December Research Highlights

LOS ANGELES (Dec. 29, 2022) —

An AI Model of Epilepsy

Using data from human brain tissue, Cedars-Sinai neuroscientists have created ultrarealistic computational models of epileptic brain circuits, allowing them to probe the cause and effect of genetic and other factors. The work, published in Cell Reports and led by Costas Anastassiou, PhDprovides a mechanistic understanding of epilepsy in humans and is a first step toward informing future therapies such as viral gene delivery to reverse the course of the disorder. Read more> 

Cell Symposium Highlights Potential of Stem Cell Therapies to Treat Variety of Diseases

When it comes to moving stem cell advancements from the lab to the clinic, collaboration is key. And on Dec. 8-11, scientists from around the world gathered at Cedars-Sinai for the third Cell Symposium to discuss the latest developments in therapeutic applications of stem cells. The conference was hosted by Clive Svendsen, PhD, from Cedars-Sinai, journal publisher Cell Press and CIRM. Read more>

Mediterranean Diet Associated With Lower Preeclampsia Risk

A new study, published in JAMA Network Open, found that women who conceived while adhering to the anti-inflammatory diet had a significantly lower risk of developing preeclampsia during pregnancy. The study, led by Natalie Bello, MD, MPH, also evaluated the association between the Mediterranean diet and other adverse pregnancy outcomes, including gestational diabetes and hypertension, preterm birth, delivery of a small-for-gestational-age infant, and stillbirth. Read more>

A Leading-Edge Lymphoma Program

Shortly after joining the Cedars-Sinai Cancer faculty, hematologist-oncologists Justin Darrah, MD, and Akil Merchant, MD, are pioneering new research and bringing a new, comprehensive set of treatment options to patients in the recently established Lymphoma Program. The program offers a comprehensive range of experts—from hematologist-oncologists to experts in cellular therapy, pathologists and radiation oncologists—to take patients from diagnosis through treatment. Read more>

Cedars-Sinai Expands Cardiac Surgery at Huntington Health

The Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai is again expanding its geographic reach and surgical expertise with the faculty recruitment of cardiac surgeon Robbin Cohen, MD. An established surgeon long embedded in the Los Angeles community, Cohen now serves as director of the Cardiac Surgery Program at Huntington Health, a Cedars-Sinai affiliate, and will be practicing out of Huntington Health’s Pasadena campus. Read more>

Investigators Discover New Mechanism to Boost RNA Therapies

Investigators identified how biological pacemaker cells—cells that control your heartbeat—can “fight back” against therapies to biologically correct abnormal heartbeat rates. The research also uncovered a new way to boost the effectiveness of RNA therapies by controlling this “fighting back” activity. This concept, led by Eugenio Cingolani, MD, was published in Cell Reports Medicine. Read more>

2022: The Year in Health Equity

Cedars-Sinai investigators are committed to uncovering disparities through a wide range of research, from molecular and genetic to behavioral, as well as research-driven community outreach and engagement. Throughout 2022, Cedars-Sinai researchers combed through depersonalized health data from multiple sources and began to unravel what health disparities exist, working to address societal barriers to good health. Read more>

A Heart Fix That Fits

Many children born with congenital heart disease have narrowing in one or several blood vessels that require stents. However, there currently are not any stents specifically designed for pediatric patients. Cedars-Sinai congenital heart disease experts are working to change that. A Cedars-Sinai team led by Evan Zahn, MD, and Dor Markush, MD, is investigating the use of a new stent that is engineered to grow with children. Read more>

AI Model Helps Diagnose Severity of COVID-19 Pneumonia

A team of investigators led by Piotr Slomka, PhD, have developed a new AI model that can rapidly assess the severity of COVID-19 pneumonia. The automated deep-learning framework, described in the Journal of Medical Imaging, helps in the evaluation of disease progression and assists the computed tomographic (CT) monitoring of different treatment responses. It does so as accurately—and significantly faster—as expert manual measurements done by physicians. Read more>

COVID Infection, Vaccination Linked to Heart Condition

Investigators from the Smidt Heart Institute validated the link between a debilitating heart condition and COVID-19 and, to a lesser extent, a novel link between the same condition and COVID-19 vaccination. The study, led by Alan Kwan, MD, published in the journal Nature Cardiovascular Research, suggests that a small percentage of patients vaccinated against COVID-19 may develop postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or POTS. Read more> 

Stem Cell Scientist Honored for Contributions to ALS Research

Clive Svendsen, PhD, a pioneer in regenerative medicine, has been awarded the Drs. Ayeez and Shelena Lalji & Family ALS Endowed Award for Innovative Healing, from the Sean M. Healey & AMG Center for ALS at Massachusetts General Hospital, for his impactful scientific work being done in ALS. The global award recognizes Svendsen and his team for their scientific discoveries focused on repair and regeneration in ALS. Read more> 

Noteworthy Medical Research Discoveries From 2022

Investigators at Cedars-Sinai conduct more than 2,500 research projects annually, and many of these studies have helped open the doors to future innovations. Here we list some of the most significant Cedars-Sinai research news from 2022, ranging from major advancements in understanding COVID-19 to the use of artificial intelligence for predicting and diagnosing diseases to revealing how the brain makes memories. Read more> 

Estrogen May Offer Protection Against Delirium

Delirium is common among women with urinary tract infections (UTIs)—especially those who have experienced menopause. Investigators from Cedars-Sinai, working with laboratory mice, have been able to prevent symptoms of the condition with estrogen, which is commonly used for hormone replacement therapy. The study was led by Shouri Lahiri, MD, and published in the journal Scientific Reports. Read more> 

Even Early Forms of Liver Disease Affect Heart Health, Study Finds

Cedars-Sinai investigators have found that even subtle forms of liver disease directly impact heart health. The findings, recently published in the journal Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine, help further clarify the relationship between liver disease and heart disease beyond their shared risk factors. The study was led by Alan Kwan, MD, and Susan Cheng, MD, MPHRead more> 

Immune System Irregularities Found in Women With Postpartum Mood Disorders

Women with prolonged mental health problems up to three years after childbirth may be suffering from irregular immune system responses, according to new research by Cedars-Sinai investigators. The study is published in the American Journal of Reproductive Immunology and led by Eynav Accortt, PhD, and Sarah Kilpatrick, MD, PhDRead more> 

How Gravity May Cause Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

A new hypothesis, authored by Brennan Spiegel, MD, MSHS, director of Health Services Research at Cedars-Sinai, suggests irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the most common gastrointestinal disorder, may be caused by gravity. The hypothesis, published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, describes how the intestines, spine, heart, nerves and brain evolved to manage gravity. Read more>

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