02:41 AM

Cedars-Sinai Science and Medicine Graduate Program Awards PhDs to Second Graduating Class

Six Graduate Students in the Biomedical Science and Translational Medicine Program Complete Research Requirements in Their Study of New Therapies and Treatments for Heart Disease, Cancer, Neurodegenerative Disease and Other Conditions

Los Angeles - June 11, 2014 - Cedars-Sinai's Graduate Program in Biomedical Science and Translational Medicine will confer doctoral degrees on six students during a commencement ceremony June 12.

The students -- whose research focused on heart disease, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, neurodegenerative disease and protective immunities against bacterial infections – comprise the medical center's second graduating class. Seven doctoral students were the first to graduate from the program in 2013.

"We're proud of our second PhD graduating class, and we fully anticipate that these students will make significant contributions and discoveries as they venture further into the medical and scientific communities," 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.

Cedars-Sinai's program was accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges in July 2012. More than 30 students now are enrolled in the program that focuses on the translation of scientific discoveries into therapies, treatments and cures. The students are mentored by Cedars-Sinai scientists and physicians in laboratories dedicated to molecular genetics, biochemical analysis, clinical investigations and therapeutic trials.

"We are training the next generation of laboratory scientists by exposing them to some of the most talented clinicians and gifted scientists in the world," said Leon G. Fine, MD, vice dean of Research and Graduate Research Education, and chair of Biomedical Sciences.

This year's commencement speaker will be David D. Ho, MD, the founding scientific director and chief executive officer of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, a world-renowned biomedical research institute. Ho also is the Irene Diamond Professor at The Rockefeller University.

For the doctoral candidates, graduation represents the culmination of years-long scientific investigations with colleagues and teachers at Cedars-Sinai.

"We're proud of the ground-breaking research these students have conducted during their training at Cedars-Sinai and have only the highest expectations and aspirations for them," said David Underhill, PhD, director of the Graduate Program in Biomedical Science and Translational Medicine.