From the Dean of Faculty
Since our founding decades ago, scholarly discoveries have consistently propelled Cedars-Sinai to the forefront of medical advances. Our culture of bold innovation is stronger today than ever before. Our trailblazers discovered the role of the kidney in hypertension, which opened the door to revolutionary and more effective treatments to manage high blood pressure. They invented the Swan-Ganz catheter, which made it possible to measure blood flow and cardiovascular function in cardiac patients right at the bedside. One pioneer surgeon creatively adapted technology to perform minimally invasive endoscopic and laparoscopic procedures, enabling patients to recover faster with less pain.
Cedars-Sinai investigators continue to lead progress in the treatment of heart disease, brain disorders, cancer, digestive diseases, and other conditions. The remarkable field of regenerative medicine is a particularly exciting frontier in which our scientists are using stem-cell-based therapies to heal the human heart as well as develop new treatments for neurodegenerative disorders, cancer, and stroke.
We also are making strides toward a cure for retinitis pigmentosa, one of the most common causes of blindness, by literally rewriting the genetic code to repair the mutation that leads to this degenerative eye disease. Another promising breakthrough involving stem cells and gene therapy could enable fractured bones to regenerate, sparing patients from painful bone grafts. Our imaging experts are developing novel techniques that make it possible to diagnose disease earlier and more accurately—including integrating MRI and positron emission tomography methods for rapid 3- and 4-D imaging of the heart and blood vessels.
The future also is taking shape in the Cedars-Sinai Accelerator Powered by Techstars, where we provide mentoring and resources to speed bringing innovative new healthcare technologies to market. The value-based, efficient, and effective startup companies in our incubator improve patient outcomes by creating new ways to deliver cures while enabling patients to partner in their own care.
In this issue of Discoveries, you will read about some of the latest innovations that could lead to better diagnoses, treatments, and quality of life. The common denominator in this game-changing research is a passionate and imaginative drive to advance the cutting edge of medicine so our patients always receive state-of-the-art care.
We are grateful to our visionaries, are proud of their history-making legacy, and are excited about the future our innovators are crafting today.
Shlomo Melmed, MD
Executive Vice President, Academic Affairs
Dean of the Medical Faculty
Helene A. and Philip E. Hixon Distinguished Chair in Investigative Medicine