NYSCF, Johns Hopkins, and Bloomberg Philanthropies Partner to Advance Precision Medicine


A new collaboration between the NYSCF Research Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (JHUSOM), and Bloomberg Philanthropies is aiming to push precision medicine forward using the power of stem cell research. This partnership will combine the clinical and medical expertise of JHUSOM with the unique stem cell technologies of the NYSCF Research Institute.

“Bloomberg Philanthropies’ mission is to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies. “For years, Johns Hopkins University and the New York Stem Cell Foundation have shared that mission – and we’re honored to deepen our partnerships with them as they explore new, innovative ways to save lives through the application of precision medicine.”

What is precision medicine?

“Precision medicine” means finding the right therapies for the right patients. Think of it like this: not everyone with poor eyesight gets the same glasses prescription. So why are so many disease treatments one-size-fits-all? Every patient has a unique disease experience and genetic blueprint, and precision medicine takes these into account to ensure patients receive tailored care.

One route to enabling precision medicine is through stem cell research. Stem cells can be used to create ‘biological avatars’ of the patient they were created from, allowing scientists and clinicians to study how diseases affect human cells and how differences in individual patients and groups of patients can factor into disease.

How will this partnership accelerate precision medicine?

In the collaboration, biological samples will first be collected through JHU’s Precision Medicine Centers of Excellence (PMCOEs) with patient consent. These PMCOEs are hallmarks of the university’s Precision Medicine Initiative, and each one focuses on a different disease. By gathering data from diverse groups of patients and tracking them over time, PMCOE scientists are working to gain more detailed and personalized insight into a wide range of conditions.

“Johns Hopkins is working intensively to realize the great promise of precision medicine for all those in our care, locally and globally,” said Johns Hopkins President Ronald J. Daniels. “This significant new collaboration with Bloomberg Philanthropies and NYSCF moves us ever closer to that aim as we join together our far-reaching research capacities to advance knowledge and deliver better health outcomes for populations and people around the world.”

The samples will then be sent to the NYSCF Research Institute, where scientists will turn them into stem cells using the NYSCF Global Stem Cell Array®. With patient-specific stem cell lines from highly characterized samples, researchers will be better able to understand the underpinnings of disease and determine which types of therapies will work for which patient populations. The stem cell lines will also be made available to the wider research community to accelerate studies around the world, addressing diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, chronic renal failure, and cancers of the lung, breast, prostate, pancreas, and bladder.

“The NYSCF Research Institute has invented and scaled the most advanced methods of human cell manipulation, which is critical for studying disease at the level of the individual patient,” explained NYSCF CEO Susan L. Solomon. “By combining our capabilities with Johns Hopkins’ extensive clinical data and expertise, we will be able to develop effective, personalized therapies for patients suffering from diseases with a high unmet need.”

Read more in the press release.