Two major New York area medical schools have joined forces to augment their research efforts. The deans of Mount Sinai and Stony Brook medical schools disclosed that the significant sum of $500,000 in funds will be made available to scientists who submit their first round of joint research proposals by October 1.
According to Crains New York, the two noted educational institutions contributed an equal amount of money to the research pilot, which is one of the first actual signs of a far-reaching partnership between Mount Sinai Health System and Stony Brook Medicine that will offer opportunities for joint research, education, and, ultimately, clinical services. The agreement took approximately 10 months to finalize and included a number of brainstorming sessions with faculty.
All projects, which are likely to begin at the start of 2017, must have the participation of the faculty on both campuses, and will be chosen by a joint committee.
The pilot program will help contribute initial funding for new research and provide the initial investigational data to improve the competitiveness of grant proposals for minimally available research funding from the National Institutes of Health.
If successful, the schools expect to continue contributing to the program on an annual basis. "One of the nice things about bringing Mount Sinai and Stony Brook together is that we both have that entrepreneurial spirit," declared Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky, senior vice president for health sciences and dean of the Stony Brook University School of Medicine.
According to Dr. Dennis Charney, the Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz dean at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, establishing teams with researchers from both institutions with complementary expertise will enable Mount Sinai and Stony Brook to develop new medicines and treatments for patients, with the intention to eventually commercialize the innovations. Royalties from any resulting treatments will be shared, depending on the contribution of each medical school to the project, explained Charney and Kaushanksy.
The combined research strength is just one of the advantages of joining forces, the deans said. For students, the new partnership means that a medical student at Stony Brook could do a month-long rotation in an inner-city setting, at Mount Sinai, or a doctoral candidate at Mount Sinai could work in conjunction with a researcher at Stony Brook. The latter has begun setting up programs for students in such exotic foreign locations as Madagascar and Kenya, while Mount Sinai offers opportunities to work in about 30 countries.
While students will be free to utilize some of the resources at both institutions, they will continue to earn degrees from their respective schools. Kaushansky expects the new deal to make both schools more attractive to potential students.