Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

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A BI-WEEKLY PUBLICATION FROM THE CEDARS-SINAI CHIEF OF STAFF Jan. 20, 2012 Issue | Archived Issues

December P&T decisions released

Pharmacy Focus

December Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee decisions and pertinent agenda topics are summarized in the PDF file below. Highlights include: updated C. diff treatment guidelines, dabigatran safety analysis, nesiritide guidelines, and risk evaluation and mitigation strategies for rosiglitazone and dofetilide.

P&T Approvals: December 2011 (PDF)


Meetings and Events


Grand Rounds

Click here to view upcoming Grand Rounds.


Upcoming CME Conferences

Click below to view a complete list of all scheduled Continuing Medical Education conferences.

CME Newsletter - January 2012 (PDF)

Share Your News

Won any awards or had an article accepted for publication? Share your news about professional achievements and other items of interest.

Click here to share your news

Nobel Laureate speaks at Research Day

Hundreds attend third annual event

About 400 Cedars-Sinai Medical Center graduate students, postdoctoral scientists, faculty and other research staff gathered Jan. 13 for Research Day III to showcase their studies and hear Nobel Laureate David Baltimore, PhD, (above) discuss the latest findings on the inflammatory process.

An annual event since 2010, Research Day occupied the Harvey Morse Auditorium, lobby and adjacent rooms, where Cedars-Sinai researchers displayed 140 colorful posters explaining their studies.

"The poster session was an excellent opportunity for our scientists to get to know each other and to understand the breadth of science at our institution," said Kenneth Bernstein, MD, professor and director of the Experimental Pathology Division in the Cedars-Sinai Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. "On Research Day, we stop to recognize the importance of scientific research, and we try to have fun."

Before the afternoon Poster Session, more than 300 people attended the noon lecture, "Control of the Inflammatory Process," by Baltimore, president emeritus and Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Biology at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

In introducing the speaker, Bernstein noted that a renowned 1970 study by Baltimore led to a chain of research that, decades later, helped save countless lives.

The study showed the presence of an enzyme, later named "reverse transcriptase," which is essential to the reproduction of a group of viruses called retroviruses. That line of research, for which Baltimore shared the 1975 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with two others, helped make possible the development of the drug AZT, an inhibitor of reverse transcriptase, which beginning in the 1990s helped to dramatically decrease mortality from the HIV retrovirus.

"If someone asked the question, 'Can our society afford to do scientific research?' I would answer, 'How can we not afford to do scientific research?'" Bernstein said.

In his lecture, Baltimore outlined recent research by himself and others into how the body responds to infection and how it turns off the inflammatory response. Both processes are vital. When inflammation is not turned off, it can lead to hyper-responsiveness and eventually cancer.

Although the inflammatory process occurs in multiple stages, it has a common transcription factor, NF-kappaB , or NF-kB, "that we were lucky enough to discover in 1986," Baltimore said.

NF-kB plays many roles in the regulation of inflammation. Recent work showed that it induces three microRNAs, including miR146a, a repressor of the inflammatory response. When Baltimore and fellow researchers deleted the gene that encodes miR 146a in mice, the mice developed a hyper-inflammatory response, which in the long run led to myeloid sarcomas and some lymphomas.

This is a growing area of research.

"Work on microRNAs is just now reaching a crescendo," Biltmore said. "We are just learning how important they are."

After Baltimore's lecture, audience members and others from the medical center gathered around posters presenting Cedars-Sinai studies on cancer, stroke, diabetes, obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, high cholesterol and other conditions.

Among other purposes, the session offers "a chance for the entire Cedars-Sinai research community … to exchange ideas and to make connections with other researchers that might lead to new collaborations," said Helen S. Goodridge, PhD, director of the Cedars-Sinai Postdoctoral Scientist Program, which supports the work of postdocs and their mentors.

The Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute's Women's Cancer Program alone presented a dozen posters, said its director, Beth Karlan, MD, including a study on shortened telomeres in BRCA1- and BRCA2-associated ovarian cancer patients.

BJ Rimel, MD, one of the researchers in that study, said "a pat on the back is nice," but that's not the main reason she attends Research Day.

"I get to meet other investigators and get critical feedback on our work," Rimel said. "I want to know: What did I miss? What didn't I see?"

After the event, Bernstein said, "I think Research Day III was a great success. Our keynote speaker, David Baltimore, epitomizes excellence in science and is a model for all of us at Cedars-Sinai. That hundreds of people attended his lecture attests to his status and the growth of research personnel at Cedars-Sinai."

Pictured above right: Armando Giuliano, MD, and Nicole Yeager, neurosurgery research associate II, view one of 140 posters that were on display as part of Cedars-Sinai Research Day III. Giuliano is executive vice chair of Surgery for Surgical Oncology, co-director of the Saul and Joyce Brandman Breast Center - A Project of Women's Guild and associate director for Surgical Oncology at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute.