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HSS Receives Extraordinary $6.2 Million Grant from The Tow Foundation to Expand Genomics Research

A $6.2 million grant from The Tow Foundation has been given to Hospital for Special Surgery, the world leader specialized in musculoskeletal health since 1863. The grant will enable HSS to apply the power of genomics to expand research in autoimmune diseases, tissue repair, and precision medicine being conducted by investigators in the David Z. Rosensweig Genomics Research Center. The Rosensweig Center was established in 2013 through the visionary partnership of The Tow Foundation and is named in honor of Rosensweig, a late long-time and beloved trustee of The Tow Foundation.

Building on its established leadership in functional genomics research in autoimmune and musculoskeletal conditions, the aims of the next phase of the Rosensweig Center are to elevate precision medicine efforts through the application of “big data” approaches, explore how the dysregulation of certain immune cells drives autoimmune diseases, and understand how immune cells regulate musculoskeletal stem cell function—an emerging field known as immunoregeneration.

The overarching goals of this research are to enhance patient mobility and decrease pain by increasing clinicians’ ability to predict the best treatments for individual patients, and to discover transformative new therapies through enhanced understanding of disease mechanisms and modulating immune musculoskeletal cell crosstalk. The Rosensweig Center will continue to focus on diseases that are major causes of pain and disability in which HSS has a unique combination of clinical and research expertise: rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, lupus, osteoarthritis, and anterior cruciate ligament injury, as well as the pathological bone loss that occurs in osteoporosis, arthritis, and orthopedic implant loosening.

“We are honored to receive this extraordinary grant from The Tow Foundation to build upon our unparalleled knowledge, and extensive data sets and patient populations to conduct transformational new research with high impact and potential for translation to improved patient care,” said Lionel B. Ivashkiv, MD, Chief Scientific Officer and Director of the Rosensweig Center. “The expanded Rosensweig Center will harness HSS’s unique strengths by bringing together world-class scientists in the typically distinct areas of immunology and musculoskeletal biology, and by leveraging our genomics expertise together with the expertise of our collaborators in data analytics, AI/machine learning, advanced genomics technologies, and stem cell biology.”

“We’ve been incredibly impressed by the progress that Dr. Ivashkiv and his team have made in advancing cutting-edge genomics research since we first began our partnership over a decade ago,” said Emily Tow, President of The Foundation.  “We are pleased and proud to support the Rosensweig Center’s evolution as they continue to lead genomics research aimed at improving lives and are pleased that we can honor our dear friend David’s memory through this gift.”

“Orthopedic and rheumatologic conditions are the world’s leading cause of disability worldwide, and HSS has a special responsibility and opportunity to relieve their burden on people, businesses, and society as a whole,” said Bryan T. Kelly, MD, MBA, HSS President and CEO and Surgeon-in-Chief Emeritus.

“We are deeply grateful to The Tow Foundation for its incredible continued partnership as Dr. Ivashkiv and the Rosensweig Center team work to pioneer genomics research to accelerate the discovery of new treatment options to preserve the mobility and quality of life of patients here and across the globe.”

About The Tow Foundation

The Tow Foundation was established in 1988 by Leonard and Claire Tow as a way to give back to the communities that shaped them. Its five primary impact areas are equity and justice, medicine and public health, arts and culture, higher education, and civic engagement. Grounded in its decades of work in Connecticut and New York and based in New Canaan, CT, the foundation supports visionary leaders and nonprofit organizations to find and enact innovative solutions to persistent inequality. It works to ensure people can become full participants in their communities, achieve transformative and lasting progress, and develop approaches that allow everyone to reach their full potential. 

About HSS

HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. At its core is Hospital for Special Surgery, nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics (for the 14th consecutive year), No. 2 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2023-2024), and the best pediatric orthopedic hospital in NY, NJ and CT by U.S. News & World Report “Best Children’s Hospitals” list (2023-2024). In a survey of medical professionals in more than 20 countries by Newsweek, HSS is ranked world #1 in orthopedics for a fourth consecutive year (2023). Founded in 1863, the Hospital has the lowest readmission rates in the nation for orthopedics, and among the lowest infection and complication rates. HSS was the first in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center five consecutive times. An affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS has a main campus in New York City and facilities in New Jersey, Connecticut and in the Long Island and Westchester County regions of New York State, as well as in Florida. In addition to patient care, HSS leads the field in research, innovation and education. The HSS Research Institute comprises 20 laboratories and 300 staff members focused on leading the advancement of musculoskeletal health through prevention of degeneration, tissue repair and tissue regeneration. In addition, more than 200 HSS clinical investigators are working to improve patient outcomes through better ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat orthopedic, rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. The HSS Innovation Institute works to realize the potential of new drugs, therapeutics and devices. The HSS Education Institute is a trusted leader in advancing musculoskeletal knowledge and research for physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, academic trainees, and consumers in more than 165 countries. The institution is collaborating with medical centers and other organizations to advance the quality and value of musculoskeletal care and to make world-class HSS care more widely accessible nationally and internationally. www.hss.edu.