New Focus for the Icahn Genomics Institute - Announcement of Brian Brown, PhD as Interim Institute Director (04/14/2021)

To:  Faculty, Postdocs, and Students


Eric Nestler, MD, PhD
Dean for Academic and Scientific Affairs

Dennis Charney, MD
Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Date:  April 14, 2021

Re:  New Focus for the Icahn Genomics Institute – Announcement of Brian Brown, PhD as Interim Institute Director

We are very pleased to announce the refocusing of the Icahn Genomics Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Moving forward the Institute will provide a formal nexus for Mount Sinai’s pioneering research and medical practice in gene and cell therapy and nucleic acid-based drugs.

The Icahn Institute has been an important multidisciplinary hub at Mount Sinai for a decade, and has been reimagined twice in order to optimize its value to our research programs. Originally focusing on genomics and multiscale biology, over time the emphasis shifted to data science and genomic technology. Now, to take advantage of emerging opportunities and capabilities, the new focus on gene and cell therapy will position the School for breakthrough discoveries in this field.

Since the 1990s Mount Sinai researchers have been advancing the science of gene and cell treatments, including for inherited genetic disorders, cancer, and heart disease. We have also been at the forefront of utilizing gene therapy in the clinic, particularly for hematological malignancies, where we have been leaders in using gene-engineered T cells, encoding chimeric antigen receptors (CAR), to treat our patients with multiple myeloma, lymphoma or leukemia.

The Icahn Genomics Institute will bring together experts from a range of disciplines and scientific focuses, including gene and cell engineering, RNA therapeutics, viral vectors and oncolytics, microbiotics, and regenerative medicine, with the goal of improved treatments for cancer, infectious disease, inherited genetic disorders, neurodegeneration, heart disease and other conditions. We are currently leading a search for a Director for the Institute. In the interim, the Institute will be led by Brian Brown, PhD, Professor of Genetics and Genomic Sciences and Associate Director of the Precision Immunology Institute (PrIISM). Dr. Brown is a leader in the field of gene therapy whose laboratory invented new ways to target vectors and viruses to particular cell types and tissues that are now being evaluated in the clinic for cancer treatments.

The past decade has seen a revolution and realization of gene-, cell- and nucleic acid-based therapies that includes highly effective treatments for many different diseases, the development of CRISPR gene editing tools and new methods of vaccination based on mRNA and adenoviral vectors that are helping to end the global COVID-19 pandemic. Mount Sinai and the Icahn Genomics Institute will further lead this important new area of medicine into the future and bring better treatments to our patients.

We encourage you to contact Dr. Brown to discuss opportunities for collaborating with the Institute’s exciting new focus.


eSafety - New Biosafety Platform (04/12/2021)

To:  Faculty, Staff, Postdocs, and Students


Eric J Nestler, MD PhD
Institutional Official (IO)
Dean, Academic and Scientific Affairs
Director, The Friedman Brain Institute

Reginald W Miller, DVM DACLAM
Dean for Research Operations and Infrastructure
Senior Research Integrity Officer

Viviana Simon, MD PhD
Chair, Institutional Biosafety Committee
Professor, Department of Microbiology

Ashish Narayan, MS MBA
Associate Dean, Research Administration IT, Academic, and Research Informatics

Randy A Albrecht, PhD
Director, Institutional Biosafety Program
Responsible Official, Select Agents and Toxins Program
Director, Emerging Pathogens Facility
Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology

Date:  Monday, April 12, 2021

Re:  Implementation of eSafety, a biosafety protocol management application

Dear Faculty, Staff, Postdocs, and Students,

We are excited to announce that the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is implementing an online biosafety protocol management application on Friday, May 7, 2021. In line with the successful implementation of eIACUC (research animal protocol management application) and RUTH Portal (IRB system), eSafety, the new biosafety protocol management portal is part of the multi-phased plan to enhance and consolidate research operations and administration.

Like eIACUC and RUTH Portal, eSafety is a regulatory compliant and streamlined system provided by Huron Research Enterprise Suite and will provide a similarly simplified biosafety application form and a refined workflow. Key features of eSafety are:

  • Cloud-based and Single Sign-On
  • Smart-forms
  • System rapidity and stability
  • Protocol copy function for easy duplication of protocols
  • Integration with eIACUC to link research animal protocols requiring biosafety review
  • Training and certifications imported directly from external sites (e.g., CITI Program)
  • Tools to compare different versions of protocol

Training materials are being developed and will include weekly Zoom training sessions (beginning April 21, 2021) and training videos that will be available on Research Administration Portal (eRA) as well as IBC and the Institutional Biosafety Program websites. Zoom training session schedule will be available shortly to register at eRA.

Thank you very much for your support of the crucial school initiative. Please reach out to Jermaine Foskey (, Business Analyst, Research Administration IT with questions regarding eSafety or to Shekhar Patil (, PhD, Administrative Director, CoREs and Shared Resources with questions regarding biosafety protocol submission process.

Eric, Reg, Viviana, Ashish, and Randy


Research 411 Portal

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