Newswise — New York, NY (March 11, 2024) –  The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai announced today the establishment of the Institute for Equity and Justice in Health Sciences Education.

David Muller, MD, will serve as the Institute’s Director, with Leona Hess, PhD, MSW, serving as Co-Director. Dr. Muller is Dean Emeritus for Medical Education, and Marietta and Charles C. Morchand Chair in Medical Education, at Icahn Mount Sinai. In nearly 20 years as Dean for Medical Education, he played a critical role in creating a more welcoming environment for a diverse student population at Icahn Mount Sinai, while working with students and faculty to develop new ideas and initiatives to propel the school toward a learning and training environment free of racism and bias.

As Dean, he and his team worked extensively to establish Icahn Mount Sinai as a national leader in racial and social justice, including launching the school’s Racism and Bias Initiative. He and Dr. Hess then collaborated to create a program, Anti-Racist Transformation in Medical Education, that disseminated the initiative at 11 medical schools through a grant from the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation. The program is now in its third year.

“I am excited and inspired to play a role in setting a national standard for excellence in anti-racism and social justice work,” says Dr. Muller. “The Institute builds on an exceptional team’s efforts to embed anti-racism across the medical school and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Icahn Mount Sinai.”

The Institute will expand upon Icahn Mount Sinai’s anti-racist, anti-biased learning and training environment in medical and graduate education. More importantly, it will function on a national scale, developing interventions to drive social change, measuring the impact of that change, and serving as a national resource for consultation and best practices. It will encompass and expand upon existing efforts currently under the Racism and Bias Initiative, Anti-Racist Transformation in Medical Education, and the Center for Anti-Racism in Practice.

“We are deeply grateful for the bold progress Dr. Muller has led in the realm of anti-racism and social justice. In this next chapter, with his exceptional team, Dr. Muller will strengthen our investment and impact in eliminating racism and bias in biomedical education. Importantly, we will measure outcomes and set a national standard for excellence,” says Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of Icahn Mount Sinai and President for Academic Affairs of the Mount Sinai Health System.

The Institute for Equity and Justice in Health Sciences Education at Icahn Mount Sinai will pursue the following goals:

  • Build the capacity of medical and biomedical educators, across disciplines and the health professions, to dismantle and disrupt racism, bias, and oppression in all its forms
  • Provide expanded learning opportunities to accelerate anti-racist/anti-biased transformational change in educational programs through systems change, strategic planning, and priority-setting
  • Evaluate and measure the impact of racism and bias on biomedical and health professions education
  • Study the impact of interventions that address racism, oppression, and bias in the learning environment, while providing opportunities and support for students, staff, and faculty to do this research
  • Disseminate knowledge through scholarship and external consultation
  • Cultivate potential funders at the federal, state, and local level, to amplify dissemination efforts and accelerate anti-racist initiatives outside Icahn Mount Sinai. 



About the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai 

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is internationally renowned for its outstanding research, educational, and clinical care programs. It is the sole academic partner for the eight- member hospitals* of the Mount Sinai Health System, one of the largest academic health systems in the United States, providing care to a large and diverse patient population.   

Ranked 13th nationwide in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding and among the 99th percentile in research dollars per investigator according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, Icahn Mount Sinai has a talented, productive, and successful faculty. More than 3,000 full-time scientists, educators, and clinicians work within and across 44 academic departments and 36 multidisciplinary institutes, a structure that facilitates tremendous collaboration and synergy. Our emphasis on translational research and therapeutics is evident in such diverse areas as genomics/big data, virology, neuroscience, cardiology, geriatrics, as well as gastrointestinal and liver diseases. 

Icahn Mount Sinai offers highly competitive MD, PhD, and Master’s degree programs, with current enrollment of approximately 1,300 students. It has the largest graduate medical education program in the country, with more than 2,000 clinical residents and fellows training throughout the Health System. In addition, more than 550 postdoctoral research fellows are in training within the Health System. 

A culture of innovation and discovery permeates every Icahn Mount Sinai program. Mount Sinai’s technology transfer office, one of the largest in the country, partners with faculty and trainees to pursue optimal commercialization of intellectual property to ensure that Mount Sinai discoveries and innovations translate into healthcare products and services that benefit the public.  

Icahn Mount Sinai’s commitment to breakthrough science and clinical care is enhanced by academic affiliations that supplement and complement the School’s programs.  

Through the Mount Sinai Innovation Partners (MSIP), the Health System facilitates the real-world application and commercialization of medical breakthroughs made at Mount Sinai. Additionally, MSIP develops research partnerships with industry leaders such as Merck & Co., AstraZeneca, Novo Nordisk, and others.  

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is located in New York City on the border between the Upper East Side and East Harlem, and classroom teaching takes place on a campus facing Central Park. Icahn Mount Sinai’s location offers many opportunities to interact with and care for diverse communities. Learning extends well beyond the borders of our physical campus, to the eight hospitals of the Mount Sinai Health System, our academic affiliates, and globally.  


* Mount Sinai Health System member hospitals: The Mount Sinai Hospital; Mount Sinai Beth Israel; Mount Sinai Brooklyn; Mount Sinai Morningside; Mount Sinai Queens; Mount Sinai South Nassau; Mount Sinai West; and New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai.