Programs and Events

At the Mindich Child Health and Development Institute (MCHDI) we strive to create an intellectually rich and supportive environment for our outstanding scientists and physician-scientists. Throughout the year, we organize programs and events that promote scientific partnerships and train the next generation of scientific leaders in pediatric medicine. Our signature programs and events include the following:

Our pilot program provides faculty with funding for initial stages of research projects, with the goal of generating sufficient data to apply for larger, external grants. We encourage projects that are likely to improve children’s health, promote collaboration within MCHDI, and leverage additional extramural funding for Principal Investigators (PIs).

We give projects with two or more PIs higher priority in review than those with a single PI. At least one PI must be a faculty member of MCHDI. Only exceptional applications submitted by a sole PI might garner funding.

We award up to three research grants to each project, totaling no more than $70,000 in a calendar year. We request that you provide regular reporting of your progress. An additional year of funding for one project may be possible through competitive renewal, following our review of the project’s scientific progress.

Pilot Projects Funded for 2015

A number of important projects have been funded in recent years through our Pilot Program. 

Nsun Family RNA Methyltransferases in Pluripotency, Reprogramming and Development
Investigators: Martin J. Walsh, PhD, MCHDI Investigator and Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Structural and Chemical Biology, and Genetics and Genomics Sciences; Jianlong Wang, PhD, Associate Professor of Developmental and Regenerative Biology

Maternal Effects in Childhood-Onset Psychiatric Disorders
Investigators: Dorothy E. Grice, MD, MCHDI Investigator and Professor of Psychiatry; Joseph D. Buxbaum, PhD, MCHDI Investigator and Professor of Psychiatry, Neuroscience and Genetics and Genomic Sciences; Sven Sandin, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Novel Tooth Matrix Biomarker For Neurodevelopmental Susceptibility
Investigators: Hirofumi Morishita, MD, PhD, MCHDI Investigator and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Neuroscience, and Ophthalmology; Manish Arora, PhD, BDS, MPH, MCHDI Investigator and Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine and Dentistry

Faculty can enroll in the grant review program, which includes mock study sessions. This program is intended for faculty preparing submissions for the following NIH cycle with preference given to junior investigators. The program is timed for the new Research Project Grant (R01) submission deadlines:

NIH Submission

MCHDI Submission

Completion of Review

February 5


November- December

June 5


April- May

October 5


July- August

The incubator series is a bi-monthly luncheon meeting co-chaired by Drs. Rupangi Vasavada, PhD, and Annemarie Stroustrup, MD, MPH. These meetings allow faculty to provide feedback on grant proposals or other topics. Investigators gain through constructive critiques from a diverse scientific audience prior to submitting applications. Below we provide further guidelines.

Information for Presenters
MCHDI faculty lunch, also known as MCHDI Incubator Series, gives you the chance to get guidance and critical feedback on your proposals. This is not meant to be a traditional "Works in Progress" presentation. If you have any questions about your presentation, please contact Rupangi Vasavada and Annemarie Stroustrup, the series co-chairs or the Program Manager, Elena Lum.

Speaker Guidelines
Choose any topic on which you would like feedback or to start a discussion with MCHDI faculty. Most presentations are about grant proposals, but speakers have also sought advice about experimental design.

  1. To focus audience comments, state at the beginning of the talk what sort of feedback would be most helpful.
  2. Plan to finish the entire talk in 20 minutes, leaving about 30 minutes for discussion.
  3. Present the background concisely, but remember that the audience members have diverse backgrounds (genetics, developmental biology, epidemiology, immunology, etc.).

Our annual retreat gives you and fellow researchers the opportunity to present your work, learn about the latest studies conducted within the Institute. We also encourage research collaborations among our members, provide networking opportunities for faculty and trainees, and receive valuable feedback on research projects. We typically cover a wide range of topics at the retreat, encompassing several disciplines.

Program Format 

The program usually consists of a keynote address, presentations by pilot program recipients, young investigators competitions, poster sessions, and an interview with parents from families affected by a child health disorder.

Child Health Research Day is a two-day program held annually in April and organized and co-sponsored with the Department of Pediatrics at Mount Sinai. Faculty, staff, clinical and research post-doctoral fellows, social workers, nurses, and junior faculty present posters and oral presentations in basic, translational, and clinical research. An annual speaker also delivers Pediatrics Grand Rounds at this event. Investigators within the Pediatrics Department and MCHDI may identify new research topics and areas of collaboration.

The Child Health Research Seminar series is co-hosted by the Department of Pediatrics and the Mindich Child Health and Development Institute. The purpose of this series is to highlight current and ongoing child health research from internal and visiting researchers as an opportunity to enrich the scientific community at Mount Sinai. The series consists of didactic seminars and practical workshops developed to appeal to researchers interested in research areas including diabetes, allergy/asthma, cardiovascular outcomes and neurodevelopmental diseases.

We also include topics applicable to all research such as approaches for consortium-based research, the use of technology and apps to engage community based participatory research, and tools for generating figures to visualize research results. The CHRS series takes place most Tuesday's at noon during the Spring and Fall semester.

Co-leaders Supinda Bunyavanich, MD, MPH and Megan Horton, PhD, MPH happily accommodate suggested topics and speakers for this series. Please contact them with any suggestions.