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President's Perspective: The Academic Mission

By Thomas M. Priselac, President and CEO

It drives the future of healthcare, not just at Cedars-Sinai, but for patients around the country and around the world.

It's been a crucial element of our mission for decades and has expanded significantly over the last several years.

It enables Cedars-Sinai to offer new options to patients.

If you haven't guessed by now, I'm referring to Cedars-Sinai's academic mission—our commitment to research and education that improves lives. Our extraordinary capabilities in patient care would not be possible without our academic programs, just as our academic excellence would not be possible without our patient-care expertise. Each is inextricably tied to the other.

For example, our research mission enables us currently to offer more than 500 clinical trials to patients, providing access to experimental treatments that may not be available elsewhere. Many of our past clinical trials have led to groundbreaking treatments that are now used around the world. 

And in the many laboratories located in Pavilion, the Davis Research Building and Spielberg, Cedars-Sinai physicians and scientists are making key discoveries about causes and treatments for disease at the molecular and cellular levels. This laboratory research is enriched by its proximity to our clinical activities, as clinical challenges present new problems for our scientists to solve. This was a key principle in the design of Pavilion, where researchers and their laboratories are literally next to clinicians and patient-care areas.

While our research is invaluable to thousands of patients throughout Cedars-Sinai, it also benefits millions of people around the globe. Medical devices, new surgical techniques, new imaging and diagnostic tests, and new therapies developed at Cedars-Sinai are now used routinely throughout the world.

Similarly, our education programs benefit people far beyond the Southern California region. Physicians, scientists, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals who trained at Cedars-Sinai can be found at institutions of all sizes—from large hospitals to small rural clinics—in every corner of the world. They also can be found throughout Cedars-Sinai, as many of our top physicians, nurses and others started out as students here or advanced their careers through our education programs.

These programs are more important than ever, given the severe shortage nationwide of physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals to care for people in the future. In recent years, our education programs have expanded beyond the clinical sphere, as we now offer a doctorate degree in biomedical and translational sciences and master's degrees in biomedical sciences, including health delivery sciences and magnetic resonance in medicine.

While Cedars-Sinai began as a hospital in 1902 and will always be renowned for the quality of our clinical care, our academic mission is an essential component of who we are and greatly enhances our capability to serve people now, as well as for decades to come.