MSIP Recognizes Innovators at 2018 SINAInnovations Awards Ceremony

Mount Sinai Innovation Partners (MSIP) presented the Inventor of the Year award to Anne Schaefer, MD, PhD, and the Deal of the Year award to Julio A. Aguirre-Ghiso, PhD, at the 2018 SinaInnovations awards ceremony. The awards recognize exceptional Mount Sinai innovators for their efforts in breakthrough discoveries and standout partnerships with industry.

Dr. Schaefer and her team discovered a potential cure for intractable seizures, including the rare and catastrophic Dravet Syndrome, culminating in an emerging industry partnership. The Mount Sinai Inventor of the Year Award was created to recognize individual or collaborative investigators in the Mount Sinai Health System. The award offers $10,000 to the recipient whose research is making, or has the potential to make, significant positive and product-driven impacts on health.

Associate Researcher Mary Kaye Duff accepted the award on Schaefer’s behalf.

“Anne has always pushed our lab to pursue questions whose answers have the possibility to turn the page and move us forward in the stories we’re excited about,” Duff said. “She believed in our vision and helped us to find the support, particularly in establishing commercial partners.”

Dr. Aguirre-Ghiso developed novel therapeutic methods that address the underlying cause of metastatic disease and relapse. This technology is the basis for a new startup, slated as one of the largest spin-outs in the NYC biotechnology sector this year.  The inaugural Mount Sinai Deal of the Year award recognizes a notable technology from the Mount Sinai Health System that represents a major breakthrough in research and a strong commercial partnership for advancement.

“My lab team members were essential in bringing [the technology] to fruition,” Aguirre-Ghiso said. “This is a true example of how schools of medicine investing in basic science is a good investment. You never know where the transfer is going to come from.”

The awards were presented by Scott L. Friedman, MD, Dean for Therapeutic Discovery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.