May Research Highlights

LOS ANGELES (May 26 2022) — 

Scientists Discover Gene Plays Critical Role in Development

A new study led by Ophir Klein, MD, PhD, executive director of Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children’s, identified a gene that plays an important role in a biological pathway involved in embryo development. The findings could explain why some babies are born with physical abnormalities and why some adults develop diseases such as cancer. The study is published in Nature Communications. Read more>

Medicine for Inflammatory Bowel Disease May Protect Against Severe COVID-19

Getting the Covid-19 vaccination strengthened one type of immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus in inflammatory bowel disease patients even though they were taking immunosuppressant medication, according two different studies led by Gil Melmed, MD, and Jonathan Braun, MD, PhD. The findings were published in journals IBD and Frontiers in Immunology Read more>

Scientists Gain Ground on Rare Congenital Neurological Disorder

Two recent discoveries led by Clive Svendsen, PhD, executive director of the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute, may help lead to new ways to treat patients with Allan-Herndon-Dudley syndromea brain development disorder that causes severe intellectual disability and problems with movement. The studies were published in Thyroid. Read more>

Shlomo Melmed, MB, ChB, Honored for Contributions to Endocrine Research

Shlomo Melmed, MB, ChB, executive vice president of Academic Affairs and dean of the Medical Faculty at Cedars-Sinai, was named the inaugural recipient of the Transatlantic Alliance Award by the European Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society for his pioneering research in pituitary medicine and endocrine tumors. Read more>

App More Accurate Than Patient Evaluation of Stool Samples

An innovative mobile phone application was found to be as good as expert gastroenterologists at characterizing stool specimens, according to a study led by Mark Pimentel, MD, executive director of the Medically Associated Science and Technology Program, and Ali Rezaie, MD, medical director of GI Motility at Cedars-Sinai. The artificial intelligence used in the app also outperformed reports by patients describing their stool specimens. Read more>

Cedars-Sinai Names New Chief Health Equity Officer

Following a nationwide search, Christina Harris, MD, has been named vice president and chief health equity officer for Cedars-Sinai. In this strategic leadership position, Harris will guide Cedars-Sinai’s ongoing efforts to promote health equity, address health disparities and foster wellness across the organization and the communities we serve. Harris will lead institution-wide health equity strategies in clinical care, research, advocacy and education. Read more>

Armando E. Giuliano, MD, Expands Role

Pioneering breast cancer surgeon Armando E. Giuliano, MD—who helped introduce sentinel lymph node biopsy in the early 1990s, sparing many women the need for major breast cancer surgery—has been named regional medical director of the Cedars-Sinai Cancer Breast Oncology Program. In his expanded role, Giuliano will assist in recruitment, strategic planning and operation of cancer programs throughout the Cedars-Sinai Health System. Read more>

Erasing LGBTQ+ Healthcare Disparities

In this Q&A, B.J. Rimel, MD, a gynecological oncologist and medical director of the Cedars-Sinai Cancer Clinical Trials Office, discusses the cancer center’s  efforts to eradicate disparities in LGBTQ+ care and how teams at Cedars-Sinai are uniting to better include the science and voices of LGBTQ+ people on cancer care, community engagement and policies that influence health disparities. Read more>

Cardio-Obstetrics Survey Gives Birth to New Training Needs

Cardiovascular disease is the primary cause of pregnancy‐related death, yet a new national survey led by Natalie Bello, MD, MPH, director of Hypertension Research in the Smidt Heart Institute, suggests that few cardiologists, trainees or care team members are trained in cardio-obstetrics, a specialty that brings together experts from cardiology, obstetrics and primary care. The findings were published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Read more>

Artificial Intelligence at Cedars-Sinai

Scientists at Cedars-Sinai seeking to better treat patients with stroke, heart disease and cancer are building algorithms that make sense of numerous tiny data points. Cedars-Sinai’s new Division of Artificial Intelligence in Medicine, which is being led by Sumeet Chugh, MD, works in partnership with the health system’s clinical data warehouse, which maintains secure health information for more than 6 million patients. Read more>

Deaths from Alcohol Use Disorder Surged During Pandemic

Deaths involving alcohol use disorder increased dramatically during the pandemic, according to a new study by Cedars-Sinai investigators. The study, led by Yee Hui Yeo, MD, MSc, also found that young adults 25 to 44 years old experienced the steepest upward trend in alcohol use disorder mortality. The findings were published in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA Network Open. Read more>

Q&A With ALS Researcher Deepti Lall, PhD

There’s a huge urgency worldwide to find new therapies that help patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, a fatal neurological disorder that causes people to eventually lose the ability to walk, talk, eat and breathe. In this Q&A, Deepti Lall, PhD, a scientist in the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute, explains why she thinks looking beyond neurons may help lead to new treatments for the fatal disease. Read more>

Cedars-Sinai Leader in Maternal-Fetal Medicine Honored for Dedication to Women’s Healthcare

Kimberly Gregory, MD, MPH, director of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and vice chair of Women’s Healthcare Quality and Performance Improvement in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cedars-Sinai, has been awarded the Luella Klein Lifetime Achievement Award by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Read more> 

Women, Vibrators and Pelvic Health

Cedars-Sinai investigator Alexandra Dubinskaya, MD, female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery specialist, presented new data on the use of vibrators to address a range of female pelvic health conditions during the 117th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association in New Orleans. The presentation was identified as one of the leading research studies in the field. Read more> 

Stanley C. Jordan, MD, Elected to Association of American Physicians

Election to the association is bestowed to physicians who have made outstanding contributions to basic or translational biomedical research. Stanley C. Jordan, MD, director of the Cedars-Sinai Nephrology and Transplant Immunology programs, has pioneered research leading to major advances in diagnostic and treatment approaches for transplanting organs. Read more>

Treatment Minimizes Infants’ Opioid-Related Brain Abnormalities

A new study led by Wei Gao, PhD, director of Neuroimaging Research at the Biomedical Imaging Research Institute and professor of Biomedical Sciences, is the first to provide evidence that treating pregnant women who have opioid use disorder can help minimize opioid-related brain abnormalities in their newborns. The findings were published in JNeurosciRead more> 

Understanding Autoimmune Lung Involvement

Investigators have uncovered important insights into the pathophysiology of diffuse alveolar hemorrhage, a rare but dangerous complication that can occur in people with autoimmune diseases. A new study led by Caroline Jefferies, PhD, associate professor in the Division of Rheumatology, and published in Frontiers in Immunology, offers some new clues into the biologic mechanisms that drive bleeding in diffuse alveolar hemorrhage. Read more> 

Hope and ALS

Scientists are inching toward a greater understanding of ALS, made possible by patients who take an active role in research. The ALS Clinic at Cedars-Sinai is running 13 ongoing trials involving about 170 patients, including studies into stem cell therapy. In this article, Richard Lewis, MD, professor of Neurology, and others who work with ALS share what drives them to continue seeking solutions despite decades of only incremental progress. Read more> 

Nurse-Led Study Leads to Creating ‘Serenity Lounges’

A team of nurses found that break rooms equipped with massage chairs and other relaxation tools reduced feelings of stress, anxiety and burnout among nurses. The research, led by Linda Kim, PhD, MSN, RN, PHN, found that use of a massage chair in a quiet room for as little as 10 minutes provided nurses mental and emotional relief. The findings were published in the American Journal of NursingRead more> 

New Study Reveals How the Brain Says ‘Oops!’

Investigators from Cedars-Sinai’s Center for Neural Science and Medicine and Department of Neurosurgery have uncovered how signals from a group of neurons in the brain’s frontal lobe simultaneously give humans the flexibility to learn new tasks—and the focus to develop highly specific skills. The research, led by Ueli Rutishauser, PhD, professor of Neurosurgery, Neurology, and Biomedical Sciences, was published in Science. Read more> 

Moms With Postpartum Depression Benefit From Improved Screening

Nurse education is the key to successfully screening women for postpartum depression, which affects some 15% of mothers, according to a new quality improvement study led by Eynav Accortt, PhD, director of the Reproductive Psychology Program at Cedars-Sinai. The study was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology–Maternal-Fetal Medicine. Read more>

Protecting Neurons in Parkinson’s Disease

Researchers demonstrated that increasing the production of a neurotransmitter called norepinephrine in the brain could potentially help prevent motor dysfunction in people with Parkinson’s disease. Their study, conducted in mice and led by Celine Riera, PhD, a research scientist in the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute and senior author of the study, was published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS OneRead more>

Improving Preterm Babies’ Nutrition in the NICU

With the goal of bettering nutrition for the smallest babies, Cedars-Sinai neonatologists helped lead a collaborative quality improvement project of 22 California Neonatal Intensive Care Units to help reduce malnutrition in preterm babies. Findings from the 18-month study, led by Kurlen Payton, MD, interim director of the Cedars-Sinai Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, were presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in Denver. Read more>

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