• Mayo Clinic Launches Multidisciplinary Effort to Improve Spine Pain Treatment

    In the clinical setting, attempts to evaluate and compare the effectiveness of various treatments for spine have been difficult. Currently, there is no consensus among providers on optimal spine care pathways and although experts recognize that a spine pain registry would help providers make evidence-based decisions for patients with these conditions, the development of such a registry has been challenging. To address this issue, a Mayo Clinic research team led by Wenchun Qu, M.D., Ph.D., M.S., and William D. Mauck, M.D., has launched an integrated, multidisciplinary effort called the Gerstner Spine Pain Initiative. The Gerstner Spine Pain Initiative, made possible by a grant from The Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Fund at Vanguard Charitable, is designed to have a direct impact on how clinicians care for their patients with spine pain. The initiative comprises two interrelated components: the development and implementation of a patient outcomes database and data collection platform to support critical evaluation of best practices and clinical trial planning, implementation and critical appraisal, and the completion of a randomized, controlled, clinical trial of a novel and promising therapeutic strategy based on emerging regenerative technologies developed at Mayo.

  • New Gerstner Scholars Highlight Research at American Museum of Natural History
    May 24, 2019

    The annual American Museum of Natural History Gerstner Scholars meeting was held on May 16th, 2019. Mr. Gerstner and Foundation staff received updates on the career progress of past award recipients, and met with the latest cohort of Gerstner Scholars, who presented on their research projects. The Gerstner Scholars Fellowship Program provides support for postdoctoral researchers in the fields of comparative biology, bioinformatics, and computational biology. Recent alumni of the program have gone on to receive tenure-track professorships at Rutgers University, Montclair State University, and the California Institute of Technology, and competitive postdoctoral positions at Duke University, University of Washington, University of California–Davis, and the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris.

    Read more about the Gerstner Scholars Program
  • New York City’s Spending on Homeless Hits $3.2 Billion in 2019

    According to a report released by Comptroller Scott Stringer, spending on homelessness services in New York City has more than doubled to $3.2 billion from fiscal year 2014 to 2019. The spending boost combined with an increase in the shelter population has raised budgetary concerns for Mr. Stringer’s office, which has placed homeless-services agencies on a spending watch list for the second year in a row. The new report showed that shelter costs have more than doubled to $1.9 billion between fiscal years 2014 and 2019. A spokeswoman, Jane Meyer, for Mayor Bill de Blasio said that after decades of underfunding, the administration has made unprecedented investments to prevent and address homelessness. Evictions are down 37%, meaning fewer people have had to enter shelters, and 115,000 New Yorkers have moved out of shelters or avoided shelter since 2014.

  • Nearly Half of U.S. College Students are Food Insecure
    May 2, 2019

    According to a recent survey by Temple University’s Hope Center for College, Community and Justice, 45 percent of student respondents from over 100 institutions said they had been food insecure in the past 30 days. In New York, the nonprofit found that among City University of New York (CUNY) students, 48 percent had been food insecure in the past 30 days. According to Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, the lead author of the report, "If no progress is made, existing investments in financial aid will be undermined as students drop out simply because they don’t have enough to eat.”

    Read the full report at
  • Mayo Clinic and Other Experts Call For Increased Focus On Brain Disease Similar to Alzheimer’s

    Through a collaboration with the University of Kentucky and other institutions, Mayo Clinic researchers helped to establish a name for a degenerative brain disease that afflicts the elderly and mimics features of Alzheimer’s disease. The working group describes "limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy," or LATE, as an underrecognized risk for public health and calls for an urgent focus on research to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease. LATE has been known to clinicians for about a decade, but a common terminology was lacking. The group recommends that LATE testing be performed as part of routine autopsy evaluation in all older patients. No diagnostic tests are available to identify patients with LATE, though an exciting area of research will be the development of biomarkers for brain imaging, with the goal of revealing the disease early in the patient’s progression.