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Cedars-Sinai PhD Program in Biomedical Science and Translational Medicine Honors First Graduating Class

Students first to earn PhDs from Cedars-Sinai

Los Angeles - June 10, 2013 – The Cedars-Sinai Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences and Translational Medicine will award its first diplomas to six students during a commencement ceremony June 11.

The medical center is known around the world for developing leading-edge treatments and providing the highest level of patient care. Now, the Cedars-Sinai Graduate Program is spreading that excellence into training the next generation of laboratory scientists to develop new therapies and treatments. 

The Cedars-Sinai Graduate Program students, supported by a diverse faculty of scientists and physicians, work in Cedars-Sinai laboratories where more than 900 research projects are under way in areas including molecular genetics, biochemical analysis, clinical investigations and therapeutic trials. Students have contributed to research related to, Alzheimer’s, antibiotic-resistant infections, diabetes, cancer and diseases of the heart, lung and inflammatory bowel disease. 

“We extend our congratulations to our first graduating class, and wish them every success in their quest to make discoveries that advance medical care,” said Shlomo Melmed, MB ChB, senior vice president of academic affairs, dean of the medical faculty and Helene A. and Philip E. Hixon Distinguished Chair in Investigative Medicine. “The presence of these students on our campus has injected enriching vitality into our academic community, spurring us forward in our century-long quest to expand the frontiers of scientific discovery to improve patient care. We are delighted that Arthur Rubenstein MBChB, professor and Emeritus Dean of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, will be our inaugural commencement speaker.

The program was accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges in July 2012, one of only a few programs to receive accreditation before ever having a single student graduate. The program offers an opportunity for students to work side-by-side with some of the world’s finest scientists and clinicians in one of the nation’s leading medical centers.

“When you examine graduate programs on a national scale, there is a great divide between basic science and medicine,” said Leon G. Fine, MD, vice dean of research and research graduate education, and chair of biomedical sciences. “Our program is uniquely positioned to address that divide, giving our students access to both some of the world’s finest scientists and most innovative clinicians in a single institution.”

The graduation is an achievement for both the students who have completed their rigorous studies and for the institution, said David Underhill, PhD, director of the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences and Translational Medicine. Physicians here have embraced the PhD program, and have been eager to offer research opportunities to students, he said.

“Our students have brought a new, vibrant aspect to the academic culture here,” Underhill said. “Their insights and fresh ideas have been valuable assets to many research projects here, and we are proud to have been part of their education.”