A Message from the Dean

Probing the molecules and cells that make life possible is a major focus at Einstein. Thanks to our connection with Montefiore, we also broaden our horizons to study the interactions among the people who make a treatment program run. In our cover story, “Breaking the Chains of Addiction,” we describe how department of medicine clinicians at Einstein and Montefiore are exploring ways to bring patients and medication together. Dr. Julia Arnsten works with an especially hard-to-treat, appointment-shy population: patients with HIV who are addicted to opioids. She proposes giving them their HIV antiretrovirals when they come in for the methadone that treats their addiction. Likewise, Dr. Chinazo Cunningham gives opioid-addicted heroin users the methadone-like drug buprenorphine when they come in to exchange drug needles.

This issue of the magazine also spotlights two physician-scientists, Drs. Ana Maria Cuervo and Robert Michler. Dr. Cuervo, a professor of developmental and molecular biology, is an expert in autophagy, an essential process in which cells digest damaged molecules and proteins. She and other researchers have established connections between autophagy failure and many human disorders, including cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Michler, a professor and the chair of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, is a clinical investigator who pioneered minimally invasive and robotic surgery in heart patients and repairs hearts around the world. His expertise spans multiple specialties, including complex cardiac surgery, heart transplantation, valve repair surgery and ventricular reconstruction for congestive heart failure.

Never have I been more proud to be associated with Einstein and Montefiore. We are well into our second year as official partners, and our relationship grows stronger by the day. May it continue to strengthen, so that both of our institutions can bring even better healthcare to those in need.

Allen M. Spiegel, M.D.
The Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Executive Vice President, Chief Academic Officer
Montefiore Medicine