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A BI-WEEKLY PUBLICATION FROM THE CEDARS-SINAI CHIEF OF STAFF June 14, 2019 | Archived Issues

Physician Wellness Tip: Importance of Hydration

More than 60% of your body is made of water, which you need to function. When you sweat, go to the bathroom or even breathe, you lose a lot of that water. And the best way to get it back is through food and drink. Watch this quick video about the evidence and science of drinking water.

» Read more

Father and Son Get to the Heart of the Matter

Lots of parents and children go into related lines of work. But not many do it with as much heart—literally—as one father-and-son duo at Cedars-Sinai. Fardad Esmailian, MD, transplants hearts. His 23-year-old son, Gabby Esmailian, is part of the crew that dashes around California and other states, procuring hearts and sometimes lungs and livers, before delivering them to waiting Cedars-Sinai surgeons. And occasionally that means the son is making a heart handoff to his dad.

» Read more

Forrester Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

James S. Forrester, MD, former director of the Cedars-Sinai Division of Cardiology and former holder of the Burns and Allen Chair in Cardiology Research, is the 2019 recipient of the Cedars-Sinai Lifetime Achievement Award.  His contributions to cardiology are legion, including what became known as the Forrester hemodynamic subsets, a widely used assessment model designed to inform treatment of heart attacks and heart failure.

» Read more

Paul W. Noble, MD, Wins PRISM Prize

Paul W. Noble, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Medicine and director of the Women's Guild Lung Institute at Cedars-Sinai, is the winner of the 2019 Prize for Research in Scientific Medicine (PRISM). The annual award recognizes a scientific breakthrough or critical medical insight made within the past five years by a Cedars-Sinai faculty member. Ravi Thadhani, MD, vice dean of Research and Graduate Research Education, presented the award during the 2019 Commencement of the Cedars‑Sinai Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences on Thursday, May 30, at Harvey Morse Auditorium.

» Read more

Nobel Laureate Addresses Record Number of Graduates

The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences awarded a record number of advanced degrees at its 7th annual commencement, where Nobel laureate Randy W. Schekman, PhD, urged the graduates to "tackle our greatest challenges" by sustaining their commitment to science despite political headwinds.

» Read more

Cedars-Sinai Employees March With Pride

Cedars-Sinai has a long tradition of celebrating different ethnicities, religions, gender identities and sexual orientations among its employees, patients and community members. This year, Cedars-Sinai demonstrated that support by co-sponsoring the new Health and Wellness Village during the June 8-9 Pride on the Boulevard festival and—for the first time—organizing a large group of employees to march in the 49th annual Pride Parade on Sunday, June 9. Watch the video

» Read more

LAP Test Being Halted Beginning June 30

Beginning Sunday, June 30, the special testing division within the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine will stop using the Leukocyte Alkaline Phosphatase (LAP) stain due to a very low volume of orders.

» Read more

Summer Is Coming, and So Are Fireworks

Celebrate Independence Day at the Hollywood Bowl with fireworks and music by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and special musical guests Nile Rodgers and CHIC. The event on Wednesday, July 3, is open to Cedars-Sinai physicians and their immediate family members. Cost is $145 per adult and $75 per child, 3-11 years of age.

» Read more

CS-Link Tip: SmartPhrase Workbench Updated

The SmartPhrase workbench has been updated. Smartphrases are one of the most powerful tools in CS-Link™. If you haven't created your personal library of Smartphrases, you are working too hard.

» Read more

Physician Wellness Tip: Importance of Hydration

WaterGlass480px.jpg

More than 60% of your body is made of water, which you need to function. When you sweat, go to the bathroom or even breathe, you lose a lot of that water. And the best way to get it back is through food and drink.

How much water does the average healthy adult need in a day? There’s no one formula that fits every person, and it depends on things like your age, health, activity level and the climate you live in. But generally, men should drink about 13 cups (3 liters) and women about nine cups (2.2 liters) of water daily.

Watch this quick video about the evidence and science of drinking water.

Father and Son Get to the Heart of the Matter

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Fardad Esmailian, MD, the surgical director for heart transplantion at the Smidt Heart Institute, is shown with his son, Gabby, who is a part-time heart and lung transplant procurement technician.

Lots of parents and children go into related lines of work. But not many do it with as much heart—literally—as one father-and-son duo at Cedars-Sinai.

Fardad Esmailian, MD, transplants hearts. His 23-year-old son, Gabby Esmailian, is part of the crew that dashes around California and other states, procuring hearts and sometimes lungs and livers, before delivering them to waiting Cedars-Sinai surgeons. And occasionally that means the son is making a heart handoff to his dad.

"It's an interesting relationship to have," said Gabby Esmailian. "People can say, yeah, they work in the family business, but not to this extent. This is a little bit different. We’re talking about life and death here."

Fardad Esmailian—the surgical director for heart transplantion at the Smidt Heart Institute—said it’s "pretty touching" when his son shows up with a heart that he will be transplanting. While the transplant specialist emphasized that in those moments he never stops focusing on his patient, he allowed that, for an instant, "It just goes through my mind what a remarkable thing has happened." 

Gabby Esmailian has a theory that "when you grow up with a parent who is in the medical profession, you kind of either love it or hate it." For evidence, he need look no further than his family. Gabby has fallen in love with medicine while his one sibling—younger brother Aaron, 21—is steering away from the field and is going into his senior year as a business major at the University of Southern California. (Other relatives are in healthcare, too. Gabby and Aaron's stepmother is a nurse practitioner, and an uncle is a plastic surgeon.)

Gabby earned a bachelor's degree in psychobiology last year from UCLA, where he also was on the men's rowing team for two years and played tenor saxophone in a university band. He got interested in medicine early. In high school, Gabby volunteered at Cedars-Sinai, starting by doing things like escorting patients at the heart transplant center and eventually assisting on research projects. In recent years, he has given oral presentations at medical research conferences. In August 2016, just before he started his junior year at UCLA, Gabby began his current part-time job as a heart and lung transplant procurement technician.

In that role, when a heart or other organ becomes available for a patient, Gabby rushes with a Cedars-Sinai surgeon to get it, often zooming in by helicopter or charter jet. Much of his role involves handling communications between the hospital where the donated organ is being harvested and Cedars-Sinai. It's a job in which every minute counts, because hearts, for instance, are supposed to be transplanted within four or five hours after they are removed from a donor.

Fardad Esmailian—who came to this country from his native Iran in 1978 as a teenager—takes pride in helping build a program at Cedars-Sinai that for years has performed more adult heart transplants than anywhere else in the U.S. It is on track in 2019 to break its previous record high of 132 adult heart transplants in a year.

He appreciates the praise he receives from grateful patients, and he believes that has influenced Gabby's outlook on medicine.

At social gatherings held twice a year with patients who have received heart transplants at Cedars-Sinai, Fardad Esmailian said, Gabby has gotten into conversations with patients who "would talk to him about my kind of work" and say things like, "Your dad saved my life."

"I think that had an impact on him," said Fardad Esmailian.

Gabby agrees, but said he avoids bringing up who his father is when he's on organ-procurement duty. Still, when he arrives at donor hospitals and medical staffers notice his last name, he often hears praise for his dad. "I'm humbled by what he's done,” Gabby said. "He is very well-respected and almost really world-renowned for what he does and the gift that he gives his patients."

Now Gabby is looking to follow his father's footsteps further. In August, he will begin medical school at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.—the same school where his father became an MD.

Gabby is giving himself time to decide which area of medicine to pursue. His father clearly would be delighted if Gabby ultimately chooses his field. As the 57-year-old Esmailian put it, "By the time he finishes [medical school], if he decides to do cardiac surgery, I will be toward the tail end of my career, and maybe I can pass the baton to him and teach him a few things ... That would be pretty remarkable, but if it doesn't, that’s OK."

"They're both great kids," Fardad Esmailian said of his two sons. "As a parent, I think I've done OK."

 

 

 

Forrester Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

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James S. Forrester, MD

James S. Forrester, MD, former director of the Cedars-Sinai Division of Cardiology and former holder of the Burns and Allen Chair in Cardiology Research, is the 2019 recipient of the Cedars-Sinai Lifetime Achievement Award.

Eduardo Marbán, MD, PhD, Mark Siegel Family Foundation Distinguished Chair and Director of the Smidt Heart Institute, presented the award during the 2019 Commencement of the Cedars‑Sinai Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences on Thursday, May 30, at Harvey Morse Auditorium.

"Jim Forrester is the living link to the proud legacy bestowed upon Cedars-Sinai by the late Dr. Jeremy Swan and the late Dr. Willie Ganz. In his years as chief of Cardiology here, no one did more than Dr. Forrester to establish the utility of the eponymic catheter—still a mainstay of ICU patient management worldwide," said Marbán, professor of Medicine. "Jim’s contributions to our understanding of human cardiovascular physiology are fundamental and durable. We are proud to have him as a mentor, friend and colleague."

Forrester, who received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania, joined Cedars-Sinai in 1969. His contributions to cardiology are legion, including what became known as the Forrester hemodynamic subsets, a widely used assessment model designed to inform treatment of heart attacks and heart failure. Among his other seminal contributions are developing the Diamond-Forrester probability analysis for diagnosing coronary artery disease and leading a team in the early 1990s that created coronary angioscopy (a method of viewing coronary arteries).

"This award is a tribute to my mentors who illuminated the path and to my mentees over 50 years. Together, their repeated breakthroughs in patient management propelled our spectacular ascent from a good community hospital to the leading cardiology program in the West," said Forrester, cardiologist at the Smidt Heart Institute. "My astonishing good fortune has been to accompany all of these friends on our journey into the unknown."

A prodigious investigator and author, Forrester has published more than 400 scientific manuscripts and book chapters. He also wrote the book, The Heart Healers: The Misfits, Mavericks, and Rebels Who Created the Greatest Medical Breakthroughs of Our Lives (St. Martin's Press, 2015).

The Cedars-Sinai Lifetime Achievement Award, which was first given in 2017, is the most recent of Forrester's many honors. Others include the American College of Cardiology’s Lifetime Achievement Award; the American Heart Association's Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award; the Journal of the American College of Cardiology's Simon Dack Award for Outstanding Scholarship; and the Cedars-Sinai Pioneer in Medicine Award.

Paul W. Noble, MD, Wins PRISM Prize

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Paul W. Noble, MD

Paul W. Noble, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Medicine and director of the Women's Guild Lung Institute at Cedars-Sinai, is the winner of the 2019 Prize for Research in Scientific Medicine (PRISM). The annual award recognizes a scientific breakthrough or critical medical insight made within the past five years by a Cedars-Sinai faculty member.

Ravi Thadhani, MD, vice dean of Research and Graduate Research Education, presented the award during the 2019 Commencement of the Cedars‑Sinai Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences on Thursday, May 30, at Harvey Morse Auditorium.

"Dr. Noble has made seminal contributions to our understanding of injury and corresponding treatments for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and we are so proud he is an integral member of our institution," said Thadhani.

An international leader in pulmonary medicine, Noble's pioneering work has significantly expanded understanding of the molecular mechanisms of lung injury and repair. His research also has shed scientific light on pulmonary fibrosis, a poorly understood but deadly disease that scars lung tissue and obstructs breathing.

Noble's laboratory, which has been funded by the National Institutes of Health for more than 25 years, has conducted landmark investigations of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). IPF is the most common type of pulmonary fibrosis. Noble and his colleagues have pinpointed a primary cause of IPF and identified drugs that slow the disease's progression. In the last five years, Noble additionally has made milestone advances in uncovering new mechanisms that regulate lung regeneration and progressive pulmonary fibrosis.

"It is an honor to receive the PRISM Prize. Since moving our research group to Cedars-Sinai nearly seven years ago, we have been very pleased with our discoveries about key mechanisms that regulate progressive pulmonary fibrosis, and we're hopeful our work will lead to new therapies for patients with pulmonary fibrosis," said Noble. "These achievements would not be possible without our team and the contributions of Dr. Carol Liang and Dr. Dianhua Jiang, who have been my colleagues for the last 22 years."

Noble, who received his medical degree from the New York University School of Medicine, is a prolific author whose research has been published in The New England Journal of Medicine, Science, Nature Medicine and The Journal of Clinical Investigation, among others. He is an elected council member of the Association of American Physicians and an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation.

First awarded in 2015, the PRISM Prize is based on faculty nominations and a decision by a three-judge panel. Winners receive a monetary prize and a commemorative medal. Previous recipients are the late Ronald G. Victor, MD, professor of Medicine and associate director of the Smidt Heart Institute; Ueli Rutishauser, PhD, associate professor of Neurosurgery; Robert H. Baloh, MD, PhD, professor of Neurology and director of Neuromuscular Medicine; and Stanley C. Jordan, MD, professor of Medicine and director of the Division of Nephrology.

 

Nobel Laureate Addresses Record Number of Graduates

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Cedars-Sinai's Class of 2019 with faculty and, from left to right in the front row, President and CEO Thomas M. Priselac, in red regalia; Nobel Laureate Randy W. Schekman, PhD, in blue; Dean of the Medical Faculty Shlomo Melmed, MB, ChB; and Vice Dean of Research and Education Ravi Thadhani, MD, MPH.

The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences awarded a record number of advanced degrees at its 7th annual commencement, where a Nobel laureate urged the graduates to "tackle our greatest challenges" by sustaining their commitment to science despite political headwinds.

In an stirring commencement address, Randy W. Schekman, PhD, who shared the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, expressed confidence in the future of scientific inquiry. "I stand before you to proclaim that the state of science here and elsewhere in the country is as strong as ever," he said.

Schekman, a professor in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, singled out California's "vibrant biotech and philanthropic environment that sustains one of the most robust research environments in the world."

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Nobel Laureate Randy W. Schekman, PhD, delivers the commencement address. 

The ceremony May 30 at Harvey Morse Auditorium awarded 25 degrees, the largest number since the Cedars-Sinai Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences held its first commencement in 2013. Five doctoral and 20 master's degrees were awarded, bringing the total number of degrees awarded by the graduate school to 65.

"Cedars-Sinai excels at scientific rigor," said 2019 graduate Dustin Srinivas, PhD, prior to the ceremony. "I've never seen an institution that is so collaborative between clinicians and researchers. It really gives us an edge."

Srinivas was one of the five doctoral graduates who were honored this year. Each has participated in notable research on a wide range of disorders and medical issues, including neurodegenerative diseases, pediatric brain tumors, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases and cancer.

The master's graduates were the first from two new programs, both started in 2017. The master's degree in health delivery science offers an advanced curriculum in measuring and improving the value of healthcare. The master of science in magnetic resonance in medicine focuses on how magnetic resonance imaging is applied to biomedical research and medicine.

President and CEO Thomas M. Priselac told the graduates: "You are to be commended for your intellectual discipline, for making the personal sacrifices that come with this level of scholarship and for choosing a calling that will change many lives for the better."

In introducing Schekman, Shlomo Melmed, MB, ChB, executive vice president of Academic Affairs, dean of the medical faculty and professor of Medicine at Cedars-Sinai, called him "a global champion for the vitality and integrity of scientific publishing" who combined "true scholarship as well as responsible behavior."

During his address to the gradutates, Schekman also outlined challenges to the scientific endeavor today. "In the new federal political environment, we face an administration determined to cut budgets and diminish the influence of science in public policy," he said. He also cited "a new skepticism, grounded in the politics of energy and commerce, challenging the consensus scientific view that our climate is influenced by human activity."

Despite these hurdles, Schekman said he believes Congress will continue to authorize substantial increases in National Institutes of Health funding in the years ahead, noting that "disease knows no political boundaries." He concluded by telling the graduates: "We may sustain a temporary setback here in the U.S., but the march of progress fueled by the scientific method will advance and ultimately tackle our greatest challenges. These are the challenges and opportunities that you now face. So go for it!"

The ceremony also saw the presentation of three awards:

  • Cedars-Sinai Prize for Research in Scientific Medicine (PRISM)—Paul W. Noble, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Medicine and director of the Women’s Guild Lung Institute
  • David L. Rimoin Teaching Excellence Award—Jonathan Kaye, PhD, vice chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences and professor of Biomedical Sciences and Medicine
  • Lifetime Acheivement Award—James S. Forrester, MD, former director of the Cedars-Sinai Division of Cardiology and former Burns and Allen Chair in Cardiology Research.

The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences was founded in 2007 and earned accreditation in 2012. The rigorous program combines basic scientific and medical understanding with an emphasis on research that is relevant to preventing, diagnosing and treating diseases. The school is supported by a robust Department of Biomedical Sciences and a diverse faculty of physicians and investigators who provide world-class training in state-of-the-art laboratories.

Cedars-Sinai Employees March With Pride

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Cedars-Sinai has a long tradition of celebrating different ethnicities, religions, gender identities and sexual orientations among its employees, patients and community members. This year, Cedars-Sinai demonstrated that support by co-sponsoring the new Health and Wellness Village during the June 8-9 Pride on the Boulevard festival and—for the first time—organizing a large group of employees to march in the 49th annual Pride Parade on Sunday, June 9. Watch the video.

PrideGroupPhoto480px.jpg

LAP Test Being Halted Beginning June 30

Beginning Sunday, June 30, the special testing division within the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine will stop using the Leukocyte Alkaline Phosphatase (LAP) stain due to a very low volume of orders.

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If you have questions, contact Melissa Cervania at 310-423-5571 or melissa.cervania@cshs.org; or Loretta Kiros at 310-423-1790 or Loretta.Kiros@cshs.org.

Summer Is Coming, and So Are Fireworks

 

The Hollywood Bowl

Celebrate Independence Day at the Hollywood Bowl with fireworks and music by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and special musical guests Nile Rodgers and CHIC. The event on Wednesday, July 3, is open to Cedars-Sinai physicians and their immediate family members. Cost is $145 per adult and $75 per child, 3-11 years of age.

Parking passes also are available.

To reserve a place, contact Cheryl Verne at 310-423-2681 or cheryl.verne@cshs.org.

CS-Link Tip: SmartPhrase Workbench Updated

The SmartPhrase workbench has been updated. SmartPhrases are one of the most powerful tools in CS-Link™. If you haven't created your personal library of SmartPhrases, you are working too hard.

See more of what SmartPhrases workbench can do for you here.

To learn more, attend a CS-Link Efficiency and Review for Physician meeting on the second Thursday of each month. The classes, which begin at 7:30 a.m., are held in PEC 4.

If you have questions, contact groupeisphysicians@cshs.org.