Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University has updated its Strategic Research Plan, the guidepost by which research priorities for the College of Medicine are set and measured. The update is designed to keep Einstein's research enterprise on course, to determine which investigative areas should be expanded or redirected, and to identify new areas that were underappreciated when the original research plan was formulated. The release of the updated plan comes as Einstein NIH funding for federal fiscal year 2010 hit a milestone-nearly $200 million, a 32% increase over 2009 funding.
Einstein's first Strategic Research Plan, released in April 2007, has led to numerous advances—in stem cell research, genetics, epigenomics and many other research areas. The revised plan identifies initiatives that will strengthen those areas while identifying new areas of research emphasis.
"The revised strategic research plan will have major implications for Einstein," said Allen M. Spiegel, M.D., the Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean, who initiated the updating effort. "For example, it will influence which new researchers we recruit and affect our hospital affiliations and campus master plan as well as our fundraising efforts, because gifts can create research programs."
The Strategic Research Plan Update identified seven high-priority research initiatives. The plan describes how each initiative will benefit human health, identifies potential opportunities for Einstein and outlines resources needed to successfully execute the plan including new equipment, additional laboratory space and new recruits.
The high-priority initiatives are:
‧Automated technologies for stem cell research
‧Metabolomics (using sophisticated instruments to analyze all metabolic products in a specific cell, tissue, organism or biological condition)
‧High-throughput systems for shRNA and chemical genomics screening (short hairpin RNA (shRNA) can be used to selectively turn off any gene in a cell; by observing the effect of a gene's silencing, researchers can determine, for example, whether that gene's protein product is responsible for a cancer cell's malignant behavior)
‧Integrated Imaging Resource/Multi-Modal Image Analysis (establishing an Integrated Image Resource would allow Einstein to continuously image living tissues from nanometer to centimeter scale)
‧Clinical Research Enterprise/Einstein-Montefiore Interface (a major priority of the revised plan is to strengthen the Clinical Research Plan that links Einstein with Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital and Academic Medical Center for Einstein)
‧Center for Behavioral, Social Science and Effectiveness Research (smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise and other behavioral and social factors lead to major diseases affecting the Bronx and the U.S. as a whole)
‧Institute for Clinical Genomics and Epigenomics
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University