A Celebration of Scholars:

The Mt. Sinai Legacy in Bioscience

Dear Friends of Mt. Sinai:

The Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation exists to perpetuate the excellence in medicine and concern for the human condition that were the hallmarks of Mt. Sinai Medical Center, Cleveland’s Jewish-sponsored hospital. Medical research figured very prominently in Mt. Sinai’s nearly 100 years of service to Cleveland, its residents of all backgrounds, and humanity. When the hospital was sold in 1996, it was the task of the emerging Mt. Sinai Foundation to develop strategies to extend the hospital’s legacy in teaching and research medicine. Our objective was to invest in the Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Medicine, with which Mt. Sinai Medical Center had had an academic affiliation for more than fifty years.

Together, the Foundation and CWRU decided to create a junior investigator program to attract young, highly promising basic science researchers to join the faculty of the Case School of Medicine and launch their research careers as part of the Cleveland bioscience community.

Among the Foundation’s earliest and largest grants was a $1.5 million commitment made in our very first grant cycle to establish the Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation Scholars Program. The Scholars Program was intended to assist Case in growing its stature as one of the nation’s leading centers of biomedical research.

Cleveland-bound moving vans have come from the Harvard Medical School, University of California-San Francisco, Yale, the University of Washington, and other leading bioscience training grounds all over the country. Each Scholar was supported by a $250,000 grant from the Foundation, along with $250,000 in matching funds from the School of Medicine. The Scholars used these start-up funds to establish their labs and gather preliminary data that enabled them to apply for competitive funding from the National Institutes of Health and other sources.

This annual report celebrates 20 years of remarkable success of the Scholars Program. It also represents the kind of leverage that seed funding can have, if you know where to plant the seeds and if you have partners willing and able to nurture the seedlings. Working first to develop the program with Dean Nathan A. Berger, MD, and for the past nearly 14 years with Dean Pamela B. Davis, MD, PhD, the Program has flourished.

Our “Scholars Hot House” at Case Western Reserve has bloomed so spectacularly, in fact, that the Foundation’s Board has renewed this grant no fewer than five times and has provided a total of $9 million for the Scholars to make their career contributions to medical science here in Cleveland. The joint Mt. Sinai-CWRU investment of $18 million has leveraged nearly $80 million in external research funding. The Scholars program perpetuates Mt. Sinai’s medical research legacy and the interests of many Mt. Sinai donors.

We encourage you to read the Grants section of this report to learn more about our investments to advance Cleveland’s bioscience sector, improve the health of the Jewish community and the urban community, and influence health policy at the local, state, and federal levels. As we strive to be an ever more impactful catalyst for health improvement in Greater Cleveland, we welcome your comments on our work and express our gratitude for your ongoing support.