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News & Press: Alumni News

Patient-Oriented Research Training and Leadership

Thursday, October 23, 2014  
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“When you have a student who’s interested in the work and is inquisitive, it brightens your day, creates an exciting energy, and makes you work harder,” says Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai alumnus and entrepreneur Howard Levin, MD, class of 1986. This year, Dr. Levin, a heart failure/transplantation cardiologist and entrepreneur, will host medical student Brett Marinelli, at his company, Coridea, a successful startup that develops devices for cardio, pulmonary, and renal patients who have failed available drug treatments.


Mr. Marinelli, an MD/Master’s in Clinical Research (MSCR) candidate for the class of 2016, is part of Mount Sinai’s highly selective Patient-Oriented Research Training and Leadership (PORTAL) program. He will receive a stipend and earn his MSCR degree after conducting a year of in-depth research at Coridea. Students in the Portal program graduate in five years with dual MD and MSCR degrees.


“Brett will really get to delve in deep. He’ll come out of this experience qualified to work in any medical company, the NIH [National Institutes of Health], or continue onto clinical practice with an extremely valuable skill set,” says Dr. Levin.


Mr. Marinelli will conduct scientific and clinical research on a potential therapy for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which is currently in development at Coridea. Using imaging technology and a noninvasive device, Mr. Marinelli will try to identify and access natural reservoirs in the lung to improve exhalation of air, which is often problematic with current COPD treatment options. In addition to Dr. Levin, Mr. Marinelli will be working with several experts from ISMMS, including Timothy Harkin, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine; Claudia Henschke, MD, Clinical Professor of Radiology; and David Yankelevitz, MD, Professor of Radiology.


Says Mr. Marinelli, “What’s great about Icahn School of Medicine is the combination of freedom and support. I was given the flexibility to choose a research project that interests me, while knowing I have the full support of resources at ISMMS available to me. At Coridea, I’ll be looking at the physiology of the lung through imaging and have an opportunity to be an integral part of a process that could positively affect a substantial patient population.”

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