Innovator in Pediatrics and Genetics to Lead Children's Health
Cedars-Sinai Names Ophir Klein, MD, PhD, to Advance Ambitious Vision of Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children's and Serve as David and Meredith Kaplan Distinguished Chair in Children’s Health
Cedars-Sinai has named Ophir Klein, MD, PhD, an internationally recognized innovator in pediatrics and genetics, as the inaugural executive director of Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children's and the David and Meredith Kaplan Distinguished Chair in Children's Health.
Guerin Children's represents Cedars-Sinai's ambitious vision for children's healthcare. It will fill a critical gap in care for young patients in Los Angeles and beyond by providing a seamless continuum of primary and specialty care for hospitalized patients and outpatients as they grow from newborns to adolescents to adults.
The new enterprise will offer a full complement of pediatric specialties, maternal-fetal medicine, and pediatric surgery and transplants, leveraging expertise from Cedars-Sinai's nationally recognized adult programs in cancer, cardiology, gastroenterology, orthopaedics, obstetrics, pulmonology, rheumatology, metabolic disorders and the neurosciences.
Klein, who assumes his position on March 1, 2022, will establish Guerin Children's as an international destination for children and their families and as a leader in pediatric research. He will integrate the many specialized services offered through Guerin Children's, while recruiting top-tier physicians and scientists and spearheading highly competitive pediatric residency and fellowship programs.
"Guerin Children's will provide the highest-quality specialty treatments in the context of a superb healthcare delivery system," Klein said. "I am thrilled to join Cedars-Sinai and build a comprehensive, world-class academic children's health program that includes top-notch clinical, research and educational efforts and will truly meet the needs of patients throughout their lifetimes. It is a privilege to be entrusted with this vital responsibility."
David and Meredith Kaplan have provided a $5 million gift to endow the new chair in children's health.
"Our family is proud to support this exciting new vision for children's health at Cedars-Sinai. We believe that Dr. Klein's leadership will catalyze tangible clinical and research benefits for patients locally and globally," David Kaplan said.
"We are absolutely thrilled that Dr. Klein will be overseeing this vitally important effort and look forward to the many innovations he will introduce in the years ahead," Meredith Kaplan said.
Klein currently is the Larry L. Hillblom Distinguished Professor in Craniofacial Anomalies and the Charles J. Epstein Professor of Human Genetics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He serves as chief of the Division of Medical Genetics and chair of the Division of Craniofacial Anomalies, as well as director of the Institute for Human Genetics and the Program in Craniofacial Biology.
Klein received his BA from the University of California, Berkeley, followed by his MD and PhD in genetics from Yale University School of Medicine. He completed residencies in pediatrics at Yale New Haven Hospital and medical genetics at the UCSF School of Medicine. He has spent his career at UCSF, assuming increasingly expansive clinical and academic leadership roles while deepening his commitment to interdisciplinary teaching and training.
Klein has received prestigious honors and awards, including New Innovator and Sustaining Outstanding Achievement in Research awards from the National Institutes of Health and the E. Mead Johnson Award from the Society for Pediatric Research. He has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the American Association of Physicians, and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Klein's research focuses on understanding how embryonic organs form and how they regenerate in adults. He has discovered mechanisms underlying craniofacial and dental development and intestinal epithelial renewal and regeneration.
As vice dean for Children’s Services at Cedars-Sinai, Klein will partner with academic and hospital leadership to advance clinical, academic and operational initiatives—all to further clinical practices and scientific investigation for pediatric services.
"We thank David and Meredith Kaplan for their leadership and generosity that will enable Cedars-Sinai to realize its vision for the future of children's healthcare," said Shlomo Melmed, MB, ChB, executive vice president of Academic Affairs and dean of the Medical Faculty. "We look forward to Dr. Klein leading this critically important enterprise. His proven leadership and deep commitment to patient care, interdisciplinary research, training and the community will have an enduring impact on the healthcare of children throughout the region and beyond for generations to come."
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