Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

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P & T Approvals, FDA Statement About Plavix

Pharmacy Focus

See highlights of the October meeting of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee. Also, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says that long-term use of Plavix does not change the risk of death for patients with heart disease.

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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 - November 2015 (PDF)  


Viorica Ionut, MD, PhD, Ali Kashani, MD, and Arnold Klein, MD, have died.

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Viorica Ionut, Research Scientist, 1968-2015

VioricaIonut_140pxViorica Ionut, MD, PhD, a research scientist in the Cedars-Sinai Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute and assistant professor of Biomedical Sciences, has died. She was 47. The cause was breast cancer.

An expert on the role of incretins, or gut hormones, in glucose homeostasis, Ionut came to Cedars-Sinai in 2011 from the University of Southern California. At USC, she worked in the laboratory of Richard Bergman, PhD, professor of Biomedical Sciences, who now directs the Cedars-Sinai Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute.

"Ionut was an integral part of our laboratory for a decade, both at USC and Cedars-Sinai," Bergman said. "She did important and ground-breaking work in the area of gut incretins. She investigated how the intestinal tract communicates with other organs, how this communication is impaired in diabetes and obesity, and how we can use this information to develop better therapeutic strategies."

Among Ionut's contributions was to identify the porto-hepatic area — where vessels enter or leave the liver — as a new locus for sensing metabolic and hormonal information from the intestine. She established the importance of this region in controlling blood glucose levels, independent of pancreatic hormones. Her research had significant implications for treatment of Type 2 and Type 1 diabetes.

Bergman noted that incretin hormones have been widely used in various medicines for diabetes. "Ionut deserves much credit for helping us understand how these hormones work so that these medicines can be used in patients," he said.

Inout was born in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, and obtained her MD from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in that city. After residency, she moved to Rutgers University, where she studied Nutrition Science. At USC, she obtained her PhD in Physiology and attained the rank of assistant professor. At Cedars-Sinai, she was accepted into the Clinical Scholars Program, which trains clinicians to become clinical scientists, in 2011 and graduated in September of this year.

Bergman remembered Ionut as a "great scholar, educated and insightful." He added: "She had a wonderful personality. She was warm and giving, and had an outstanding sense of humor. This is a great loss for Cedars-Sinai."

Ionut is survived by her husband, Clay, and a son, Ricky.