November 17, 2020—BRONX, NY—Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine secured $197.3 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in federal fiscal year 2020—the largest annual total in Einstein’s history. Factoring in the grants to Montefiore, Einstein’s University Hospital and academic medical center, and additional contracts, the total tips $223.6 million, reflecting a notable expansion of Einstein-Montefiore’s research enterprise.
Among the major grants awarded were those to lead international consortiums to study pre-dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, to support Einstein’s Diabetes Research Center, and to fund a diverse range of research projects, including those on the biology of aging, adolescent depression, and cancer. Einstein also received nearly $10 million in grants and sub-contracts for COVID-related research.
“During this turbulent year, when many of our scientists turned their attention to fighting the pandemic, it is remarkable and commendable that our researchers have achieved this extraordinary milestone,” said Gordon F. Tomaselli, M.D., the Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean at Einstein and executive vice president and chief academic officer at Montefiore Medicine. “It speaks volumes to the quality and productivity of our research faculty and all our training and scientific resources that bolster their efforts. I heartily congratulate them all.”
Among the year’s grants are those in which Einstein faculty lead major, national and international projects and centers:
- $16 million to determine how autophagy, a cellular recycling process, is related to the development of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (Ana Maria Cuervo, M.D., Ph.D.)
- Two grants totaling $13.8 million for studies on the prevention and treatment of pre-dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, led by Joe Verghese, M.B.B.S., M.S.
- $9.5 million to support the Einstein-Mount Sinai Diabetes Research Center (ES-DRC), led by Jeffrey Pessin, Ph.D.
- $4.9 million establish a research center to investigate HIV and human papillomavirus (HPV) related cancers in Africa (Kathryn Anastos, M.D., Adebola Adedimeji, Ph.D., M.B.A., and Marcel Yotebieng, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.)
[This achievement] speaks volumes to the quality and productivity of our research faculty and all our training and scientific resources that bolster their efforts. I heartily congratulate them all.
Dean Gordon F. Tomaselli
New major grants for investigator-initiated research projects include:
- $5.1 million to further evaluate novel tests that Einstein researchers have developed for predicting whether primary breast tumors are likely to spread (Thomas Rohan, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., D.H.Sc., and John Condeelis, Ph.D.)
- $4.6 million to determine how chemotherapy exerts its damaging effects on the brains of children who have been treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Elyse Sussman, Ph.D.)
- $4.3 million to evaluate the efficacy of convalescent plasma to treat hospitalized patients with COVID-19 (Marla Keller, M.D. and Harry Shamoon, M.D.)
- $4 million to search for the biological factors that predict duration and severity of depression in adolescents (Vilma Gabbay, M.D.)
- $3.6 million grant to investigate the development of resistance to the tuberculosis drug bedaquiline (James Brust, M.D.)
- $3.5 million to study how changes in the brains of older adults affect gait, cognition, and the development of dementia (Helena Blumen, Ph.D.)
- $3 million grant to identify and block the mechanism by which a protein helps HIV-1 cells to multiply (Vinayaka Prasad, Ph.D.)
- $3 million to study the specific contributions of electrical synapses in different neuronal networks in zebrafish (Alberto Pereda, M.D., Ph.D)