laura Huckins, Ph.D., an expert in psychiatric genetics, who was named an assistant professor in genetics and genomic sciences. More faculty will be hired in coming months, Margolin said. Also newly appointed is Joseph Finkelstein, M.D., Ph.D., who oversees Mount Sinai's research-related IT needs as chief research informatics officer and senior associate dean at Icahn School of Medicine. Margolin said Mount Sinai will work comprehensively on all diseases—mostly complex diseases, but also continu- ing research on rare diseases. Also, each year one disease area will be selected for a concerted cross-institutional effort to drive a key question and advance research in that area, using big data and genomic technologies. "The first one that we're doing, starting in 2019 will be in cancer," he said. "After that, we likely plan to launch pri- ority initiatives in immunologic diseases, brain diseases, cardiovascular diseases, among others." Multiple Cancers Mount Sinai plans to focus on multiple cancers based on criteria now being finalized, he said. Those include clin- ical need, the ability to impact patient care, institutional strength in a given cancer type, and ability to access bio- logical samples. "One area that we are quite strong in and we'll pursue is multiple myeloma. Beyond that, we'll choose to prioritize a few more cancer types that we will really want to make a focused effort to advance," Margolin added. Margolin started at Mount Sinai April 1, inheriting positions held by Eric Schadt, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Sema4, a molecular testing company spun out of Mount Sinai. Sema4 collaborates with Mount Sinai on diagnostics, and genetic testing to give doctors information about risk of disease based on genetic information or disease diagnos- tics based on genetic information. Schadt remains at Mount Sinai as dean of Precision Medicine and professor of Genet- ics and Genomic Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine. Under Schadt, the precision medicine program was rec- ognized as one of the world's 10 most innovative data sci- ence organizations by Fast Company. Mount Sinai's genetics (continued from previous page) Computational biologist Adam Margolin, Ph.D, oversees Mount Sinai's $200 million commitment to accelerate precision medicine by integrating large-scale data analysis with advanced genomic technologies. David Ledbetter, Ph.D. EVP and CSO, Geisinger Health.

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