PacBio's Schadt leading $100M effort at Mt. Sinai

Dr. Eric E. Schadt (photo), a rock star of sorts in genetics circles and chief scientist at Pacific Biosciences ($PACB), is set to lead a new genomics research group at Mount Sinai in New York. Menlo Park, CA-based PacBio, a provider of DNA sequencers, and Mount Sinai School of Medicine also revealed a new collaboration to make genomic discoveries more practical in improving healthcare for patients, the organizations announced today.

While Schadt is holding onto his chief scientist role at PacBio, he's going to be spending a lot of his time as head of the Mount Sinai Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology. The genomic research group is expected to get $100 million in funding over the next five to six years, Dr. Dennis S. Charney, dean of the school of medicine, told the New York Times. Schadt will also be chairman of genetics at the medical school in addition to his role as director of the genomics institute.

Schadt, a rare scientist to grace the pages of Esquire in this March 2011 profile, is an expert in computational biology and a pioneer in advancing our understanding of how networks of genes acting together play a major role in driving diseases. At Mount Sinai, the standout scientist is going be heading the new genomics center that will tackle the challenge of taking complex genomic data and integrating it with clinical information. PacBio is providing Mount Sinai with prototypes of its machines for sequencing and analyzing molecules through the collaboration, which also gives the company access to valuable patient samples to advance its development.

"This is the exact right thing I've always wanted to do. I won't have anybody else to blame if I can't pull off something significant here," Schadt told Xconomy.

- here's PacBio and Mount Sinai's release
- read the New York Times blog piece
- check out Xconomy's coverage