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Einstein Receives $10 Million NIH Grant to Expand Stem Cell Research Facilities

Einstein to Increase Research Space and Recruit New Stem Cell Scientists

April 15, 2010 – (BRONX, NY) – Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University has been awarded $10 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to expand its stem cell research capabilities. The funds will be used to create new laboratories in order to increase its already substantial base of stem cell investigators.  This will be carried out under the auspices of the recently established Ruth L. and David S. Gottesman Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Research.

Harry Shamoon, M.D.
Harry Shamoon, M.D.
The Gottesman Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Research will utilize the NIH support, issued under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, to renovate and modernize existing research space and expand the related stem cell core facilities for cell sorting and cell transplantation. The changes will create space for several new senior stem cell investigators.

“A key aspect of our plan is to embed stem cell laboratories within easy reach of Einstein’s centers in diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS, liver disease and women’s health to encourage the free flow of science,” said Harry Shamoon, M.D., associate dean for clinical and translational research. “With guidance and support from Allen M. Spiegel, M.D., the Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean, and in consultation with our faculty leadership, a team from Einstein’s academic administration worked with our outstanding facilities and management department to map out this plan.”

Einstein’s stem cell investigators are currently located in laboratories throughout the Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus in the Bronx. The Gottesman Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Research, which will house the director’s laboratories in a dedicated wing of the Michael F. Price Center for Genetic and Translational Medicine/Harold and Muriel Block Research Pavilion, will also be home to the institute’s administrative core, while also facilitating increased stem cell research throughout Einstein’s campus.

The laboratory renovations, which will be accomplished over the next two years, focus on four broad themes: 1) stem cell biology, 2) stem cell genetics, 3) cancer stem cells, and 4) translational stem cell research.  In order to best complement and build upon the work of existing Einstein stem cell researchers, the Gottesman Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Research will expand basic and translational stem cell research by co-recruiting new faculty in concert with multiple departments, including cell biology, genetics, developmental and molecular biology, the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience, and others.

The renovation funds, part of President Obama’s stimulus program for NIH, will create 150 new jobs, in both construction and research positions. This will be economically critical for the 1.4 million people in the Bronx, while also creating a major driver of scientific innovation to create cures for multiple diseases.

“A key aspect of our plan is to embed stem cell laboratories within easy reach of Einstein’s centers in diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS, liver disease and women’s health to encourage the free flow of science.”

-- Harry Shamoon, M.D.
In consultation with the faculty, the grant proposal was developed by staff in the office of Dean Spiegel, in conjunction with Dr. Shamoon; Salvatore Ciampo, senior director of facilities management; Julia Herrick, former assistant dean for research development; Cecilia Haas, M.S., CFM, assistant director of facilities planning; and John Harb, M.S.P.H., assistant dean for scientific operations and director of the Office of Biotechnology.

The Gottesman Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Research is supported by external sources, including the NIH and the New York State Stem Cell Research Program, as well as by a major generous gift from the Gottesman family.

Currently, Einstein has a faculty base of nearly two dozen NIH-funded stem cell investigators tackling some of the world’s most challenging diseases – including liver failure, cancer and heart disease. Einstein has been a leading recipient of stem cell funding from New York State since its 2008 initiative to commit $600 million in the next decade to advance stem cell science in the state (NYSTEM). To date, Einstein researchers have received over $15 million in NYSTEM funding, including two new awards totaling over $1.4 million announced last month.

The recent NYSTEM grants were awarded to Jayanta Roy-Chowdhury, M.B.B.S., professor of medicine and of genetics, and Ulrich Steidl, M.D., Ph.D., the Diane and Arthur B. Belfer Faculty Scholar in Cancer Research and assistant professor of cell biology. Dr. Roy-Chowdhury was awarded a $1,080,000 Investigator-Initiated Research Project grant to study the Amelioration of Hepatic Metabolic Defects by Stem Cell-Derived Human Hepatocytes. Dr. Steidl was awarded $330,000 for an Innovative, Developmental or Exploratory Activities award for Identifying Epigenomic Determinants of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Commitment.