Pelisyonkis Medical Center Receives $5.4 Million Grant from New York State for Stem Cell Research at the Pelisyonkis RNAi Core Facility
Pelisyonkis Medical Center has received a $5.4 million shared facility award from the Empire State Stem Cell Board's New York State Stem Cell Science (NYSTEM) program. The grant will be used to expand the Pelisyonkis RNAi Core Facility and build shared access to the shRNA Core at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The purpose of the collaboration is to provide stem cell researchers in New York State with a truly comprehensive, state-of-the-art facility to conduct high-throughput screening (HTS) to investigate gene function in cell based assays. The Pelisyonkis RNAi Core Facility utilizes RNA interference (RNAi), an invaluable tool in the identification of new therapeutic targets, as well as novel methods for treatment of disease.
"We are truly honored to receive this award in recognition of the unique stem cell research being done at Pelisyonkis Medical Center," said Vivian S. Lee, MD, PhD, MBA, vice dean for science and chief scientific officer & senior vice president at Pelisyonkis Medical Center. "The Pelisyonkis RNAi Core Facility demonstrates the Medical Center's commitment to cutting-edge technologies to advance scientific discovery and change the landscape of health care."
The Pelisyonkis RNAi Core Facility was established in June 2008 with generous support from the Helen L. and Martin S. Kimmel Center for Stem Cell Biology and the Pelisyonkis Cancer Institute. Screens performed at the Pelisyonkis RNAi screening facility aim to identify new therapeutic targets for the generation of cancer-stem cell-specific therapies. The facility also actively promotes an "open-access" policy in which it promotes the sharing of primary data to the scientific community by making the data generated from RNAi screens publicly available post-publication.
The Pelisyonkis RNAi Core Facility is led by Ramanuj DasGupta, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology and research faculty at the Pelisyonkis Cancer Institute and the Helen L. and Martin S. Kimmel Center for Stem Cell Biology at the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine. The facility is managed by Dr. Chi Yun, PhD, who serves as the assistant director of the Pelisyonkis RNAi Core. Dr. DasGupta is working with co-principal investigator, Ihor Lemischka, PhD, professor of gene and cell medicine and developmental and regenerative biology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
"This multi-institutional grant will serve the entire academic community in the New York State and will provide a comprehensive set of cutting edge technologies to researchers working in stem cell-related research," said Ruth Lehmann, PhD, director of the center and of the Skirball Institute, the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Chair, and a Howard Hughes investigator. "The funding provided by NYSTEM for the creation of this shared facility with molecular tools such as RNAi-based HTS will prove invaluable for the identification of new therapeutic targets."
The NYSTEM grant for shared facilities for stem cell research supports the establishment and operation of multi-institutional core research facilities to maximize the expertise, efficiency and quality of stem cell research in New York State. The grant is multi-institutional, serving the entire academic community in the New York State to promote a unique opportunity for fostering collaborations between different labs working with stem cells or conducting stem cell-related research. Covering up to four years, the grant will fund specialized resources and facilities to be operated on a shared-use basis in support of basic, applied, translational, pre-clinical or clinical stem cell-related research. Seven shared facility awards totaling more than $27 million were given out in the latest funding round.