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The institute will assemble and support a diverse, multidisciplinary team of scientists and researchers to lead the charge breakthroughs in airway science.
In mid-January, Mount Sinai Health System and Icahn School of Medicine announced the launch of the Institute for Airway Sciences (IAS), a multidisciplinary institute intended to establish new therapies for patients with sinus, laryngotracheal airway, and lung diseases.
The institute is the first clinical and research collaborative of its kind in the United States, and will bring together a diverse group of researchers, thought leaders, and clinicians to establish new goals for conquering airway diseases.
The institute will be opened under the guidance of Eric Genden, MD, MBA, Professor and System Chair of Otalaryngology, along with several clinical directors at Mount Sinai including Dr. Isidore Friesner and Dr. Charles Powell.
Genden, who led the first human trachea transplant in the US, is no stranger to innovation. He spoke on how the institute will encourage new ways of approaching airway diseases through collaboration, grants and scholarship opportunities.
“The underlying goal (and) that the way that we do this is that instead of having a research institute in one silo, the clinical institute in another and then clinical trialists who are taking the signs and kind of trying and creating these trials, we're bringing them all together so that the scientists understand what are the problems that we're facing and they can get to work working with us on real pragmatic solutions,” Genden said.
He added that in the ever-evolving world of airway science, physicians should be able to work expeditiously and thoroughly. The collaborative nature of IAS should ensure that patients receive the newest and most effective therapies and management methods as quickly as possible.
“There's a large number probably about 25 different people that are really (at the) very top in their field, but for a lot of reasons, they're not familiar with what each other is doing,” Genden said. “So, the idea here is that when you cross pollinate, you start to realize that, unfortunately, we're very sequestered.”
The institute will incorporate insights from transplant scientists, immunologists, stem cell researchers and more. Additionally, it will incoroporate data from 4 resource cores including the Black Family Stem Cell Institute, the Department of Cell, Developmental and Regenerative Biology, the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, and the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.
In an effort to create a “fertile, boundless” program for all who are involved with IAS, the institute will be awarding pilot grants and user scholarships in addition to offering seminars and research-in-progress talks to medical students and residents in training.
“One of the best kept secrets is much of the innovation and discovery that has occurred through the history of science has been done by young students, young researchers, not the people that have already created in their mind a framework of ideas and how to approach a problem but much more creative, boundary-less, young investigators,” Genden. “So, we want to incorporate medical students and residents into this kind of, if you will, scientific think tank that has a constructive arm where we're actually not just doing the thinking but doing the science with it.”