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Cedars-Sinai Ph.D. Candidates Wrapping Up First Trimester

Program in Biomedical Sciences and Translational Medicine Launched Fall 2008

Los Angeles - Dec. 30, 2008 – Many of the greatest medical discoveries are made in laboratories by scientists who never get the chance to meet the patients whose lives they are working to save. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is changing that dynamic with its first Ph.D. program – the Cedars-Sinai Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences and Translational Medicine.

Nine students selected from an international pool of applicants are nearing the end of their first trimester in the program, one of just a handful in the nation offering a graduate degree in translational medicine. Prospective students must have at least one undergraduate degree, but do not need to be a medical doctor. The program’s doctoral candidates are granted an annual stipend, plus benefits; there is no tuition.

The program, which launched in September 2008, includes a comprehensive curriculum focused on taking medical discoveries out of the laboratory and translating them into disease diagnosis and therapies within a clinical setting. The program is designed to connect researchers directly with scientists, physicians and their patients in a hospital setting with a focus on improving and advancing research and patient care.

“Our strength lies in clinical research and clinical medicine, making us a natural institution to provide outstanding training to young Ph.D. students in biomedical sciences and translational medicine,” said Shlomo Melmed, M.D., Cedars-Sinai senior vice president and dean of the faculty.

Leon Fine, M.D., chair of Cedars-Sinai’s Department of Biomedical Sciences and director of Graduate Research Education, said the program brings the focus of scientific discovery to the patient. “One can take the study from the lab to the bedside in the same institution in a very simple and effective way,” he added.

Students work with Cedars-Sinai’s world-class clinicians and researchers while studying a broad range of topics from immunology to genetics. At the end of their first year, students select a thesis research topic that they will develop and investigate for the remainder of their studies with their clinical mentor and the medical staff.

“Upon graduation, these students will be prepared for successful careers trained as well rounded scientists with a strong foundation in research design, methodology, presentation and the skills needed to seek out future funding for their research,” said David Underhill, Ph.D., director of the Cedars-Sinai Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences and Translational Medicine.

To learn more about the Cedars-Sinai Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences and Translational Medicine, please visit the Web site at