Faculty Spotlight: Nina Bhardwaj, MD, PhD

By Sandhya Chandrasekaran (entering class of 2013)

Nina Bhardwaj is a Professor in Medicine, Hematology/Oncology and is part of the IMM MTA.

nina-bhardwajDr. Nina Bhardwaj arrived at Mount Sinai just last year as Director of Immunotherapy at the Tisch Cancer Institute. As an MD/PhD graduate from NYU School of Medicine, Dr. Bhardwaj was able to discover a platform to mesh her long-standing passion for immunology research with the allure of clinical practice. Dr. Bhardwaj completed her fellowship in Rheumatology at Will Cornell Medical College, and decided to pursue research as her primary career focus, going on to become a post-doctoral associate at Rockefeller University, after which she was appointed as a faculty member at NYU Langone Medical Center.

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Alumni Connections

By David Chiang (entering class of 2009)


On May 7, 2014, seven MD/PhD students from the graduating class of 2014 met with at seven MD/PhD alums from NYC. This was the inaugural MD/PhD Alumni-Grad Networking evening, where MD/PhD alumni came and reconnected with the graduating students, catching up and offering career advice for residency and beyond. Organized by student members of the Alumni Committee (Rajal Sharma and David Chiang), the event was graciously sponsored by Mount Sinai’s Office of Alumni and Development and held at the Uptown Restaurant and Bar. The alumni ranged from those who just started their training as residents (Jessica Nikitczuk, Jedd Sereysky, Dani Dumitriu, Quincey Laplant, to name a few) to clinical fellows (Eric Smith) to those who were junior faculty (Talia Swartz). Both alumni and graduating students were incredibly appreciative of an event like this, as it was a great chance to reconnect with older classmates and to receive career advice from those who were farther along the physician-scientist track. All in all, a fun time was had by all and those who attended expressed strong wishes that this event be repeated again next year. Graduating class of 2015, stay tuned!

ISMMS’ Curriculum Designed to Foster Innovation

By Andrew Kent (entering class of 2009)

Coinciding with the changes brought on by the establishment of the new Mount Sinai Health System, the recently renamed Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai underwent a major overhaul of its MD curriculum. Healthcare is an ever changing field, and as such, the way we train doctors must constantly evolve as well. Medical training must prepare doctors for the changing medical landscape and complex health challenges that society faces today. I recently had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Reena Karani, Associated Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education and Curricular Affairs, to discuss the motivations behind the curriculum changes, what goals they were designed to achieve, and how the changes are expected to achieve them.

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MSTP Retreat in the Catskills

By Cindy Tian (entering class of 2013)

retreat2014-1Two chartered buses packed with MD/PhD students left Mount Sinai on a sunny Friday afternoon to kick off a weekend filled with interclass bonding, science, and most importantly, FUN. The 2014 MSTP Retreat from Friday Sept 5th through Sunday Sept 7th was a roaring success. This year, the annual event was held in the Catskills, two hours outside the city at Honors Haven Resort and Spa in Ellenville. Resplendent with lakes, paddle boats, a golfing green, and picturesque hiking trails, Honors Haven has been a favorite of Sinai MSTPers in years past for the plethora of outdoor activities.

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Interview with Alice Huang

By Mark Bailey (entering class of 2013)

Alice Huang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics and is part of the DTE and DSCB MTAs. Her lab’s website is: http://labs.icahn.mssm.edu/huanglab/

alice-huangWhere are you from originally?

I grew up in California, and then went to undergrad at Barnard and Columbia Engineering. After that, I did my PhD at Penn and moved to Portland for my postdoc and now I’m here!

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Meet the First Years!

By Kipp Johnson (entering class of 2014)

first-yearsThe Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai welcomes its newest MSTP class comprised of ten students hailing from hometowns and undergraduate institutions across the country and world. The new M1s took from 10 days to 4 years between college graduation and matriculation to Mount Sinai. Their precious accomplishments range from achieving masters degrees in biology, engineering, and philosophy; to publishing scientific papers; to participating in collegiate sports; to teaching in Hawaii for a year; to time spent with a ballet company.

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Mount Sinai History – A Perspective

By Josh Borgerding (entering class of 2014)

msh-logoMount Sinai has long been a place to set imagination free. Before the medical school was founded in 1968, Sinai received more NIH funding than any other freestanding hospital in the country. The increasing molecularization of medicine after WWII , however, pushed Sinai to move beyond its singular roots. In response, the physicians at Mount Sinai planned a school of medicine. Medical and Graduate education would invigorate the hospital and aid in the improvement of medicine.

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Thank You, Dr. Hurd!


By David Chiang (entering class of 2009)

On September 8, 2014, Dr. Yasmin Hurd officially stepped down as the Director of the MD/PhD program to move on towards a new position: innaugural Director of the Mount Sinai Center for Addictive Disorders. As much as she would have loved being a highly applauded and successful scientist, program director, and center director (all at the same time), it would have simply been too much for one person – even with a career track that has been marked with as many successes as hers.

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Fun in the (East) 90’s

By Teddy Wohlbold (entering class of 2011)

harlemEven non-Manhattanites may be familiar with the posh reputation of the Upper East Side (UES), whether it be from the catchy theme song, “Movin’ On Up” from The Jeffersons, or from the portrayed stomping grounds of the privileged youth in Gossip Girl. It is no secret that this rather large neighborhood of Manhattan (spanning from East 59th to 96th street) is home to some of New York’s wealthiest aristocracy, including former mayor, Michael Bloomberg, comedian Ricky Gervais, and – not too long ago – the Queen of Pop herself, Madonna. Even the most crass at heart may find it difficult to enunciate “The Upper East Side” without holding a fancy cup of tea, pinky up. However, Mount Sinai is located on the far outskirts of the Upper East Side, where neighborhood boundaries begin to blur. In fact, while the New York Department of Buildings extends the definition of the Upper East Side to include 97th to 110th streets if one lives between 5th and Madison Avenues, Mount Sinai lies in the 10029 zip code, which mostly includes East Harlem (also known as Spanish Harlem, or “El Barrio”) to the north.

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Director’s Note

nestlerIt is an honor and a pleasure to have this opportunity to serve as Interim Director of the MD-PhD Program at Mount Sinai. First, I’d like to thank Dr. Yasmin Hurd for her passionate and tireless devotion to the Program during her years as Director. I wish her well in her new role as Director of Mount Sinai’s Center on Addictive Disorders. Yasmin is a nationally and internationally renowned translational researcher in drug addiction and I cannot think of anyone better suited to take on the task of driving our Medical Center’s efforts in addiction sciences and treatment.

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