Schadt reflects on first year at $100M genomics center

Eric Schadt made a high-profile move last year to head the Mount Sinai School of Medicine's new Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology in New York, and the life sciences maverick has spent his first year on the job building a crack team of bio data and computing aces, engaging experts inside and outside of medicine to solve healthcare problems and forming collaborations with masters of taming massive amounts of data.

Schadt (one of Fierce's Top 10 Biotech Techies in 2012) went to Mount Sinai, where he is also chair of the med school's genetics and genomics department, with a big $100 million budget over 5 years and a major mandate to push the institution to the forefront of using genomics and other data types central to everyday patient care and research. In an interview with Nature Biotechnology, Schadt shared some of his top accomplishments: established the first CLIA-sanctioned next-gen sequencing lab in the city; tapped the expertise of former Facebook employee Jeff Hammerbacher of Cloudera to help build technology to manage huge amounts of data; and added key staff such as Patricia Kovatch, who played a leading role in constructing one of the top supercomputers in the world at the Oak Ridge National Lab.

Healthcare lags other industries in integrating available digital data into everyday decisions. So Schadt has looked outside of healthcare at, for instance, places like Wall Street, where firms use algorithms that make sense of Big Data and help financial workers make decisions. With the right tools making use of the right information, Schadt aims enable a new era of data-driven medicine at Mount Sinai and his ambitious mission benefits from his history of questioning the status quo in biotech research and welcoming insights from people with a wide range of backgrounds in different industries.

"The idea is, 'Can we create the right ecosystem so that the diversity of talent across disciplines is all in the same space, learning and working with each other?'" Schadt told Nature Biotechnology.

- get more in the Nature Biotechnology interview

Special Report: Fierce's Top 10 Biotech Techies

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