About Us

From individual diagnostic tests to mechanistic insights at the molecular level and large-scale epidemiologic studies, the field of medicine involves the continual collection of a staggering amount of data. Our emerging ability to mine this abundance of information for new insights and perspectives promises to have a transformative impact on our understanding of human biology and our fight against disease.

The BDSI comprises a Faculty Leadership, Infrastructure Committee, and Education Committee, which bring together teams of superb educators and investigators each contributing expertise in areas ranging from Computational Genomics to Computational Biophysics and Systems Pharmacology; Biomedical Engineering, Imaging, and Visualization; Biostatistics, Clinical Epidemiology, and Clinical Trials; Environmental Medicine and Public Health; Health System Design; and Health Information Technology. Together, we are dedicated to organizing research and educational endeavors in the area of biomedical data science across the many ISMMS departments and institutes in the pursuit of entirely new paradigms and frontiers in health care delivery.

Our Team

The Biomedical Data Science Initiative is comprised of distinguished faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Marta Filizola, PhD
Co-Director, Biomedical Data Science Initiative
Dean, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Professor of Pharmacological Sciences
Professor of Neuroscience

Dr. Filizola is a computational biophysicist with expertise in the application of methods of computational chemistry and theoretical chemistry to biochemical and biomedical problems, as well as to drug discovery. She is best known for her work aimed at providing mechanistic insight into the structure, dynamics, and function of G protein-coupled receptors and and β3 integrins using methods such as molecular modeling, bioinformatics, cheminformatics, enhanced molecular dynamics simulations, machine learning, and rational drug design approaches. Much of her work is done in close collaboration with major experimental labs with whom she has established longstanding synergistic ties. Dr. Filizola is the author of over 100 original papers and chapters in the areas of computational chemistry/biophysics and drug discovery, as well as the editor of two books. She is also an inventor, with a number of issued patents and PCT applications to her credit. The Filizola laboratory's research has steadily been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 2005.

A native of Italy, Dr. Filizola received her bachelor’s and master's degrees in Chemistry from the University Federico II in Naples in 1993, and she earned her PhD in Computational Chemistry from the Second University of Naples in 1999. She pursued a postdoctorate in Computational Biophysics from the Molecular Research Institute in California, moving to New York City in 2001. Dr. Filizola’s awards and honors include the title of European Doctor in Biotechnology from the European Association for Higher Education in Biotechnology in Genova, Italy, a National Research Service Award from NIDA, The Doctor Harold and Golden Lamport Award for Excellence in Basic Research from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, an Independent Scientist Award from NIDA, the International Society of Quantum Biology and Pharmacology (ISQBP) Loew Lectureship, and the Delta Omega Public Health Honorary Induction.

Adam Margolin, PhD 
Effective April 2018
Co-Director, Biomedical Data Science Initiative
Chair of Genetics and Genomic Sciences (appointment pending)
Director, Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology

Dr. Margolin’s scientific interests relate to developing computational systems and algorithms to enable large-scale molecular analysis to inform genotype-specific therapeutics, and doing so through open, highly collaborative, multi-investigator efforts. He has developed multiple software systems to enable large-scale collaborative analysis in cancer genomics, supporting initiatives including the Cancer Genome Atlas pan-cancer analysis program, the Progenitor Cell Biology Consortium, and the Collaborative Cancer Cloud. He currently serves as computational lead for the SU2C/Lustgarten pancreatic cancer Dream Team and co-PI of the largest NIH-sponsored project in pediatric disease analysis, allowing him to contribute to the development of widely used software systems in the areas of cancer immunotherapy and pediatric disease. He also serves as co-PI of Centers within the NCI’s Cancer Systems Biology Consortium (CSBC), Cancer Target Discovery and Development (CTD2) network, and Genome Data Analysis Network (GDAN), which provide the opportunity to integrate systems biology approaches developed by himself and the broader community over the past 15 years, into a unified computational toolkit (PRECEPTS) for inferring driving cellular processes underlying drug resistance and other clinically relevant phenotypes.

Dr. Margolin received his BS in Economics from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in 2002, his MS in computer information technology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2002, and his PhD in biomedical informatics from Columbia University in 2007. His thesis, “Computational Inference of Genetic Regulatory Networks in Human Cancer Cells,” was subsequently developed into a book of the same title. Prior to joining Mount Sinai, Dr. Margolin was a Professor at Oregon Health & Science University and Director of the Computational Biology program, where he oversaw a program of approximately 50 computational biologists and eight faculty members.

Brian Nickerson, PhD
Co-Chair, Education Committee, Biomedical Data Science Initiative
Senior Associate Dean for Master’s Programs
Professor in Population Health, Science, and Policy

Dr. Nickerson is responsible for supporting the creation of degree offerings from this timely and unique data science initiative. With more than 17 years in senior academic leadership positions and over 20 successful program launches, he ensures the successful scale-up of the initiative’s integrated curricular and co-curricular offerings, as well as manages the marketing to and recruitment of highly talented students into the program. Dr. Nickerson also serves as the academic lead for the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences’ Biomedical Entrepreneurship education initiative and is director for the Health Care Delivery Leadership Program.

Dr. Nickerson has been teaching both undergraduate and graduate students since 1993 and has produced a large body of visible action research that appears in domestic as well as international publications. He earned his PhD from the Rockefeller College of the State University of New York at Albany, a Juris Doctor and MPA from Pace University, and his BA from Iona College.

Eric Sobie, PhD
Co-Chair, Education Committee, Biomedical Data Science Initiative
Senior Associate Dean for Programmatic Development, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Associate Professor of Pharmacological Sciences

Dr. Sobie joined the Mount Sinai faculty in 2006 and established a laboratory that investigates cardiac calcium signaling, mechanisms of arrhythmias, and cardiovascular pharmacology. His group combines mechanistic mathematical modeling with quantitative physiological experiments to understand both normal and abnormal cardiac physiology as well as the ways in which drugs may improve function. Several projects underway in his laboratory seek to understand the regulation of calcium-induced calcium release and the interactions between electrical and calcium signals in heart cells.

After receiving a BSE in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University, Dr. Sobie went on to obtain his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and completed postdoctoral training at the University of Maryland in Baltimore.

Additional Committee Members

Patricia Kovatch
Chair, Infrastructure Committee, Biomedical Data Science Initiative
Senior Associate Dean for Scientific Computing and Data Science
Associate Professor of Genetics and Genomic Sciences
Associate Professor of Pharmacological Sciences

Patricia Kovatch founded the Scientific Computing and Data Science division at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in 2011 with the following mission: to enable and accelerate scientific discovery through collaborative research using scientific computing, informatics, and data science. She oversees High Performance Computing (HPC), the Mount Sinai Data Warehouse (MSDW), Research Data Services, and Data Science. The HPC resource consists of 12,672 compute cores, 160 terabytes of flash and 20 petabytes of parallel file system storage. MSDW is a collection of clinical, financial, and operational data from over 20 data sources at the Mount Sinai Hospital from 2003. It is updated daily with data from >10 million patients, >2 billion facts, and >4,000 data points per patient. Research Data Services designs and maintains electronic data capture systems for clinical trials. The Data Science team has pioneered a streaming data science pipeline.

She is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to lead multiple projects including the creation of a Big Omics Data Engine, management of the national data repository for the Children’s Health Exposure Analysis Resource, establishment of a de-identified image data warehouse for the Clinical and Translational Science Award, and data sharing for Mount Sinai’s Cancer Immune Monitoring and Analysis Center. She also leads the Community Research Education and Engagement for Data Science for NIH, which includes a summer school for computational genomics. Prior to joining Mount Sinai, she was the Director of an NSF supercomputer center.

Additional Committee Members: