SinaInnovations Conference Examines How To Promote Innovation And Accelerate Discovery At Academic Medical Centers

Day One kicks-off with insights from former Verizon CEO, Leaders from Mount Sinai, Johns Hopkins, and UCSF.

New York
 – November 12, 2012 /Press Release/  –– 

Under the theme Launching a New Era of Discovery, more than 450 participants including students, faculty and prominent leaders from academia, the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, investment community and global media convened at The Mount Sinai Medical Center to map out a blueprint to foster innovation and accelerate drug and biotechnology discoveries at academic medical centers. Participants examined all aspects of innovation, from how it can be taught and fostered within academia, to how it can accelerate drug discovery and the commercialization of emerging biotechnologies. The SINAInnovations conference runs through Wednesday, November 14 at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

In his opening remarks, Dennis S. Charney, MD, the Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs of The Mount Sinai Medical Center said, "At Mount Sinai, we are creating a culture of innovation and transformation--a culture where anything is possible. Sinai students and faculty must believe that they can change the future of biomedicine, science and clinical medicine."

"We are aligning a culture of innovation with a mission of innovation," added Dr, Charney. "Mount Sinai is facilitating a culture of innovation by investments in technology, a new Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship, the first-ever course on Whole Genome Sequencing, and new recruits including those with an expertise in venture capital and Big Data analytics."

During his keynote address, Ivan Seidenberg, Retired Chairman and CEO of Verizon Communications, compared the similarities between the transformation of Verizon Communications from a phone service provider to a multiservice communications leader to the changes and challenges in health care and academic medical centers. He said the keys of growth include gaining scale, investing in growth, reinventing the core of the business and transforming the customer experience. The same could be applied to an academic medical center. Stressing the importance of a strategic focus, he said, "In the old days you could have 100 projects and they all are important. But somebody has to sit down to think about which ones have the potential to scale and which have the potential for materiality."

Geoffrey Smith, Director, Center for Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship, Mount Sinai School of Medicine talked about putting a process in place to foster innovation. "Many of the world's great ideas come into the world half-formed, more a hunch than a revelation. By collaborating in a structured innovation process, we can help accelerate turning these partially formed ideas into implementable innovation."

Smith added "To generate a lot of new ideas and get beyond our normal patterns of thought, we need the expertise of many people who are willing to think differently and to cut across disciplines that traditionally have existed in separate silos."

Scott L. Friedman, MD, Dean for Therapeutic Discovery at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, said, "We are committed to redefining how academic medical centers contribute to innovation and improve therapies for all patients." He applauded the contributions of participants including renowned faculty members from Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and Harvard Medical School.

In wrapping up the day, Dr. Charney added, "One of the key messages that I heard is that silos inhibit innovation. Great findings come from unexpected places."

Line-up for Tuesday, November 13, 8:30 am to 2:30 pm

· 8:30 - 9 am: Keynote Address by David Zaslav, President and CEO, Discovery Communications

· 9:05 - 10:15 am: Panel Discussion: "Mount Sinai Innovation in Drug Discovery" with Mount Sinai School of Medicine panelists Premkumar Reddy, Robert Desnick, Ross Cagan, Roger Hajjar, Ravi Iyengar.

· 10:15 – 10:45 am: Keynote Address:"How Do You Teach Innovation" by Elazer R. Edelman, Thomas D. and Virginia W. Cabot Professor, Health Sciences and Technology MIT

· 10:45 – 11am Break

· 11 - 12:15 pm: Panel Discussion: "Biotech: From Academia to Commercialization" with panelists Colin Goddard, Chairman and CEO of Coferon, James McCullough, CEO of Exosome Diagnostics, George D. Yancopoulos, President and CEO, Regeneron Laboratories, Geoffrey W. Smith, Mount Sinai School of Medicine

· 12:15 - 1 pm: Panel Discussion: "Funding Innovation" with panelists Daniel Behr, Senior Vice President, Access BridgeGap Ventures; Martin Vogelbaum, Partner, Rho Ventures; Barbara Dalton, Vice President, Pfizer Ventures; Jai Ranganathan, Co-founder, SciFund Challenge.

· 1:30 - 2:30 pm: Breakout Sessions on "Innovation and Commercialization:" "Invention Disclosure, Licensing and Intellectual Property;" "Start-ups;" and "Venture Capital"

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center

The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses both The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Established in 1968, Mount Sinai School of Medicine is one of the leading medical schools in the United States. The Medical School is noted for innovation in education, biomedical research, clinical care delivery, and local and global community service. It has more than 3,400 faculty in 32 departments and 14 research institutes, and ranks among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding and by U.S. News and World Report.

The Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is a 1,171-bed tertiary- and quaternary-care teaching facility and one of the nation's oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. In 2012, U.S. News and World Report ranked The Mount Sinai Hospital 14th on its elite Honor Roll of the nation's top hospitals based on reputation, safety, and other patient-care factors. Mount Sinai is one of 12 integrated academic medical centers whose medical school ranks among the top 20 in NIH funding and U.S. News and World Report and whose hospital is on the U.S. News and World Report Honor Roll. Nearly 60,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients last year, and approximately 560,000 outpatient visits took place.

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