Message From the Chair

105,000+ patient visits

$3.5 million in research funding

$4.05 million pledged for philanthropy

290 faculty publications

Milestones are meant to be celebrated and surpassed.

2 minutes read

The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to find the strength we
never knew we had. It has revealed our anti-fragile mindset in our mission to
provide unparalleled, comprehensive, and innovative patient care.

For the year 2021, our milestones at the Milton and Carroll
Petrie Department of Urology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai are
a reflection of our collective efforts to save lives—through the patient care
we are so passionate about, the pool of extraordinary talent we have built and
continue to grow, and our groundbreaking research and scholastic activities.

It has been a year of unprecedented successes for us. The
Mount Sinai Hospital is currently ranked No. 16 in the nation for urology in
the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings. Our surgeons and
scientists have pioneered the adoption of novel diagnostic techniques and
minimally invasive treatments for prostate, kidney, and bladder cancers and a
wide range of urologic disorders. The Transgender Program has been an
outstanding success with an increase of 219 percent in the number of procedures
this year. Additionally, there has been a 50 percent increase in the number of
operations for advanced bladder cancer, a 20 percent increase in procedure
volume for the kidney cancer program, and a 34 percent increase in the prostate
cancer program volume from 2019 to 2021.

At Mount Sinai, we are incredibly fortunate to work with a
group of people who represent the forefront of academic and clinical medicine.
Mani Menon, MD, joins us as Professor of Urology, Director of Education, and
Director of Precision Prostatectomy Program in the Department of Urology and
Center of Excellence for Prostate Cancer at The Tisch Cancer Institute.
Considered to be one of the foremost surgical innovators in the world, Dr.
Menon has revolutionized the field of urological oncology and laid the
framework for the extension of robotics to other surgical disciplines. He is
the recipient of awards including the Gold Cystoscope award of the American
Urological Association (AUA), the Dr. B.C. Roy Award from the President of
India, the Hugh Hampton Young Award, the Keyes Medal, recognized as the
greatest individual citation awarded by the American Association of
Genitourinary surgeons, and the St. Paul’s Medal from the British Association
of Urological Surgeons.

Signifying our mission to power progress, our fundraising
efforts continue to drive our work forward. The Department of Urology moved from 24th to 10th in the rankings of the NIH/NCI 2021 Funding Report by Blue Ridge Institute. Nihal
Mohamed, PhD, Associate Professor of Urology and Evaluation and Training-The
Center for Scientific Diversity, was part of a team that was recently awarded
the NIH FIRST Cohort Cluster Hiring Initiative grant (U54) of $17 million
(Principal Investigators Emma Benn, DrPH, Kirk Campbell, MD, Eric Nestler, MD,
PhD, and Lynne Richardson, MD).

The research faculty who joined the department in 2021
include Juan Arriaga, PhD, Goutam Chakraborty, PhD, and Babu Padanilum, PhD.
The clinical faculty who joined the program include Gregory Amend, MD, Kyrollis
Attalla, MD, Zachary Dovey, MD, Dhruti Patel, MD, Rollin Say, MD, Vinayak
Wagaskar, MD, and Osama Zaytoun, MD.

Continuing our long-and-proud history of research and
discovery, the two endourology fellows, Jonathan A. Khusid, MD, and Alan
Yaghoubian, MD, received the Valentine Research Awards in Urology from the New
York Academy of Medicine (2021, 2022). Our Vice Chair for Research, Natasha
Kyprianou, PhD, was invited to serve on the Research Advisory Board for the
Florida Department of Health Cancer Research Program. Additionally, Steven
Kaplan, MD, was appointed as the Chair of Research at the AUA.

We are also making progress in other ways. Our flagship
initiative of 2021, The Mount Sinai Robert F. Smith Prostate Cancer Screening
Unit, was established with the goal to help address the racial disparity in
prostate cancer. The initiative is committed to enabling early detection of
prostate cancer in Black men, who are at a much higher risk for prostate
cancer. The mobile unit provides PSA, DRE, ExactVu™ ultrasound, bladder
scanning, and genomics services, helping to save lives through screening, early
detection, and education.

On the community outreach front, our efforts have involved
joining forces with local churches, health centers, and community groups. Our
outreach work intends to bring awareness and education in support of the
community by providing prostate cancer screenings and education in local
neighborhoods. We have conducted programs to support these efforts at churches,
street health expos, and charity events in Harlem.

Our Department remains committed to excellence in education
and research. Ketan Badani, MD, Director of Kidney Cancer Center of Excellence
at Mount Sinai, published a groundbreaking study in November 2021 in European
Urology titled “SARS-CoV-2 RNA Detected in Abdominal Insufflation Samples
During Laparoscopic Surgery.” The Department of Urology received
Investigational New Drug application authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration for a personalized genomic vaccine to be used in phase 1
first-in-human trials.

Additionally, the Department also received IRB approval to
commence phase 1 first-in-human study for ISM Mount Sinai-developed
personalized genomic vaccine trials in men with prostate cancer and achieved
the highest individual center enrollment across the phase 3 Blue Earth
Diagnostics PSMA pivotal trials program.

I firmly believe that we will continue to make significant
and meaningful contributions toward building better health and improving the
quality of life for our community, and beyond.

Thank you for reading our Specialty Report. Please reach out
to me with more thoughts and questions at ash.tewari@mountsinai.org.


Ash Tewari, MBBS, MCh, FRCS (Hon.)

Ash Tewari, MBBS, MCh, FRCS (Hon.)

Professor and System Chair, Milton and Carroll Petrie Department of Urology, Director of the Center of Excellence for Prostate Cancer at The Tisch Cancer Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Surgeon-in-Chief of the Tisch Cancer Hospital at The Mount Sinai Hospital