Message from the Directors

Making up half of the cells in the central nervous system, glia cells have a crucial part to play in brain function and metabolism. Yet their exact role is only beginning to be addressed, making research in this area an important frontier deserving of a fresh investment in talent, technology, and collaborative exploration.

This is why we are excited to create the Center for Glial Biology, a joint initiative that brings together researchers and resources from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC) at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. This partnering of minds is designed to catalyze scientific interaction in order to ask new questions, imagine untried techniques, and discover entirely new paradigms.

Thanks to the cutting-edge instrumentation being installed at the ASRC (including MRI, Epigenetics, and Live Imaging Facilities) and the state-of-the-art resources available at the Icahn School of Medicine (such as Genomics Core Facility, Microscopy Facility, Flow Cytometry Core, Mouse Genetics, and Gene Targeting), these investigators will have the tools needed to push the boundaries of traditional thought. Our Center’s current areas of research include the role of glia in normal development and healthy aging, in neurodevelopmental, psychiatric, and neurodegenerative disorders, including depression, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and autism, and in glial tumors.

With so many secrets about normal brain function and disease still locked away from scientific understanding, we are hopeful that our collaboration will contribute fresh ideas and insights to neuroscience research. Greater understanding leads to better therapies, and we feel privileged to partner with such fine, interdisciplinary teams of investigators in the pursuit of better lives for those struggling with neurological disorders.

Patrizia Casaccia, MD, PhD
Professor of Neuroscience and Co-director of the Center for Glial Biology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Professor of Biology and Director of the Neuroscience Initiative at ASRC, Graduate Center at The City University of New York

Anne Schaefer, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Departments of Neuroscience and Psychiatry
Co-director of the Center for Glial Biology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai