Musical MDs and instrument playing PhDs bring classical music to concert halls and hospital rooms, July 22, 2009, by Margaret Guthrie  —  The lives of a scientists or physicians can seem unsustainably busy. But outside of labs and clinics, researchers and doctors make time to engage in extracurricular pursuits from skydiving to Sudoku. It turns out that music is a common distraction for many life science and health professionals, and specialized symphony orchestras around the world are chock full of PhDs and MDs celebrating the marriage of science and music.

“Music requires the same intense focus, microscopic analysis, and integrative story-telling that biology requires,” said Heidi Greulich, a cancer researcher at the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard and a cellist in the Massachusetts-based Longwood Symphony Orchestra, in an email to The Scientist. “Because of this, I end up using many of the same skills for playing music that I use in doing science. So perhaps it’s not so surprising that so many scientists are also musicians.”

For Keiko Fujino, a third year medical student at Sapporo Medical University in Tokyo, blending music and medicine is a little more difficult. “I learned the piano in my childhood,” she said in an email to The Scientist. Like many children forced to tickle the ivories, Fujino had a falling out with the instrument and took up the viola during her first year of medical school. “I play 3 days a week and learn from a professional violist 2 or 3 times in a month.”

Janet Stavnezer, professor of molecular genetics and microbiology at the University of Massachusetts medical school and a member of the Seven Hills Symphony said that she finds time for the orchestra now that her daughter is grown. “I practice one hour a day after dinner…I take a lesson every week [she found her musical knowledge too scant after time off to raise a child] so I practice for that,” she told The Scientist. “The bottom line is [if] one just concentrates on doing the most important things, then music fits in.”

For players, fitting music into already overwhelming schedules is one thing, but starting a medical orchestra is a whole different accomplishment. Joanna Chaurette, an MD/PhD student at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, founded the Seven Hills Symphony. “I knew about the Medical Arts Symphony in Kansas City and the Longwood in Boston so I figured I would give it a try,” Chaurette wrote in an email to The Scientist. “Finding musicians was relatively easy compared to finding a place in the hospital or school to rehearse.” Classrooms are too small, she explained, and amphitheaters have neither enough room at the front nor stages that can accommodate an orchestra. Chaurette and more than 20 musicians ended up commandeering a faculty conference room.

The Medical Arts Symphony, one of the oldest in this country, had an easier time finding space to play in the Kansas University Medical Center, which sponsors the orchestra. The center allows the orchestra, which started in 1945, to rehearse and to give two concerts a year in an auditorium at the facility, and even foots the bill for printing the performance programs at the university print shop.

Tetsuro Anzai, professor of internal medicine at Sapporo Medical University in Japan, founded the school’s orchestra in 1954, with only four players, who crammed into a classroom to rehearse. The orchestra is now “able to practice at the hall stage” if there’s no medical congress in progress, according to Fujino. The orchestra is composed entirely of medical students, who pay dues and play an annual concert in Sapporo’s Kitara Concert Hall and a Christmas concert in the hospital’s lobby.

Having an orchestra composed of healthcare and science professionals also leads to some unconventional performance settings. The Longwood Symphony Orchestra, for example, started a concert series last year called “LSO on call,” where musicians play to patients in area hospitals a couple of times a month. “This October we’re planning to have LSO on Call in Boston — a blitz of more than 10 performances simultaneously going on in health care facilities across the city,” said Lisa Wong, executive director of the orchestra and a pediatrician at Harvard Medical School.


Collaboration between a composer and his neuroscientist muse, probes one of life’s deepest questions

“Self Comes to Mind” by Bruce Adolphe

Text by Antonio Damasio

Yo-Yo Ma (cello) and John Ferrari and Ayano
Kataoka (percussion) perform
Photo: Geoff McKonly

Here’s a question that has plagued philosophers, artists, and scientists alike for centuries: How was consciousness born?

One composer and a neuroscientist took a stab at answering the age-old question at a performance of a new musical work, “Self Comes to Mind,” last Sunday (May 3), at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

The piece weaves together music by composer Bruce Adolphe, text written by neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, and a video created from brain images of his wife and collaborator, Hanna Damasio. What results is an ethereal three-part creation story of the mind.

The story tells of “the evolution of mind from brain,” Adolphe told The Scientist in an interview the week before the performance. “It goes from the idea of a brain in a creature that doesn’t know, to consciousness and the anxiety and dilemmas of consciousness.” Each section of the music is preceded by a recording of Damasio reading a passage that describes a stage in the evolution of consciousness and the discovery of self-awareness.



The piece begins with a series of almost scale-like segments of cello (performed by Yo-Yo Ma) and percussion (performed by John Ferrari and Ayano Kataoka). The first movement, called “When Mind First in the Body Bloomed,” leaves the listener feeling as though the sound — and the mind — is testing the waters, trying out its range. “Musically speaking, it’s fragmentation coming together,” Adolphe explained.

In the second movement, called “Self Came to Mind,” the music becomes at once more focused and more agitated — complex, questioning, occasionally dissonant. In this new stage of the mind’s development, Damasio’s text reads, “Loss could be forseen, but so could gain and so could hope.” Musically, this “kind of explosion of an awareness of knowing,” Adolphe said, “suggested tight-knit contrapuntal writing — where details refract throughout the piece.”

Finally, in the last section of the piece, called “Discovery,” the music matures into a kind of complex and insistent exploration. It reflects “the anxiety that comes with knowing,” Adolphe said, and to reflect that, “the last movement is completely different from the other two in basic musical diction.”

Adolphe and Damasio, who heads the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California, met in 1993. Both were invited speakers at an Aspen Institute conference on higher brain function that addressed the subject of creativity and science in the arts. Adolphe had recently written The Mind’s Ear, a book that explored ways both musicians and those listening to music could improve their musical imagination. “I came not sure why I had been invited, exactly,” he said, since the book “has no science in it.” Damasio’s talk was the afternoon before his, and Adolphe went to the scientist’s presentation. The speech explored themes that a year later would find their way into Damasio’s first popular science book, Descartes’ Error, about the interconnectedness of emotion and rationality in the brain.

Adolphe was profoundly affected. “I was completely blown away,” he recalled, “by the way his neuroscience research affected his way of talking about creativity. I actually went back to my hotel room and I started [my talk] over — I rewrote everything so that I could address the things he’d brought up.” Damasio noticed Adolphe’s nod to his ideas, and the two began a conversation about music, creativity, and the brain that continues to this day.

Adolphe created two compositions based on Damasio’s ideas — and even specific phrases — in the researcher’s subsequent books. For “Self Comes to Mind,” though, Adolphe proposed a more direct collaboration, asking Damasio to write something relating to his research, as a basis for his musical composition. The first version Damasio sent, he recalls, was surprisingly lacking in science; Damasio was too successful, Adolphe said, in tailoring his text to a general audience.

After some back and forth between the collaborators, the short, three-part prose poem that emerged served as the basis for Adolphe’s composition, and a map of the musical narrative of the piece. “Everything he wrote had consequences in the music,” Adolphe said. It was Ma who suggested adding a visual component, and the images of Hanna Damasio, an expert in neuroimaging, were an obvious choice, Adolphe added. From the green and blue MRI scans fading as if they are mere drops in a puddle and the nerve-like processes extending like tendrils in the first section, to the red jagged extensions of dendrites and lightening-white traces of electrical activity in the last section, the images provide another avenue of connecting to the narrative and musical arc of the piece.

After the performance, Adolphe, Ma, and Damasio set out some chairs amid the percussion instruments, and in an on-stage panel discussion led by Jonah Lehrer, brain-blogger and author of How We Decide, talked about the themes probed in the piece. “A piece like this is very complex,” Damasio said, “but with all due respect, it pales in comparison with what goes on in even a single cell.” In that sense, he said, the scientific study of creativity can breed “so much more reverence for what it is.”

The piece is likely only the latest installment in a long and fruitful collaboration between Adolphe and Damasio. “One of the things Antonio and I hope to do together is to explore the relationship between music and neuroscience, hopefully in a different way than is typical,” Adolphe said. For example: How does memorizing and performing a major large-scale work, such as Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations, affect the brain? “It seems to me that it has to fundamentally alter how you think about things.”

Percussionists Jam Without Their Hands, by Jessie Jiang, 2009  —  With electrode-studded headbands strapped to their scalps, three percussionists banged out a cacophony of sound and rhythm at a performance/neuroscience experiment entitled, “Trio for percussion and brain waves” last Monday (Mar 24) in New York City. But this performance was a first for the three musicians involved: none of them even touched their instruments.


As a rapt audience watched, sounds issued from three laptops connected to the drummers by Bluetooth technology. The musicians’ brainwaves traveled through the air, triggering tones from the computers before leaping to life on the 12-foot-high screen hanging behind them.

The performance was part of an experiment designed by David Sulzer, Columbia University neuroscientist. It demonstrated Sulzer’s idea that thinking about an action could stimulate the brain in much the same way as actually carrying it out.

“It’s the first time we’ve shown this [experiment] in public,” said Sulzer, who’s also known as Dave Soldier the prolific composer who has published 13 studio albums since 1988. When the music was playing, Sulzer sat alone, his eyes closed and his body stilled by intense concentration. Sulzer recently released albums of music played by elephant orchestras and demonstrated his neuron-induced music at the Brooklyn Philharmonic.

Another portion of Sulzer’s public experiment, which was part of “BRAINWAVE: The NeuroScience of the Groove” held at the City University of New York, was to have the musicians play their drums normally while the real-time peaks and valleys of their brain activity flashed on the screen behind them.


Each time the musicians beat their instruments, a series of chemical reactions took place in their brains: sodium ions flooded into their neurons while potassium ions coursed out, creating about -70mV of voltage and sharp spikes in their brainwave readouts, just like when they were producing music with their thoughts alone. Occasionally, though, the waves waned into almost a straight line; an interruption in the transmission process. “It could probably be caused by sweat,” said Sulzer.

The musicians’ brainwaves also spiked when they sat on their hands to keep them still while thinking about music. Although some minor movements such as raising an eyebrow could also have triggered spikes, Sulzer and his Columbia colleague, John Krakauer, believed that further experiments would help them approach the truth.


“I think for the next step, we’ll try to keep their hands completely still instead of just letting them sit on their hands, though there will probably still be spikes,” said Krakauer, co-director of the Motor Performance Laboratory at Columbia University.

When one of the three musicians started a mental music piece and the other two tried to accompany it, the brainwaves of the three synced up intermittently. “That was because they constantly needed to catch up with each other,” said Sulzer.

For Barry Olsen and Valerie Dee Naranjo, two of the participating percussionists, playing their music while wearing electrodes was a unique experience.

“This is our first time [participating in this experiment],” said Olsen, who has been playing the kuar, a type of West African drum, for 20 years. Dee Naranjo, Olsen’s wife and a devoted gyil player and singer, got the couple the gig through her long friendship with Sulzer.

“We’ll definitely perform with them again,” said Olsen. “It’s fun, isn’t it?”

“BRAINWAVE: The NeuroScience of the Groove” was presented by Science & the Arts at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. For more programs about brainwaves, check out



A growth factor injected into adult mice spurs heart muscle cells to proliferate, helping heal heart attack damage, July 23, 2009, by Kelly Rae Chi

A growth factor injected into adult mice with damaged hearts can stimulate differentiated heart cells to proliferate, promoting regeneration after heart attack, according to a study published tomorrow (July 24) in Cell.

The study is “a big advance,” Doug Sawyer, a cardiologist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, who was not involved in the research, told The Scientist.

Heart muscle cells are known to proliferate during fetal development, but were previously thought to differentiate terminally soon after birth. During the last 15 years, however, an increasing body of evidence has hinted that these cells can re-enter the cell cycle and regenerate.

Bernhard Kühn, a pediatric cardiologist at Children’s Hospital Boston, and his colleagues gave mice an intraperitoneal injection of neuregulin1 one week after inducing heart attacks, and then administered daily injections for 12 weeks. Two weeks after the final injection, they examined the heart tissue to see whether the damage caused by the heart attack had been ameliorated.

“We stopped treating the mice cold turkey and said, ‘Look, if this is true regeneration, it should be there two weeks later,'” Kühn said. Indeed, electrocardiographs showed that in treated mice, ventricle chambers of the heart recovered more, both structurally and functionally, than in mice given control injections.

Neuregulin1’s effect is mediated through its receptor, ErbB4. When researchers genetically inactivated ErbB4 in young mice, the animals’ heart muscle cells stopped entering the cell cycle and proliferating. Kühn and his group also found that adding neuregulin1 to adult heart muscle triggered roughly 0.6% of cells to divide over a nine-day period.

“The effect is not huge, but it’s way above baseline,” said Chuck Murry, director of University of Washington’s Center for Cardiovascular Biology in Seattle, who was not involved with the study. “It seems that cumulatively these effects could be physiologically meaningful.”

In the mammalian heart, roughly 25% of muscle cells contain one nucleus, whereas the remaining 75% contain two or more. Tracing proliferation in vivo, the group showed that neuregulin1 prompted 14% of mononucleated cells to make new DNA — a sign of proliferation. Only 3% of multi-nucleated cells treated with the factor synthesized DNA.

“It’s now starting to look like [mononucleated cells] have a special function in the heart,” Murry said. “It’s changed the way that I think about these cells.”

Sawyer noted that the strength of the study was in demonstrating elements of the mechanism behind heart cell proliferation in adult animals. “The exciting part, in my mind, is that the ligand itself is also in clinical trials,” he said.

In 2006, researchers from Zensun, a Chinese biotechnology company, showed that a human recombinant form of neuregulin1 improved heart function in rats and dogs. The company has since started testing neuregulin1– dubbed Neucardin — as a treatment for congestive heart failure in Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical trials in China and Australia, and is set to start a Phase 2a trial in the US.

Kühn and his group is further examining the molecular and cellular details of how neuregulin1 promotes proliferation. They are also characterizing the factor’s effects on heart regeneration in pigs.

A study published earlier this year in Science by Swedish researchers showed that in humans, roughly 1% of heart muscle cells renew each year, and less than half of the total number of heart cells are exchanged over a person’s lifetime.

Whether the new results will translate into humans is an “enormous question,” said Barry Greenberg, director of the Advanced Heart Failure Treatment Program at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, who did not participate in the study. “But at least it provides us with a potentially exciting new pathway to explore for treating patients with heart failure.”

The movie shows a differentiated mononucleated cardiomyocyte expressing a GFP tagged H2B fusion construct. Time-lapse video microscopy shows this cardiomyocyte undergoes karyokinesis (nuclear division), followed by cytokinesis (cellular division). This mononucleated cardiomyocyte completes the cell-cycle giving rise to two daughter cardiomyocytes. Credit: K. Bersell et al., Cell 138:257-70, July 24, 2009


Professor Markram said he would send a hologram to talk at TED in 10 years 

Google,, July 23, 2009, by Jonathan Fildes  —  A detailed, functional artificial human brain can be built within the next 10 years, a leading scientist has claimed.

Henry Markram, director of the Blue Brain Project, has already simulated elements of a rat brain.

He told the TED Global conference in Oxford that a synthetic human brain would be of particular use finding treatments for mental illnesses.

Around two billion people are thought to suffer some kind of brain impairment, he said.

“It is not impossible to build a human brain and we can do it in 10 years,” he said.

“And if we do succeed, we will send a hologram to TED to talk.”

‘Shared fabric’

The Blue Brain project was launched in 2005 and aims to reverse engineer the mammalian brain from laboratory data.

In particular, his team has focused on the neocortical column – repetitive units of the mammalian brain known as the neocortex.


The team are trying to reverse engineer the brain 

“It’s a new brain,” he explained. “The mammals needed it because they had to cope with parenthood, social interactions complex cognitive functions.

“It was so successful an evolution from mouse to man it expanded about a thousand fold in terms of the numbers of units to produce this almost frightening organ.”

And that evolution continues, he said. “It is evolving at an enormous speed.”

Over the last 15 years, Professor Markram and his team have picked apart the structure of the neocortical column.

“It’s a bit like going and cataloguing a bit of the rainforest – how may trees does it have, what shape are the trees, how many of each type of tree do we have, what is the position of the trees,” he said.

“But it is a bit more than cataloguing because you have to describe and discover all the rules of communication, the rules of connectivity.”

The project now has a software model of “tens of thousands” of neurons – each one of which is different – which has allowed them to digitally construct an artificial neocortical column.

Although each neuron is unique, the team has found the patterns of circuitry in different brains have common patterns.

“Even though your brain may be smaller, bigger, may have different morphologies of neurons – we do actually share the same fabric,” he said.

“And we think this is species specific, which could explain why we can’t communicate across species.”

World view

To make the model come alive, the team feeds the models and a few algorithms into a supercomputer.

“You need one laptop to do all the calculations for one neuron,” he said. “So you need ten thousand laptops.”


The research could give insights into brain disease

Instead, he uses an IBM Blue Gene machine with 10,000 processors.

Simulations have started to give the researchers clues about how the brain works.

For example, they can show the brain a picture – say, of a flower – and follow the electrical activity in the machine.

“You excite the system and it actually creates its own representation,” he said.

Ultimately, the aim would be to extract that representation and project it so that researchers could see directly how a brain perceives the world.

But as well as advancing neuroscience and philosophy, the Blue Brain project has other practical applications.

For example, by pooling all the world’s neuroscience data on animals – to create a “Noah’s Ark”, researchers may be able to build animal models.

“We cannot keep on doing animal experiments forever,” said Professor Markram.

It may also give researchers new insights into diseases of the brain.

“There are two billion people on the planet affected by mental disorder,” he told the audience.

The project may give insights into new treatments, he said.

The TED Global conference runs from 21 to 24 July in Oxford, UK.



BBC Podcast: Professor Henry Markham says that the artificial brain, may even be able to have some emotions., July 21, 2009, by Fran Lowry,  (Boston, Massachusetts) – People who adhere to a prudent diet, exercise regularly, and maintain a normal weight can significantly lower their lifetime risk of developing heart failure or hypertension, according to two new studies from Harvard researchers published in the July 22/29, 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

In one study, led by Dr John P Forman (Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA), women who maintained a normal weight, exercised daily, ate a diet that was high in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products and low in salt, and took a daily folic-acid supplement had a significantly lower incidence of self-reported hypertension.

In the other, led by Dr Luc Djoussé (Brigham and Women’s Hospital), men who exercised regularly, drank moderately, did not smoke, were of normal weight, and ate a diet that included cereal, fruits, and vegetables had a lower lifetime risk of heart failure.

The public-health message from these two studies is particularly timely, said Dr Rene Alvarez (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, PA). “These are pretty important papers. These are modifiable risk factors, that’s the key, and if you can modify these risk factors when you are healthy, then you are going to have an important impact on your health long term. This is an important public-health message, especially with healthcare reform being so prominent in the news just now,” he commented to heartwire .

Adherence to Healthy Lifestyle Could Reduce Hypertension Risk by 80%

Forman and his colleagues looked at the link between low-risk lifestyle factors and the risk of developing hypertension in 83 882 women age 27 to 44 years in the second Nurses’ Health Study who did not have hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or cancer and who had normal reported blood pressure as defined as systolic blood pressure of <120 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure of <80 mm Hg in 1991; they were followed for 14 years through 2005.

The researchers identified the following six variables associated with reduced risk of hypertension: body-mass index (BMI) less than 25, 30 minutes a day of vigorous exercise, a high score on the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet based on responses to a food frequency questionnaire, modest alcohol intake, use of nonnarcotic analgesics less than once per week, and intake of 400 µg/day or more of supplemental folic acid. A DASH score was determined based on high intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains and low intake of sodium, sweetened beverages, and red and processed meats.

During the 14 years of follow-up, 12 319 new cases of hypertension were reported. After adjustment for age, race, family history of hypertension, smoking status, and the use of oral contraceptives, all six modifiable risk factors were independently associated with the risk of developing hypertension. Women who had all six low risk factors–which amounted to 0.3% of the study cohort, had about an 80% lower risk of developing high blood pressure.

BMI alone was the most powerful predictor of hypertension, with a BMI of 25 or greater having an adjusted population-attributable risk (PAR) of 40% compared with a BMI of less than 25.

“The public-health toll from high blood pressure is staggering,” Forman told heartwire . “Individuals and society have the power and responsibility, by modifying diet, lifestyle, and behaviors, to hypothetically prevent to a large degree the development of a disease that takes a drastic toll on public health.”

Healthy Lifestyle Also Averts Heart Failure

Djoussé and his colleagues analyzed data on 20 900 men from the Physicians’ Health Study I (1982-2008). Their mean age at baseline was 54 years, and all were apparently healthy. Similarly to the previous study, the investigators assessed the following modifiable lifestyle factors for their link to the lifetime risk of heart failure: body weight, smoking, exercise, alcohol intake, consumption of breakfast cereals, and consumption of fruits and vegetables.

During a mean follow-up of 22.4 years, 1200 men developed heart failure. The overall lifetime risk of heart failure was 13.8% (95% CI 12.9%-14.7%) at age 40 years and remained constant through age 70 years. At age 80 years, the lifetime risk reached 10.6% (95% CI 9.4%-11.7%).

Men with hypertension had a higher lifetime risk of heart failure than those who did not have hypertension.

With regard to the modifiable risk factors, these were individually and jointly associated with a lower lifetime risk of heart failure. Men who did not adhere to any of the six lifestyle factors had the highest risk of developing heart failure in their lifetime–21.2% (95% CI 16.8%-25.6%); whereas in men who adhered to four or more desirable lifestyle factors, their risk was only 10.1% (95% CI 7.9%-12.3%).

“The take-home message for general practitioners and cardiologists is that it is important to recommend and encourage healthy behaviors because they really do make a difference,” Djoussé told heartwire . “Avoid smoking completely, keep a healthy weight, and do regular exercise. These are key. If you have these three under control, then your lifetime risk of heart failure is cut substantially. This is just as important as prescribing aspirin and lipid-lowering drugs. Make sure your patients know how important these lifestyle factors are–they are just as important as medication.”

Fit and Healthy: Society’s Choice

In an accompanying editorial, Dr Veronique L Roger (Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN) writes that “the studies by Forman et al and Djoussé et al underscore that healthy lifestyle will help prevent cardiovascular disease and greatly enhance health, which is a compelling reminder that health is the shared responsibility of individuals and communities. This in turn implies that public-health policies and clinical care must join forces to achieve effective disease prevention.”

In an interview with heartwire , Roger added that these studies force a reflection on what “lifestyle” really means. “Too often we equate lifestyle with individual choice, but in fact, lifestyle is also a choice of a culture. Right now we are having this collective reflection on healthcare, and yet we continue to build our cities so that it is virtually impossible for people to walk in certain areas. School nutrition is another issue. A study by Dr Mary Story (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis) shows that our kids are not getting adequate nutrition in school lunch programs [4]. Yet these things can make an enormous difference.”

Alvarez agrees: “If we took a little more ownership of our health and stopped smoking, watched our salt intake, lost some weight, exercised a bit more, and ate healthier, we would have an important impact not only on our individual health but on society as a whole.”

He added that the American Heart Association has been preaching the benefits of a healthy lifestyle for years and even tried to lobby Congress about the dangers of adding salt to processed foods. “They put a ton of salt in processed foods because it makes the food taste better. Unfortunately, the food industry in the US has refused to comply. However, they did the same thing in England about 20 years ago, mandating that the processed-food industry had to lower the salt content of its foods. Now, they are beginning to see the important health effect of that as fewer people who live in the UK have high blood pressure, and their stroke and heart attack rates are beginning to go down now as a result of that one simple intervention.”

Forman, Alvarez and Roger report no relevant financial conflicts of interest. Djoussé reports that he is a current recipient of a grant from the National Institutes of Health.


  • 1. Forman JP, Stampfer MJ, Curhan GC. Diet and lifestyle risk factors associated with incident hypertension in women. JAMA 2009; 302:401-411.
  • 2. Djoussé L, Driver JA, Gaziano JM. Relation between modifiable lifestyle factors and lifetime risk of heart failure. JAMA 2009; 302:394-400.
  • 3. Roger, VL. Lifestyle and cardiovascular health individual and societal choices. JAMA 2009; 302:437-439.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg


Eli Lilly Establishes East Coast US Headquarters in NYC at East River Science Park

NYC Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced yesterday that Eli Lilly, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, will become the anchor tenant of East River Science Park (ERSP) in Manhattan. Eli Lilly recently acquired NYC-based ImClone Systems for $6.5B. The combined companies will occupy the newly constructed East Tower at ERSP. Lilly’s presence in NYC will provide access to NYC’s vast scientific resources including the largest concentration of academic medical centers in the US and the country’s largest base of scientific talent.

At the beginning of this administration, NYCEDC began to study the field to identify obstacles to growing the bioscience industry and developed targeted responses to support the sector. As part of this effort, NYCEDC led the creation of East River Science Park on City controlled land. The project is in partnership with Alexandria Real Estate Equities.

To learn more about the East River Science Park or the NYC Bioscience Initiative, contact Lenzie Harcum or visit