The Leon and Norma Hess Center for Science and Medicine at Mount Sinai officially opened Thursday, housing significant areas of six of Mount Sinai’s most influential institutes focusing on brain, cancer, heart, children’s health, genomics and imaging. With a half-million square feet of space, the Hess Center increases the medical center’s research capacity by nearly 30 percent and is designed to facilitate real-time collaboration between physicians, investigators, and specialists from across disciplines.
To capture the forward movement of the institution, Mount Sinai has also revealed a new brand to coincide with the opening of the new building. The new logo is derived from the historic Mount Sinai Mountain range and the intersection lines represent the connection between physicians, scientists, patients and students and the members of the Mount Sinai community.
“The Hess Center will serve as the focal point of Mount Sinai’s research and clinical programs,” said Kenneth L. Davis, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Mount Sinai Medical Center. “The combination of world-class faculty and state-of-the-art equipment and facilities will expand our ability to understand and treat the most challenging medical problems in areas such as cancer, heart disease, and brain and nervous system disorders.”
Ranked #14 among hospitals and among the top 20 medical schools in the nation, the new Hess Center will house both clinical and research facilities of The Tisch Cancer Institute, as well as laboratories for The Friedman Brain Institute, the Cardiovascular Research Institute, the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology, and the Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute. By expanding Mount Sinai’s research footprint, the Hess Center is expected to draw more than $350 million in National Institutes of Health funding over its first five years.
“Mount Sinai is a magnet for world-class researchers making critical contributions toward the understanding of the cause of human disease,” said Dennis S. Charney, MD, the Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Mount Sinai Medical Center. “The new building literally brings these great minds together in a shared space where they can easily brainstorm and collaborate on new ideas. We designed the building to foster communication, because new findings can come from unexpected directions.”
In the new building, clinical space for cancer patients has expanded to 50,000 square feet. A centralized space combining examination and consultation rooms, with easy access to a chemotherapy suite, enhances multi-disciplinary care and comfort for patients. Laboratory space incorporates flexible design to host promising areas of research as they emerge. To foster collaboration, the Hess Center’s six full floors of laboratory space are connected to two floors of outpatient clinical space. An open staircase connects all research floors, with shared white boards spanning the walls of each landing.
“Cancer today is all about translation: the ability to go from bench to bedside and back again is truly extraordinary,” said Steven Burakoff, MD and Director of The Tisch Cancer Institute. “Our clinical setup provides multi-disciplinary care right in the building: radiation, infusion, imaging, and genomics will be there. We can share ideas with the cardiovascular institute, imaging, neuroscience, genomics and child health – and be near the patients. This is spectacular.”
“Being closer to our colleagues allows us to share information more quickly and collaborate in new ways. For example, the tools that evolve out of cancer biology and cardiovascular biology will give us novel ways of influencing brain function, perhaps leading to novel brain therapeutics,” said Eric Nestler, MD, PhD and Director of The Friedman Brain Institute. “We’ll begin to crack some of the major illnesses of our time, like Alzheimer’s disease and autism.”
The space also promotes greater access to technology across disciplines, including a new 2,200-square-foot data center that quadruples the capacity of Minerva, Mount Sinai’s high-performance supercomputer, which already ranks among the largest systems in academic medicine in the U.S.
“Constructing and applying comprehensive predictive models is the future of better diagnosing and treating disease, and requires the high-end super-computer and data management infrastructure, which we have in the Hess Center,” said Eric Schadt, PhD, Director of the Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology. “These are the tools that are going to take us beyond a single-gene understanding and into a network-based understanding of common human diseases.”
Combined MRI and PET technology, together one of the most powerful whole body MRI scanner and unique Computed Tomography technology, will allow physician-scientists to improve diagnostic accuracy and “see” novel therapies at work.
The Hess Center is one of few research facilities to open this year in the United States, and it is the first to be completed, or even started, in New York City. The research and clinical facility will generate almost 800 jobs as scientists, clinicians, technicians, administrators, and building operators over the next four years. To learn more about the Hess Center, go to http://www.mssm.edu/about-us/hess-center. For videos, including a virtual tour, go to http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA7015FC51DEB3ED5.
For the new Mount Sinai logo, intersecting lines in vibrant colors of cyan and deep magenta overlap to create the color violet. This combination of colors serves as a metaphor for multiple parts of Mount Sinai that work together to create something new. To see the Mount Sinai logo and to learn more about the brand, go to www.mountsinai.org.
Pictured Left to right are: New York State Senator Liz Kreuger; New York State Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez; Wayne E. Keathley, President and Chief Operating Officer, Mount Sinai; Kenneth L. Davis, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mount Sinai; Peter W. May, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Mount Sinai; Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean, Mount Sinai School of Medicine; Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Mount Sinai; New York State Assemblyman Richard Gottfried; Chairman of Community Board 11 Matthew S. Washington.
Photo Credit: Ben Gancsos Photography