RPI to collaborate with Mount Sinai

Posted at: 05/23/2013 4:40 PM
By: Benita Zahn

TROY - If a unique collaboration between RPI and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City takes off as envisioned, it will bring new business to the Capital Region.

The collaboration was announced Wednesday, both at RPI and at Mount Sinai.

The goal is to develop new medical testing devices and treatments, and create spin off businesses doing that work.

“We expect this agreement to result in radical innovations in health care,” said RPI President Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson.

Taking the engineering expertise at RPI and marrying it to the medical know how at Mount Sinai's Icahn School of Medicine, the two schools envision a great synergy in a wide range of health arenas -- including genetics, neuroscience and orthopedics.

“We will collaborate to create novel education programs that benefit the students of both institutions,” Jackson said. “We will accelerate the momentum of research breakthroughs from the laboratory to the market place,” Jackson said.

“There's very good economic data that investment in research leads to new jobs in a multiplicative fashion,” said Dr. Dennis Charney, dean of the Icahn School of Medicine.

All involved agree this should lead to spin off businesses.

Because there already are some partnerships going on there won't be any new funding. In fact, both schools are looking to the federal government for grant money. They hope it won't be a tough lift because they're promising to help save so many lives.

The work will be done both in Troy and in New York City under the auspices of the Mount Sinai-RPI Collaborative Center for Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Even before the first new class is offered, students are giving the partnership high grades.

“I'm really excited about the collaboration. Especially a lot of my research involves potential applications in the medical field,” RPI student Kathryn Tiller said.

RPI student Steven Geng is also thrilled.

“So hopefully we'll be doing a lot of interaction with what we've been developing here and actually applying it in the medical field,” he said.

Jackson also anticipates that jobs will be created on the RPI campus to accommodate the collaborative efforts.