For more than a year now, the COVID-19 pandemic has upended our lives in unimaginable ways. I offer my condolences to everyone who suffered the loss of a loved one during a most difficult year. Yet, even during these challenging times, we have been fully engaged in combating the coronavirus and the disease it causes—and we have some significant achievements to show for our efforts.
We have opened a new COVID-19 unit at Einstein and Montefiore to test the effectiveness of vaccines. We have evaluated coronavirus treatments, including convalescent plasma, corticosteroids, and monoclonal antibodies. And we have studied how COVID-19 affects children and why it causes psychiatric problems in adults. You can learn more about our COVID-19 research here.
A different tragedy, the collapse of the Twin Towers, continues to disrupt the health and lives of many New Yorkers. Our cover story, “20 Years After 9/11,” begins with David Prezant, M.D.—an Einstein graduate and chief medical officer for the Fire Department of the City of New York—who arrived at Ground Zero shortly before the towers fell. Dr. Prezant would go on to establish a groundbreaking program to monitor the health of first responders and obtain lifelong support for their care. A section titled “The Ones Who Ran Toward Danger” recounts the heroism and health problems of three of those first responders.
Our second feature article, “Gut Reactions,” describes the promising microbiome research that Einstein and Montefiore scientists are conducting. Their studies suggest that altering the makeup of the gut may lead to treatments for intestinal problems as well as diseases such as sickle cell anemia and diabetes.
I am heartened by what we’ve accomplished these past several months. And as we begin to recover from the pandemic, I’m optimistic about what can be achieved as we work together for a better future.
Gordon F. Tomaselli, M.D.
The Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Executive Vice President, Chief Academic Officer