When the COVID-19 pandemic struck the Bronx last spring, it disrupted our lives in ways we had never experienced before and for a time it threatened to overwhelm us. But as Albert Einstein once said, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
Evidence of that can be seen in how different parts of the Einstein community have rallied to confront a virus that was rapidly filling hospitals with new patients daily. Our cover story focuses on four Einstein and Montefiore physicians and researchers and how they have organized for the onslaught of patients, dealt with the crisis while in the eye of the storm, and developed potential therapies to save lives.
Our students and staff have risen to the challenge as well. Many fourth-year medical students took the opportunity to graduate several weeks early and join the battle against COVID-19 in Montefiore hospitals, and some of our graduate students changed the focus of their research to come up with an urgently needed coronavirus antibody test. Our essential staff members have been keeping our campus running during this tremendously challenging period so that crucial experiments can continue.
Over the past several months we have also seen nationwide protests against the systemic racism and police violence that have damaged the lives of Black Americans and other people of color for far too long. Einstein’s two deans for diversity share their thoughts on how our community can be a part of the solution.
Finally, despite COVID-19, our research continues. Type 1 diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate. Einstein and Montefiore scientists are working to address this autoimmune disease on a number of fronts.
I’m extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished at Einstein and Montefiore over the past several months. Despite the difficulties that are sure to lie ahead, it’s clear that we are taking the opportunity to make many good things happen here.
Gordon F. Tomaselli, M.D.
The Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Executive Vice President, Chief Academic Officer