Two medical doctors shaking hands
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The cross section between innovative engineering as a means of furthering precision medicine continues to grow. With this in mind, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York have created the Center for Engineering and Precision Medicine (CEPM)—one of the first such centers in the U.S. The newly created joint academia-hospital system research center aims to share basic research findings and develop new technologies that will improve patient outcomes in such areas as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, tissue degeneration, and infectious diseases.

CEPM represents a continued strengthening of the successful partnership between Mount Sinai and RPI. The new center will offer a PhD program which the parties say will “educate a new generation of biomedical leaders.”  The CEPM also highlights Mount Sinai’s growing commitment to the field of precision medicine. Last week, it announced the creation of a dedicated research center for the study of the role of epigenetics in the development of neurological and psychological disorders.

“This transformative partnership between Rensselaer and Icahn Mount Sinai recognizes that engineering and engineering science is fundamental to the understanding of biomedical phenomena and is essential to the development of the next generation of precision diagnostics and therapeutics, human health and well-being, and to the training of advanced researchers and physicians,” said Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., president of RPI. “This center will continue to fuel medical and scientific discoveries with life-changing impacts across the globe.”

CEPM will be located at 619 West 54th St., in New York City and will work in a number of diverse areas including:

  • point-of-care and point-of-use devices and diagnostics;
  • microphysiological platforms for discovery and diagnosis;
  • robotic surgery;
  • biomedical imaging;
  • therapeutics biomanufacturing; and
  • artificial intelligence and machine learning applied to biomedical data.

“From highly sensitive and accurate bioimaging systems to new drug target discoveries, the major inventions that have shaped modern medicine were born out of close collaboration between engineers and clinicians,” said Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and president for Academic Affairs of the Mount Sinai Health System. “The CEPM presents a bold new paradigm for that collaboration to continue that we believe will result in unprecedented advances in science, medicine, and human health. In addition, the PhD program will enable us to attract and equip a new generation of researchers with the interdisciplinary engineering and clinical skills to pursue more groundbreaking, impactful research.”

The relationship between the Icahn Mount Sinai School of Medicine and RPI’s Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS) dates back to 2014, when the two began leveraging their respective strengths in biomedical research and patient care and research in engineering, life sciences, data and computational sciences. According to information on the CBIS webpage this collaboration’s goal is to “transform biomedicine through technology-based solutions to critical unmet health-care needs. In subsequent years, students and faculty have engaged in multidisciplinary endeavors ranging from academic research and product development to degree programs in bio-entrepreneurship.”

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