Bronfman Philanthropies Awards $12.5 Million to Mount Sinai Medical Center

The New York City-based Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies has awarded a $12.5 million leadership grant to establish the Charles Bronfman Institute for Personalized Medicine at the Mount Sinai Medical Center, also in New York City.

The grant, to be paid out over ten years, will be used as seed funding for a new $30 million personalized medicine initiative at Mount Sinai. It will also support an institution-wide Biobank and be used to establish the Translational Biomedical Informatics Center, two areas of focus for the new institute.

Personalized medicine is an emerging field that uses information about a person's genetic makeup to customize strategies for the detection, treatment, and prevention of disease. The practice transforms the traditional "one-size-fits-all" model of medicine by utilizing new methods of molecular analysis to better manage a patient's disease or predisposition toward a disease, and represents a dramatic departure from "evidence-based medicine," which is based on population studies and has dominated the field of medicine for decades.

"Personalized medicine could be the most important scientific development of the twenty-first century," said Bronfman Philanthropies chair Charles Bronfman. "In an industry like medicine, where market forces are slow to change, philanthropy must play the role of catalyst — facilitating growth, inspiring awareness, and serving as a basis for change. The Mount Sinai Medical Center has been a pacesetter in the area of personalized medicine and is a clear choice for receiving this grant."