New York, NY (PRWEB) December 16, 2014
The Mount Sinai Health System today announced that Daniel S. Loeb, CEO and Founder of Third Point LLC, and his wife, Margaret Munzer Loeb, have made a $15 million gift to establish the Ronald M. Loeb Center for Alzheimer’s Disease in memory of Daniel’s father, Ronald M. Loeb. The Loeb Center will be a network of research programs, closely tied to clinical initiatives, across the Mount Sinai Health System.
The center will be led by Alison Goate, PhD, a highly regarded neuropsychiatric researcher and molecular geneticist. Dr. Goate will work in concert with three Mount Sinai faculty members who are world leaders in Alzheimer’s research and care: Mary Sano, PhD; Sam Gandy, MD, PhD; and Eric Schadt, PhD.
"I am honored to establish this new center in my father’s memory and to support groundbreaking research in Alzheimer’s disease,” Mr. Loeb said. “When my father was sick, I learned how painful this disease is for those afflicted and their families. I also recognized that there is little hope for patients today beyond slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s. We urgently need more resources to find a cure or effective prevention.”
“Mount Sinai has been at the forefront of Alzheimer’s research, starting with Dr. Ken Davis several decades ago,” Mr. Loeb continued. “It is my hope that this Center, with its multi-departmental approach and expertise in stem cell research and genomics, will bring together the best in the field to find the breakthrough we so urgently need.”
"We are deeply grateful for the Loeb family’s immense generosity and unique vision, which will help to enhance Mount Sinai’s reputation as one of the world's leading resources for all aspects of Alzheimer’s Disease research," said Mount Sinai CEO and President Kenneth L. Davis, MD. “This gift will have an enormous positive effect on our ability to bring together our core competencies in Alzheimer’s disease research: genomics, bioinformatics, imaging and clinical trials.”
“I am so pleased to acknowledge Daniel Loeb for this historic gift,” Dr. Davis continued. “He is a leader with extraordinary talent and vision who brings passion to all that he does. Based in no small part on work done by Mount Sinai researchers, there has been a revolution in the way we think about Alzheimer’s disease, and that revolution has brought us to the threshold of major breakthroughs, which we will vigorously pursue at the Ronald M. Loeb Center, under the leadership of Dr. Alison Goate, who is truly one of the chief architects of the genomics revolution in Alzheimer’s disease.”
The Ronald M. Loeb Center for Alzheimer’s Disease will bring together a network of researchers and clinicians from the entire Mount Sinai Health System. The Loeb Center will have substantial interactions with the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC), sponsored by the National Institute of Aging and directed by Dr. Sano, Associate Dean for Clinical Research and Professor of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Physicians will primarily see patients in the Center for Cognitive Health (part of the May Center for Mount Sinai Doctors), led by Dr. Gandy, the Mount Sinai Professor in Alzheimer’s Research, Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry, and Associate Director, Mount Sinai Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. The Loeb Center’s research enterprise will be anchored on the 10th floor of the Icahn Medical Institute. The Center will closely collaborate with scientists at The Friedman Brain Institute, led by Eric Nestler, MD, PhD, the Nash Family Professor and Chair of Neuroscience; and the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology; directed by Dr. Schadt, the Jean C. and James W. Crystal Professor of Genomics; among other research partners from across Mount Sinai.
Dr. Goate, who is the Mount Sinai Professor of Neuroscience and Genetics and Genomic Sciences and Director of the Loeb Center, is coming to Mount Sinai from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. She is renowned for identifying some of the key gene mutations linked to the heritable risk for Alzheimer’s disease, including her find that a rare mutation in the PLD3 gene doubles the risk of developing late onset Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD). She led a team of researchers who performed the largest ever genome-wide association study of protein markers found in cerebrospinal fluid, resulting in the discovery of three new genetic variants that may indicate the presence of Alzheimer’s disease.
As Director of the Ronald M. Loeb Center for Alzheimer’s Disease, Dr. Goate will have an immediate impact by catalyzing genomics and multiscale biology-based research projects focused on Alzheimer’s disease and strengthening Mount Sinai’s Alzheimer’s disease research infrastructure with new talent in areas such as induced pluripotent stem cells. Dr. Goate will also collaborate with the outstanding team of experts already in place at Mount Sinai. The team includes Dr. Sano, one of the nation’s leaders in clinical trials of Alzheimer’s disease, and Dr. Gandy, a foremost expert on the amyloid plaque protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Goate will also have access to the innovative new MRI and PET technology (Mount Sinai is one of the few sites in the U.S. with such advanced technology) and the Minerva supercomputer, the largest supercomputer ever constructed for the purpose of genomic investigation.
Ever since Mount Sinai’s Dr. Davis first described the cholinomimetic therapy that has become the basis for today’s standard of Alzheimer’s disease care 35 years ago, Mount Sinai has been at the forefront of Alzheimer’s research and clinical care. Four of the five FDA-approved drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer’s were developed through the breakthrough discovery of cholinesterase inhibitors initiated by Dr. Davis’s team. The key proof of concept study, for which Dr. Davis was a lead investigator, led to the first multi-center U.S. study and to the first FDA-approved Alzheimer’s drug, Cognex, to be brought to market. Three more drugs in the class were facilitated by the method the Davis team developed; he also developed the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale, the most widely used Alzheimer’s assessment tool in the world. In addition to these accomplishments, Mount Sinai’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) has received continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health since 1986. And with more than 12,000 samples, Mount Sinai’s Alzheimer’s disease brain bank is the most comprehensive in the world, and has provided samples for thousands of studies worldwide.
About the Mount Sinai Health System
The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven member hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services—from community‐based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care.
The System includes approximately 6,600 primary and specialty care physicians, 12‐minority‐owned free‐standing ambulatory surgery centers, over 45 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island, as well as 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institutes of Health funding and by U.S. News & World Report.
For more information, visit http://www.mountsinai.org, or find Mount Sinai on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube; or visit http://www.mountsinai.org/patient-care/service-areas/alzheimers-center.
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