Nearly 150 guests had the opportunity to experience a unique event that celebrated Mount Sinai Hospital’s research talent and to learn first hand how their work will impact health care for generations to come. Yesterday, Dinner with Scientists, an annual event held by Leadership Sinai, Mount Sinai’s growing group of young philanthropists, celebrated these life-changing discoveries and the individuals who have given generously to make them possible – and raised an estimated $140,000 for the Lunenfeld in the process.
Hosted by CTV news reporter Alicia Markson and held in the Art Deco setting of the Eglinton Grand, the event was an incredible evening of gourmet food and inspiring ideas. Each guest table included a researcher from Mount Sinai’s Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute who offered guests a glimpse of what the future holds for the treatment of some of the most prevalent and pernicious diseases of our time.
Perhaps the most entertaining part of the evening was asking some of the world’s most brilliant scientific minds to summarize their most interesting work into a two-minute presentation called a “lightening round”.
“Effective communication of science to the public is incredibly important in our complex world,” noted Dr. Jim Woodgett, Director of Research at the Lunenfeld. “In many ways I see events like Dinner with Scientists as an opportunity to report to our shareholders on why we’re doing research - in terms that are understandable and also convey our passion.”
For example, Dr. Ken Croitoru, clinician-scientist with Mount Sinai’s Zane Cohen Centre for Digestive Diseases
, was challenged to explain in layman’s terms his extensive and complex research in inflammatory bowel disease. It may not have been enough time to explain everything that we know about genetics and the environmental factors of the disease, but it did leave guests wowed by the possibilities that lay ahead for those who suffer from the debilitating condition and was certainly fodder for provoking discussions throughout the evening.
Leadership Sinai board members Lucas Atkins and Bill Arvanitis have bolstered the event’s goal of raising awareness and understanding of the Lunenfeld’s groundbreaking work. “This event continues to amaze me. Getting an inside look at the research is incredibly inspiring,” says Lucas. “It reinforces our commitment to funding their research because it allows us to draw a straight line from their work to patient care –and how they are literally transforming peoples’ lives. It’s also a real treat to be in a room with so much brain power!” adds Bill.
Kevin Goldthorp, Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation’s new President and Hospital Senior Vice President of Advancement, was thrilled with the evening: “I would like to personally thank our Leadership Sinai volunteers for their incredible commitment and vision for this event. It was particularly gratifying to see a room full of donors and volunteers sharing in the excitement about medical discoveries with our scientists.”