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March Research Highlights

A Roundup of the Latest Medical Discoveries and Faculty News at Cedars-Sinai

Predicting Heart Attacks with Artificial Intelligence

Investigators created an artificial intelligence-enabled tool that may make it easier to predict if a person will have a heart attack. The tool, developed by Damini Dey, PhD, director of the quantitative image analysis lab in the Biomedical Imaging Research Institute, accurately predicted which patients would experience a heart attack in five years. The study was published in The Lancet Digital Health. Read more> 


Potential Therapy May Boost Chemoimmunotherapy Response in Bladder Cancer

Adding an anti-inflammatory medication to immunotherapy and standard chemotherapy drugs may provide long-term suppression of aggressive bladder tumor growth, according to a proof-of-concept study led by scientist Keith Syson Chan, PhD, associate professor of Pathology. The study was published in Nature Communications. Read more> 


Predicting Sudden Cardiac Arrest

A team of clinician-scientists led by said Sumeet Chugh, MD, director of the Center for Cardiac Arrest Prevention, developed a clinical algorithm that distinguishes between treatable sudden cardiac arrest and non-treatable forms of the condition. The findings were published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Clinical Cardiology: Clinical Electrophysiology and have the potential to enhance prevention of sudden cardiac arrest. Read more> 


Cell Treatment Slows Disease in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Patients

A cell therapy developed by Eduardo Marbán, MD, PhD, executive director of the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai, the Mark S. Siegel Family Foundation Distinguished Professor, delays diseases progression in Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients by stabilizing weakened muscles, including the heart muscle. The findings were published in The Lancet. Read more>


How Does the Brain Make Memories?

Investigators discovered two types of brain cells that play a key role in dividing continuous human experience into distinct segments that can be recalled later. The discovery, led by Ueli Rutishauser, PhD, professor of Neurosurgery, Neurology, and Biomedical Sciences, provides new promise as a path toward development of novel treatments for memory disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The study was published in Nature Neuroscience. Read more> 


Prominent Orthopaedic Surgeons Lead Joint Replacement Center

Orthopaedic surgeons Brad Penenberg, MD, and Sean Rajaee, MD, have been named co-directors of the Center for Outpatient Hip and Knee Surgery at Cedars-Sinai. Together they will lead the effort in delivering outstanding patient care and improving the patient experience for outpatient hip and knee surgery.  Read more> 


Scientists Identify Possible New Treatment for COVID-19

Investigators at Cedars-Sinai have identified a potential new therapy for COVID-19: a biologic substance created by reengineered human skin cells. The team, led by Ahmed G. Ibrahim, PhD, MPH, assistant professor in the Smidt Heart Institute, found the substance stopped SARS-CoV-2 from reproducing itself and also protected infected cells when tested in human lung cells. The details of the potential therapy are published in the Biomaterials and Biosystems.  Read more> 


Improving Understanding of Genetic Differences

Cedars-Sinai investigators have developed a method for studying a type of DNA that exists outside of chromosomes. The work could help scientists better understand what biological mechanisms create genetic variation among people. The work was led by Hisashi Tanaka, MD, PhD, senior author of the paper, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read more>


When the Brain Sees a Familiar Face

In a study led by Ueli Rutishauser, PhD, professor of Neurosurgery, Neurology, and Biomedical Sciences, researchers have  uncovered new information about how the area of the brain responsible for memory is triggered when the eyes come to rest on a face versus another object or image. Their findings, published in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances, add to evidence supporting a future treatment target for memory disorders. Read more> 


Smart Watch Benefits Limited by User Base

Efforts to use smart devices to improve heart health continue to increase in popularity. One specific strategy involves the use of smart watches to detect atrial fibrillation. A study led by Joshua Pevnick, MD, MSHS, associate professor of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and co-director of Informatics at Cedars-Sinai, found most smart watch users were relatively healthy, such that there was limited clinical benefit. The study was published in JAMIA. Read more> 


Treating Stroke with Faster-to-Administer Drug

Time is of the essence when it comes to treating strokes and investigators at Cedars-Sinai found hospitals can safely transition to using a clot-busting drug that may take an hour less to administer than the current standard drug. A study, led by Lydia Noh, PharmD, manager of Inpatient Adult Medicine, Women's Health and Pediatric Pharmacy Services, on how the change was implemented was published in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy.  Read more> 


Prostate Cancer Patients Want Detailed Life Expectancy Information

Men diagnosed with prostate cancer prefer physicians to explain their life expectancy in quantitative terms, either as a number of years or as a probability of living at a time point, according to a new study published in JAMA Surgery and led by Timothy J. Daskivich, MD, MSHPM, assistant professor of Surgery in the Cedars-Sinai Urology Academic Practice.  Read more> 


COVID-19 Patients Twice as Likely to Die in Winter 2020

People who became sick with COVID-19 during a surge of cases in the winter of 2020 were more than twice as likely to die than people who became sick before and after the surge, according to an analysis of hospital data led by Susan Cheng, MD, MPH, director of the Institute for Research on Healthy Aging in the Department of Cardiology at the Smidt Heart Institute. The findings were published in BMC Infectious Diseases. Read more> 


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