The Global Health and Emerging Pathogens Institute (GHEPI) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) focuses unique resources on funded and talented scientists, specialized biocontainment space to work safely with pathogenic agents, and global international surveillance efforts, with the purpose to improve the control of newly emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases that threaten world health.
Conquering Infectious Viral Diseases
Our mission is to conquer infectious viral diseases through collaboration and innovation, as our nickname, “The Virus Fighters,” indicates. The vital needs in this area are demonstrated not only by the recognition of bioterrorism as a real threat, but also by the continual emergence/reemergence and potential for rapid spread of infectious diseases including HIV, SARS, MERS, Zika virus, Ebola, chikungunya, avian influenza, and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Despite tremendous advances in antimicrobial and vaccine development in the last 50 years, there are no readily available treatments or prevention strategies for most of these pathogens. Despite major advances, new or resistant pathogens will emerge, and an integrated and organized research infrastructure will facilitate the School’s rapid response to these new challenges.
GHEPI brings together investigators from a number of different disciplines in a program that spans basic discovery, animal models, human studies, and clinical trials, with the ultimate goal to develop novel approaches to therapy and vaccine development against infectious diseases. An additional goal includes the use of viruses and virus-host responses as therapeutic tools.
A final mission is to contribute to an interdisciplinary training program that can complement pre-existing department and center programs for master students, graduate students, medical students, and post-doctoral fellows who wish to pursue research careers in emerging pathogens.
Due to obvious affinities with the Department of Microbiology, GHEPI investigators are primarily affiliated with this Department, but extend their collaborations to other ISMMS Departments and Centers, including the Immunobiology Institute, the Tisch Cancer Institute, the Arnold Global Health Institute, the Mount Sinai Institute of Technology, the Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute, and the Departments of Medicine, Neuroscience, Genetics and Genomics Science, Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics, and Structural and Chemical Biology.