Newswise — (NEW YORK CITY – April 27) The Sanford J. Grossman Charitable Trust, founded by renowned economist and philanthropist Sanford J. Grossman, PhD, has committed $3 million to establish the Dr. Sanford J. Grossman Center for Integrative Studies in Inflammatory Bowel Disease at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The Center will focus on creating personalized medicine for treatment of Crohn’s disease, with the overarching goal of understanding and predicting disease progression.

Crohn’s Disease, a chronic inflammatory disorder of the bowel first described by Mount Sinai gastroenterologist Burrill B. Crohn, MD, affects nearly 700,000 people in the United States according to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. Over time persistent inflammation can lead to bowel damage and create complications such as strictures, a narrowing section of the intestine that can lead to loss of function, reduce the quality of a patient’s life and increase the need for surgical resection.

“Mount Sinai has a large and unique data set on patients: clinical symptoms and history, pathology reports on resected gut tissue, genomics and family history, and radiology,” said Dr. Grossman. “My hope is that the integration and analysis of this data will enable a better understanding of the manifestations and natural histories of Crohn’s Disease, and with that knowledge, therapies will be developed to beneficially alter the natural course of the disease. At the very least, I hope that there will be a better understanding of the biological processes that lead to various types of stricture formation, and some suggestions as to how strictures can be prevented,” said Dr. Grossman.

“As leaders in IBD research, we appreciate the Sanford J. Grossman Charitable Trust’s generous gift that will open a new area of investigation in Crohn’s disease and help to provide a completely innovative approach to studying this chronic illness,” says Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and President for Academic Affairs for the Mount Sinai Health System.

Specifically, the Sanford J. Grossman Charitable Trust has committed $1 million, with an additional $2M to be received once the Center has reached milestones detailed in the agreement.

“There remains an enormous variability among patients as to who will develop conditions relating to IBD and their corresponding course of medical therapies,” said Judy Cho, MD, Ward-Coleman Professor of Translational Genetics and Medicine and Vice-Chair of Translational Genetics and Gastroenterology, and the new Grossman Center’s Director at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “We are very grateful for Dr. Grossman’s donation, which will fund this unique, integrative team and catalyze new research that will help us to more precisely understand individual patients with Crohn’s disease and how to tailor therapies most effectively,” said Dr. Cho.

“Dr. Grossman’s magnificent generosity will enable an ideal collaboration among some of the nation’s leading basic research scientists and clinician scientists in IBD, to distinguish different Crohn’s disease types to better understand the disease course and selection of personalized therapies. It is the ideal paradigm of translational research,” said Asher Kornbluth, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine and Gastroenterology at the Icahn School of Medicine.

The Center will bring together a multidisciplinary group that will work to determine the fundamental mechanisms of intestinal inflammation and cellular differentiation and hypertrophy leading to formation of strictures in Crohn's disease. A team of investigators comprised of pathologists, radiologists, geneticists, immunologists and gastroenterologists will focus on more precise pathologic and radiologic evaluation, improved tissue banking systems, genetic and cellular analyses, and the integration of basic science and clinical discoveries.

About the Mount Sinai Health SystemThe Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services—from community‐based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care.

The System includes approximately 6,600 primary and specialty care physicians, 12‐minority‐owned free‐standing ambulatory surgery centers, over 45 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island, as well as 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institutes of Health funding and by U.S. News & World Report.

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