Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

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A BI-WEEKLY PUBLICATION FROM THE CEDARS-SINAI CHIEF OF STAFF June 10, 2011 Issue | Archived Issues

Street Closures for Annual Pride Celebration

Several area streets will be closed for the 41st Annual LA Pride Festival scheduled for June 10-12 in West Hollywood.

» Read more


2 Minutes with ... Robert J. Siegel, M.D.

Dr. Siegel is director of the Cardiac Noninvasive Laboratory at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and cardiology director of the Cedars-Sinai Marfan Center. He holds the Rexford S. Kennamer, M.D., Chair in Cardiac Ultrasound.

He took a few minutes away from the ultrasound machine to answer our questions.

» Read more


Meetings and Events


Grand Rounds

Click here to view upcoming Grand Rounds.

Gracie Allen Drive Closed Due to Water Main Break

Gracie Allen Drive is closed in both directions between San Vicente Boulevard and George Burns Road after a City of Los Angeles water main ruptured at the corner of Gracie Allen and Sherbourne early this morning. Water service has been restored, but repairs may cause the street to be closed for the next few days.

» Read more

Hotline Answers Clinicians' Computer Questions

A special hotline has been set up to help clinicians with all their CS-Link and Web/VS questions. For immediate assistance, you can dial ext. 3-6428, option 3. A dedicated physician line is available at ext. 3-2828.

» Read more

Cedars-Sinai E-mail System to Change June 16

EIS is upgrading e-mail system servers to Exchange Server 2010 as part of an ongoing effort to provide Cedars-Sinai staff with improved and reliable e-mail services.

» Read more

Zebrafish Earn Their Stripes in Cushing's Research

Researchers at Cedars-Sinai have a petite, yet productive new model to use in testing drugs to treat Cushing's disease.

» Read more

Summer Issue of Discoveries Magazine Is Out Now!

The summer issue features two stories that explore the extraordinary impact of clinical trials on patients. It will take you "back to school" with a story about Brainworks, Dr. Keith Black's program designed to introduce science and medicine to underprivileged kids. You also can learn about the new challenge facing people with HIV/AIDS: aging.


» Read more

Circle of Friends Honorees from May

Fifty-four people were honored by the Circle of Friends program in May.

Circle of Friends allows grateful patients to make a donation in honor of the physicians, nurses, caregivers and others who have made a difference during their time at Cedars-Sinai. When a gift is made, the person being honored receives a custom lapel pin and a letter of acknowledgement.

» Read more

Register Now to Run for Her

Annual 5k Walk and Run is Nov. 13

Registration is now open for the seventh annual Run for Her® 5K Friendship Walk and Run on Sunday, Nov. 13. This event supports ovarian cancer research and awareness. To register, go to www.runforher.com.


» Read more

IRB Moves to Weekly Meetings

Starting in July, the Cedars-Sinai Institutional Review Board (IRB) committees will meet more often to improve the efficiency of the review process. Under the new schedule, each of the four rotating committees will convene every 30 days rather than every six weeks, resulting in at least one IRB meeting per week.

» Read more

Gracie Allen Drive Closed Due to Water Main Break

Gracie Allen Drive is closed in both directions between San Vicente Boulevard and George Burns Road after a City of Los Angeles water main ruptured at the corner of Gracie Allen and Sherbourne early this morning. Water service has been restored, but repairs may cause the street to be closed for the next few days.

The South Tower shuttle stop has been temporarily relocated to the northeast corner of George Burns and Gracie Allen. Shuttles will be traveling up George Burns Road to Beverly Boulevard, then return down San Vicente. No drop-offs or pick-ups will be possible on Gracie Allen until further notice.

The medical center immediately switched to an alternate water source after the main broke around 2 a.m. Wednesday; patient care was not disrupted.

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power crews are working on the repairs.

Please plan accordingly.

Hotline Answers Clinicians' Computer Questions

A special hotline has been set up to help clinicians with all their CS-Link and Web/VS questions. For immediate assistance, you can dial ext. 3-6428, option 3.

A dedicated physician line is available at ext. 3-2828.

Support is available 24/7.

If you'd prefer to have your question answered by e-mail, you can reach staff members at cshelp@cshs.org ("CSHelp" in Outlook).

Clinician Support Hotline (PDF)

Cedars-Sinai E-mail System to Change June 16

EIS is upgrading e-mail system servers to Exchange Server 2010 as part of an ongoing effort to provide Cedars-Sinai staff with improved and reliable e-mail services.

What is changing?
On Thursday, June 16, as the first step of transitioning to Exchange 2010, the look and feel of the Outlook Web Access (OWA) log-on page will change.

Why are we doing this?
We are taking steps to ensure that you have a seamless OWA and mobile device experience once your mailbox has been moved to Exchange 2010. As part of this seamless experience, the log-on page has to be moved to Exchange 2010.

What does it mean for you?
The only thing that is changing is the look and feel of the OWA log-on page. The look and feel of the inbox, folders, messages, etc. will remain exactly as it is today.

I can no longer receive e-mail on my phone, what do I do?
Every effort has been made to ensure a smooth event with minimal disruption. However, as an added precaution there will be support staff stationed at North and South Mezzanine Parking Lot lobbies, and Plaza Level near the bridge leading to the Medical Office Towers during the day on June 17 and June 20 to assist you. You can still obtain assistance after hours by e-mailing the HelpdeskEIS@cshs.org or calling (310) 423-6428. Only phones using ActiveSync (Cedars-Sinai issued iPhones/iPads) have any potential for being affected by this change event. Blackberrys will not be impacted.

Is my mailbox being moved to Exchange 2010?
No, this change of the OWA log-on page is a separate step, and your mailbox is not being moved to Exchange 2010 at this time. As your individual mailbox is scheduled to be moved to Exchange 2010, we will reach out to you individually with additional information. For now, the only thing that is changing is the look and feel of OWA log-on page.

What will the log-on page look like?
The before and after comparison of the log-on page is below:

Before:

After:

What if I have additional questions?
If you have any additional questions, please e-mail the HelpdeskEIS@cshs.org or call (310) 423-6428.

Zebrafish Earn Their Stripes in Cushing's Research

Researchers at Cedars-Sinai have a petite, yet productive new model to use in testing drugs to treat Cushing's disease.

The tiny, black striped zebrafish – already known for regularly contributing to health research due to its biological similarities to humans – have recently shown promise in the identification of potential treatments for Cushing's disease in the laboratory of Shlomo Melmed, M.D., senior vice president of Academic Affairs and dean of the medical faculty at Cedars-Sinai.

The research, currently being led by Ning-Ai Liu, M.D., Ph.D., consists of introducing a "pituitary tumor transforming gene," which was discovered in Melmed's lab in 1997 into a zebrafish.

Researchers then identify whether or not the zebrafish exhibit symptoms associated with Cushing's disease which, in this case, they did. These symptoms included high levels of cortisol; and signs of diabetes and heart disease. The zebrafish are then bred with fish that have green fluorescent markers, facilitating visual identification.

Zebrafish eggs grow outside the female's body allowing researchers an opportunity to view development of a newly-formed fish, including its pituitary gland.

"In this case, because the embryos are transparent, we can mark the pituitary gland with a fluorescent marker and then use a fluorescent microscope to see the pituitary light up in the living embryo," Liu said. "This is an ideal model to test drugs and, the fish don't have to be sacrificed, which also allows us to watch the pituitary's progression."

Cushing's disease is often caused by a pituitary tumor that triggers overproduction of a hormone, which, in turn, stimulates the adrenal gland to overproduce cortisol. Cortisol overproduction affects nearly every body tissue, including the regulation of blood pressure and metabolism. This leads to serious health problems, including diabetes, hypertension, osteoporosis, obesity (especially with a distinctive moon-shaped face and fatty tissue deposits in the midsection, upper back and between the shoulders) and cardiovascular disease.

During this phase of the research, Liu's team used five drugs they reasoned would cause some effect on the tumor. One of those drugs, R-roscovitine, a drug in phase two trials to treat esophageal and non-small cell lung cancer, showed promise because it effectively suppressed levels of the hormone secreted by the pituitary tumor, as well as the level of cortisol, Liu said.

The drugs were dissolved into the water that the embryos were growing in, and the research team was able to identify what impact the drugs have on overall development of the fish, such as whether or not the drug's toxicity might inhibit growth.
"If a drug is high in toxicity, it wouldn't be a good candidate for a human," Liu said. "When you screen for a drug, you want the drug to specifically target the tumor, but be benign to the rest of the body."

Besides sharing biological similarities to humans, zebrafish are helpful in research because they reproduce prolifically, hatching up to 500 eggs at a time, Liu said. Additionally, the zebrafish offspring are fully-grown within two to four days of hatching so researchers can get immediate results.

As far as this particular research, Liu said the next phase is to expand testing to a much larger pool of molecules. This means more drugs will be tested using the zebrafish and their offspring.

"This new model for Cushing's disease implies that we can more rapidly and effectively identify drugs that could be successful in fighting these tumors," Melmed said. "With no current drug therapies and limited medical options available to Cushing's patients, it is our hope that our research will enable medical advances that will revolutionize how this disease is treated."

The model was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The study is supported by a National Institutes of Health Grant and the Doris Factor Molecular Endocrinology Laboratory.

Summer Issue of Discoveries Magazine Is Out Now!

The summer issue features two stories that explore the extraordinary impact of clinical trials on patients. It will take you "back to school" with a story about Brainworks, Dr. Keith Black's program designed to introduce science and medicine to underprivileged kids. You also can learn about the new challenge facing people with HIV/AIDS: aging.

The interactive edition of Discoveries has exclusive videos and stories on the latest cutting-edge science, patient care and education advances at Cedars-Sinai. Visit discoveriesmagazine.org.

In this issue:

At age 39, nonsmoker Kyle Madden was diagnosed with the unthinkable — stage IV lung cancer. Eighteen months later, after participating in a pilot study, he shows no signs of the disease, thanks to a tiny pill.

>> Read more

A revolutionary procedure is allowing patients to receive new heart valves when surgery is not an option. Meet former professional roller skater Constance Alexander, with a new valve and renewed verve at 78.

>> Read more

Yes, science can be fun and a career in medicine is within reach. Just ask the middle school students from underprivileged Los Angeles area schools who spent a day at Cedars-Sinai performing virtual brain surgery and playing medical Jeopardy!®

>> Read more

To request copies of the magazine, please e-mail Amanda.Busick@cshs.org

Circle of Friends Honorees from May

Fifty-four people were honored by the Circle of Friends program in May.

Circle of Friends allows grateful patients to make a donation in honor of the physicians, nurses, caregivers and others who have made a difference during their time at Cedars-Sinai. When a gift is made, the person being honored receives a custom lapel pin and a letter of acknowledgement.

Click here for more information about the program and for a list of past honorees.

  • Kenneth Adashek, M.D.  
  • Farin Amersi, M.D.  
  • Lilia G. Ayap  
  • Keith Black, M.D.  
  • Kip J. Bowser, R.N.  
  • Barry J. Brock, M.D.  
  • Ilana Cass, M.D.  
  • Jeffrey Conklin, M.D.  
  • Maria S. Corral  
  • Alice Cruz, M.D.  
  • Ram C. Dandillaya, M.D.  
  • Noam Z. Drazin, M.D.  
  • Darryl M. Eddy, R.N.  
  • Sharon Fawcett, R.N.  
  • Joyce N. Fox, M.D.  
  • Gerhard Fuchs, M.D.  
  • Kristi M. Funk, M.D.  
  • Eli S. Gang, M.D.  
  • Elayne K. Garber, M.D.  
  • Alexander Gershman, M.D.  
  • Richard E. Gould, M.D.  
  • Victor Gura, M.D.  
  • Antoine Hage, M.D.  
  • Michele A. Hamilton, M.D.  
  • Lalima A. Hoq, M.D.  
  • J. Patrick Johnson, M.D.  
  • Pauline J. Jose, M.D.  
  • Asher Kimchi, M.D.  
  • Wesley A. King, M.D.  
  • Jon A. Kobashigawa, M.D.  
  • John T. Lange  
  • Madeline S. Lerman, R.N.  
  • Ronald Leuchter, M.D.  
  • Michael Levesque, M.D.  
  • Andrew Li, M.D.  
  • John C. Liu, M.D.  
  • Simon K. Lo, M.D.  
  • Adam N. Mamelak, M.D.  
  • Malcolm L. Margolin, M.D.  
  • Robert McKenna, Jr., M.D.  
  • Puja K. Mehta, M.D.  
  • Kiarash Michel, M.D.  
  • Donald F. Nortman, M.D.  
  • David Ramin, M.D.  
  • Richard Riggs, M.D.  
  • Gregory Sarna, M.D.  
  • Pejman D. Shamekh, M.D.  
  • Omid A. Shaye, M.D.  
  • Theodore Stein, M.D.  
  • Daniel J. Stone, M.D.  
  • Megan M. Thomas  
  • Hitoshi "Tommy" Tomizawa, M.D.  
  • Philip A. Yalowitz, M.D.  
  • John Yu, M.D.

Register Now to Run for Her

Event Details

  • What: 7th annual Run for Her® 5k Run and Friendship Walk
  • When: Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011
  • Where: Pan Pacific Park
  • Time: 9 a.m. - noon

Register now at www.runforher.com.

Check out some helpful new features:

  • Share Tools Download avatars, badges, posters, screensavers, bumper stickers and more!

Keep up to date with run for her, research updates and more through social media:

IRB Moves to Weekly Meetings

Starting in July, the Cedars-Sinai Institutional Review Board (IRB) committees will meet more often to improve the efficiency of the review process. Under the new schedule, each of the four rotating committees will convene every 30 days rather than every six weeks, resulting in at least one IRB meeting per week.

With the increase from 25 to 36 IRB meetings each year (not including stem cell committee meetings), it is anticipated that this change will reduce the amount of time it takes to review research protocols.

While more frequent meetings create additional challenges, the Office of Research Compliance and Quality Improvement is confident that the potential benefits outweigh the risks.

Click the PDF below to view the revised schedule for July through December 2011.

Updated 2011 July - Dec. Meetings (PDF)