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October Research Highlights

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

AI Improves Accuracy of Heart Condition Diagnosis

Several recent discoveries show that the accuracy of diagnosing coronary artery disease and predicting patient risk is improved with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) models developed by scientists in the Division of Artificial Intelligence in Medicine at Cedars-SinaiThese advances, led by Piotr Slomka, PhD, director of Innovation in Imaging at Cedars-Sinai, make it easier to detect and diagnose one of the most common and deadly heart conditions. Read more>


Some Healthcare Workers Produced a Low Response to COVID-19 Vaccinations

A subset of healthcare workers vaccinated against COVID-19 had unexpectedly low responses to the immunizations, according to a study led by Cedars-Sinai investigators. The findings, published in iScience, a Cell Press journal, were led by Peter Chen, MD, Helen Goodridge, PhD, and Susan Cheng, MD, MPH. This study is part of the ongoing Coronavirus Risk Associations and Longitudinal Evaluation (CORALE) project. Read more>


Prominent Pediatric Surgeon Selected for Key Roles at Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children’s

Eugene Kim, MD, a leader in pediatric general surgery and neuroblastoma research, has been named director of the Division of Pediatric General Surgery and vice chair of Pediatric Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children’s. Kim also has been named regional director of pediatric general surgery, a role in which he oversees patient outcomes and delivery of care for pediatric general surgery patients at Cedars-Sinai. Read more>


Supportive Care Oncologist Joins Cedars-Sinai Cancer

Medical oncologist Tiffany Shaw, MD, has joined Cedars-Sinai Cancer as regional medical director for Supportive Care Medicine at Huntington Cancer Center, an affiliate of Cedars-Sinai Cancer. Shaw’s work at Huntington Cancer Center will expand upon existing supportive care medicine services offered at Cedars-Sinai Cancer. She will also develop programs for hospice, palliative care and end-of-life research. Shaw completed her hematology/oncology fellowship at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center. Read more>


COVID-19 Surges Linked to Spikes In Heart Attack

New data analysis from the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai found that deaths from heart attacks rose significantly during pandemic surges, including the COVID-19 Omicron surges, overall reversing a heart-healthier pre-pandemic trend.The study, published in the peer-review Journal of Medical Virology, shows that heart attack death rates took a sharp turn and increased for all age groups during the pandemic. The study was led by Yee Hui Yeo, MD and Susan Cheng, MD, MPH. Read more>


Cedars-Sinai Chief Nursing Officer Emeritus Honored for Longstanding Leadership

Linda Burnes Bolton, DrPH, RN, FAANCedars-Sinai chief nursing officer emeritus, received the 2022 Lifetime Legacy Award from the American Academy of Nursing. The award recognizes Burnes Bolton’s longstanding leadership and contributions throughout her 50-year career to improve patient care, advance health equity and promote the nursing profession. Read more>


Initiative Increases Advance Care Planning Activities for Metastatic Cancer Patients

Cedars-Sinai Cancer investigators were able to increase the rate of advance care planning activities by 20% for patients with advanced cancer. The initiative, led by Steven Oppenheim, MD, aimed to increase the number of completed advance directives or physician orders for life-sustaining therapy. The findings were published in JCO Oncology Practice. Read more>


Vascular Surgeon to Lead, Train Fellows

The Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai has selected leading vascular surgeon Donald Baril, MD, as director of the Vascular Surgery Fellowship Program. Baril, who joined Cedars-Sinai in 2020, aims to advance the academic medical center’s excellence in vascular care, research and education for current and future fellows. Baril strives to produce not only technically sound surgeons and excellent clinicians, but also doctors who have a service-minded heart, team-first approach, and a “cool-under-fire” state of mind. Read more>


An Eye for Alzheimer’s Discovery

Investigators have identified for the first time a new subtype of immune cell in the retina that is linked to changes caused by Alzheimer’s disease. By reducing the number of these cells in the retinas of mice, investigators were able to reverse these changes and restore blood vessel health. The study was published in the journal Acta Neuropathologica Communications and led by Maya Koronyo-Hamaoui, PhD, and Haoshen Shi, MD, PhD. Read more>


COVID-19 Medication Also Might Improve Delirium

Cedars-Sinai investigators have shown that an immune-suppressing drug similar to one used to treat severe COVID-19 reversed symptoms of delirium in mice whose lungs were injured during mechanical breathing assistance. The study, led by Shouri Lahiri, MD, and published in the journal Critical Care, could pave the way for clinical testing of immune-inhibiting therapy for ventilation-induced delirium in patients. Read more>


Q&A With Vascular Surgeon Elizabeth Chou, MD

Meet Elizabeth Chou, MD, a vascular surgeon who recently joined the Smidt Heart Institute. Here she discusses her path toward vascular surgery, her passion for women’s representation in the field, and the latest research that’s reshaping how patients are treated—medically and surgically—for vascular-related diseases. By studying patients' vascular tissues, she hopes to establish better guidelines to screen and identify people at risk of aortic disease. Read more>


In Memoriam: Asher Kimchi, MD, Clinical Chief of Cardiology

Asher Kimchi, MD, clinical chief of Cardiology, vice-clinical chief of the Department of Medicine, and founder and co-medical director of the Preventive and Consultative Heart Center of Excellence at Smidt Heart Institute, passed away. He was 76. During his 40-year tenure, he served as clinical professor of Medicine and Cardiology, was clinical chief of the Division of Cardiology and played a key role in establishing the Smidt Heart Institute’s Department of Cardiology. Read more>


Physician Scientist to Lead Breast Oncology Program

Yuan Yuan, MD, PhD, a breast medical oncologist and physician scientist who specializes in triple-negative breast cancer and cancer immunotherapy, has joined Cedars-Sinai Cancer as director of Breast Oncology. Yuan will treat patients at Cedars-Sinai and at Huntington Cancer Center, an affiliate of Cedars-Sinai Cancer. Yuan’s research aims to expand the number of triple-negative breast cancer patients who can benefit from immune checkpoint inhibitors. Read more>


HER2 Pathways in Breast Cancer May Hold Key to Effective Treatment of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

A new study led by Cedars-Sinai investigators suggests HER2 signaling may be a key driver of fibroblast invasion and can serve as a target for therapeutic intervention in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Paul Noble, MD, the chair of the Department of Medicine and director of the Women’s Guild Lung Institute at Cedars-Sinai, is the corresponding author of the study. Read more>


Q&A: Convergent Science Virtual Cancer Center Accelerates Progress, Advances in Cancer Research

Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD, director of Cedars-Sinai Cancer, discusses the Convergent Science Virtual Cancer Center, a program designed to train the next generation of cancer researchers. The program, led by Cedars-Sinai Cancer and the University of Southern California, is funded by an inaugural grant from the Department of Defense. Read more> 


Study: Regional Differences Identified in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Patients

The environment could be playing a critical role in the expression of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in women living in Alabama, as compared to women in California, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Margareta Pisarska, MD, is the corresponding author of the study. Read more>


Investigators Deepen Understanding of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma

Cedars-Sinai Cancer investigators have described the types and structures of cells that comprise tumors caused by a cancer called diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. The findings, published in Blood Advances and led by Akil Merchant, MD, associate professor of Medicine, could help identify new subtypes of the disease that could predict how patients will respond to treatment. Read more>


Identifying the Underlying Causes of Ovarian Cancer

Two new studies led by Cedars-Sinai Cancer investigators identify mutations tied to an increased risk of ovarian cancer and pinpoint why gene expression is unlikely to drive chemotherapy resistance in the disease. The studies, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and in the Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research, were led by Michelle Jones, PhD, and Simon Gayther, PhD. Read more> 


Cedars-Sinai Cancer Welcomes Nine Oncologists to Its Affiliate, Huntington Cancer Center

Cedars-Sinai Cancer is welcoming nine oncology specialists to its affiliate, Huntington Cancer Center. The cancer specialists will be based at Huntington’s Pasadena campus, making it easier for San Gabriel Valley residents to access Cedars-Sinai Cancer clinical trials and innovative treatment options. The nine cancer specialists will also hold Cedars-Sinai faculty titles. Read more> 


Fine-Tuning Organ-Chip Technology

A new method developed by scientists at Cedars-Sinai makes it easier to visualize the cell populations in organ chips, the technology that recapitulates true-to-life biology outside the body. The method is detailed in the peer-reviewed journal Lab on a Chip. The senior author is Clive Svendsen, PhD, professor of Biomedical Sciences and Medicine and executive director of the Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute at Cedars-Sinai. Read more> 


Reversing Breast Cancer's Trajectory in the Latinx Community

Fewer Hispanic women with breast cancer make it past five years from diagnosis than their white counterparts. Chances of survival drop dramatically—to 31%—when the breast cancer has spread. Through the Health and Faith Initiative, launched in 2018, Cedars-Sinai's Community Outreach and Engagement team and Cancer Research Center for Health Equity are educating the Latinx community on cancer prevention. Read more> 


Q&A With Eduardo Marbán, MD, PhD: 15 Years of Heart

Pioneering heart care is a tradition at Cedars-Sinai. It’s a tradition that took root in 1924, when Cedars-Sinai became home to the first electrocardiogram machine in Los Angeles. On the occasion of the Smidt Heart Institute's 15th anniversary, the Cedars-Sinai Newsroom sat down with Eduardo Marbán, MD, PhD, executive director of the Institute and the Mark Siegel Family Foundation Distinguished Professor, to get his views on the state of cardiac medicine. Read more> 


Gut Gases Linked to Specific Types of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

A new study led by Cedars-Sinai investigators found using breath tests to identify gut gas profiles can potentially help lead to more personalized therapies for people diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome. The study, published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, was led by Mark Pimentel, MD, executive director of the Medically Associated Science and Technology (MAST) Program at Cedars-Sinai. Read more> 


Student Pursues ‘Dream’ in Magnetic Resonance in Medicine

Sehrish Javed completed the Master of Science in Magnetic Resonance in Medicine program at Cedars-Sinai in 20 months instead of the usual two years and published three scholarly papers while pursuing her degree. She accomplished all this while juggling three kids under the age of 8—and she's not finished yet. She hopes to enroll in a new PhD program in imaging in fall 2023. Read more>


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