A Generous Gift Supports the Outstanding Efforts of the Brain and Body Research Center

A Generous Gift Supports the Outstanding Efforts of the Brain and Body Research Center

WE ARE GRATEFUL to announce that the Leon Levy Foundation has committed a transformational gift to endow and name the Leon Levy Director of the Brain and Body Research Center. Scott J. Russo, PhD, will serve as the inaugural Leon Levy Director as he continues his work to harness a deeper understanding of how connections between the brain and peripheral organ systems can affect a person’s health.

Dr. Russo’s groundbreaking research is highlighted separately in this newsletter.

Researchers at Mount Sinai with expertise in many scientific and medical disciplines— supported by a diverse portfolio of National Institutes of Health grants—have already made recent discoveries that illuminate the bidirectional connections between the brain and body.

The Center, among the first in the United States, is building on this effort with a more intentional and pointed multidisciplinary approach, exploring how the brain controls peripheral diseases—and vice versa—to better understand how the brain and body interact during multiple types of conditions. These include diseases caused or aggravated by stress, such as depression/anxiety, diabetes, autoimmunity/inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and skin diseases.

“Mount Sinai is at the forefront of this burgeoning field of biomedical research and clinical medicine,” says Eric J. Nestler, MD, PhD, Nash Family Professor of Neuroscience, Director of The Friedman Brain Institute, Dean for Academic Affairs at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Chief Scientific Officer of the Mount Sinai Health System. “Our researchers bring decades of research and expertise in their respective specialties to this intensely collaborative effort, enabling the Brain and Body Research Center to drive the mission of harnessing brain-body connections to conquer the most impactful diseases of our time.”

The Leon Levy Foundation, founded in 2004, is a private foundation created from Leon Levy’s Estate by his wife and Founding Trustee, Shelby White. The Foundation continues Leon Levy’s philanthropic legacy and builds on his vision. Since its inception, the Foundation has made grants totaling more than $500 million.