During the first year of funding, researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine will study the growth, differentiation and genetic alteration of human embryonic stem cells. The group will focus on developing methods to genetically modify stem cells and will study the molecular signals that cause them to differentiate into red blood cells.
"We expect the center to play an important role in establishing the infrastructure that will enable basic scientists to explore many fascinating questions about stem cell biology," said Marion M. Zatz, Ph.D., program director for the grant at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. "This fundamental knowledge is critical for efforts to use human embryonic stem cells therapeutically."
Mount Sinai School of Medicine has been at the forefront of stem cell research. Recently, the School announced a major gift from Mr. Leon Black, the founder of the investment managing firms Apollo Advisors, L. P. and Lion Advisors, L. P., and co-founder of Apollo Real Estate Advisors, L. P., to establish the Black Family Stem Cell Institute. The Institute will foster interdisciplinary collaboration among faculty members from numerous departments who are already working in stem cell research.
About Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Mount Sinai School of Medicine is internationally-recognized as a leader in ground-breaking clinical and basic-science research, as well as innovative approaches to medical education. Mount Sinai ranks 9th among the nation's 125 medical schools in the percentage of graduates who go on to faculty positions in medical schools across the country. Mount Sinai also is in the top 25 in receipt of National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants with a total of more than $153.2 million during Fiscal Year 2004. Information about Mount Sinai can be found online at: www.mountsinai.org and www.mssm.edu