Weill Cornell Medical College sets up new Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute

Published on April 9, 2013 at 6:01 AM · No Comments

Neuroscientist Dr. Costantino Iadecola to lead the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute designed to rapidly translate neurological research discoveries from the laboratory to the patient's bedside

Weill Cornell Medical College has established the new Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute, a unique, multidisciplinary translational neuroscience research hub. Named in honor of long-time benefactors Gertrude and Louis Feil, the institute was created with a generous $28 million gift from the Feil Family.

Dr. Costantino Iadecola, a leading neuroscientist in the field of cerebrovascular diseases, stroke and dementia, will direct the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute. Dr. Iadecola also serves as the Anne Parrish Titzell Professor of Neurology at Weill Cornell and as a neurologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Designed to rapidly accelerate the translation of breakthrough research discoveries from the laboratory to the neurological patient's bedside, the institute's goal is to develop the most advanced personalized therapeutic solutions for patients with devastating brain diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, stroke and multiple sclerosis. A cornerstone of the new Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute will be the research activities of the Appel Alzheimer's Disease Research Institute at Weill Cornell.

The new institute will conduct bench-to-bedside research to develop novel therapeutics for neurological diseases to be tested in cutting-edge clinical trials, as well as bedside-to-bench investigations to enhance current treatments and to truly bridge the current gap in translational medicine. Central to the institute's mission is the use and development of innovative preventive and diagnostic tools, leveraging advances in neuroimaging, genetics, genomics, epigenetics, metabolomics, computational biology and bioinformatics technology, as well as biomarkers for early disease detection and intervention. In addition, new preventive strategies will be developed to identify how individual risk factors may increase brain disease risk, and by studying the impact that comorbidities, such as hypertension and metabolic diseases, have on brain health.

"By establishing this institute, the Feils continue to demonstrate their incredible commitment to medical research and to our institution," says Sanford I. Weill, chairman of the Board of Overseers at Weill Cornell. "The Feil Family's new gift furthers their dedication to improving brain health for future generations."

The Feil gift will allow for the recruitment of four to six top-tier neuroscientists; state-of-the-art equipment; training scholarships for postdocs, fellows and clinicians; scholarships for medical students; and more.

"We are honored to support such an important endeavor," says Jeffrey Feil, a member of the Weill Cornell Board of Overseers. "There has never been a more critical time to advance research in neuroscience and neurodegenerative disease, and this institute is key to keeping Weill Cornell on the frontlines."

"Thanks to the Feil Family, Weill Cornell is leading the way with translational medicine research discoveries that will make a difference in the lives of patients," says Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College. "This institute serves as a model for the future of biomedicine, breaking down barriers to the innovative discovery of vital solutions for the prevention and treatment of devastating brain diseases, such as Alzheimer's and stroke."

The comprehensive, multidisciplinary institute brings together leading experts in neuroscience, neurology, neurological surgery, psychiatry, radiology and geriatrics, among others, to expand Weill Cornell's translational neuroscience research capabilities and neurological clinical care. The institute's director, Dr. Iadecola, will work hand-in-hand with a team of leading physician-scientists, including Dr. Matthew E. Fink, chairman of neurology at Weill Cornell and neurologist-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell. The institute will be headquartered in the new Belfer Research Building, a focal point for disease-oriented research at Weill Cornell, set to open at the end of 2013.

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