Unique Partnership: Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Panthera

Protecting animals, their habitats, and improving health care for underdeveloped populations is what the partnership between Mount Sinai’s Department of Medicine Chair, Paul Klotman, MD and Alan Rabinowitz, MD, is all about.

New York, NY
 – April 20, 2009 /Press Release/  –– 

At first glance the potential for partnership between Mount Sinai and Panthera, an organization dedicated to the conservation of wild cats, is far from evident. But thanks to a personal connection and creative thinking, these two organizations are now collaborating to improve health care for underserved populations while also protecting animals and their habitats.

"Alan [Rabinowitz, PhD, President of Panthera] and I have been friends for years," says Paul E. Klotman, MD, Chairman of the Department of Medicine. "Conversations about our respective interests led us both to the realization that cat conservation and human health are not only related, but that one is not possible without the other."

Dr. Klotman became an active participant in Panthera and he has been honored by the organization for his contributions to cat conservation.

Partnership focuses on big cats and cattle ranchers

The new partnership pairs Panthera with Mount Sinai’s Global Health and Emerging Pathogens Institute and the Global Health Center. The initiative focuses on Brazil’s Pantanal region, where Panthera manages more than 700 square kilometers of critical habitat used by the world’s largest jaguars.

The area is also home to one of the largest cattle ranching regions on the planet. The goal is to protect the animals while improving the health and well-being of the cattle ranchers and their environments.

"It is now clear to the medical community that major infectious diseases like Ebola and avian flu are the result of a bi-directional threat of human and wildlife pathogens," said Mary E. Klotman, MD, Co-Director of Mount Sinai’s Global Health and Emerging Pathogens Institute. "A major goal of the new program is to obtain a deeper understanding about the links between animal and human diseases so that we may recognize the early signs of trouble."

To learn more about Mount Sinai’s work on global health and emerging pathogens, please visit the Global Health & Emerging Pathogens Institute.