Faculty News: Summer 2012
C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, has been awarded the inaugural Journal of Women’s Health Award for Outstanding Achievement in Women’s Health Research for her work as “a pioneer in understanding female pattern heart disease.” The award, which was presented at the 20th annual Congress on Women’s Health in Washington, D.C., recognizes exceptional work in the overall advancement of women’s health research.
Dr. Bairey Merz is director of the Women’s Heart Center and is the Women’s Guild Chair in Women’s Health. She chairs the Women’s Ischemic Syndrome Evaluation (WISE) initiative, which is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, and is investigating potential methods for more effective diagnosis and evaluation of coronary artery disease in women. She also is the national spokesperson for VHA’s Women’s HeartAdvantage campaign, which seeks to raise awareness of heart disease in women.
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Itai Danovitch, MD, has been appointed chair of the Department of Psychiatry. He will lead the newly restructured department in providing high-quality patient care through hospital-based consultation/liaison services, with an emphasis on enhancing relationships between the department and key clinical programs and specialty services.
Dr. Danovitch also directs the Addiction Psychiatry Services, where his research is focused on evaluating new medications for alcoholism. He is developing an addiction prevention and treatment program for children and adolescents, and provides school-based prevention and early intervention services to at-risk youth.
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Shlee Song, MD, has been appointed associate director of the Stroke Program in the Department of Neurology. Dr. Song has been a lead investigator on major clinical trials on strokes and currently is lead investigator of a multicenter clinical trial involving patients who have suffered recent “unwitnessed” strokes, where she is studying the use of magnetic resonance imaging to estimate the time of onset and determine which patients may be candidates for drug intervention. She also is investigating hypothermia—controlled cooling of body temperature—as a means of reducing neurological damage following stroke.
Dr. Song completed a clinical fellowship and stroke research at the Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the National Institutes of Health.
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Allan W. Silberman, MD, PhD, was honored with the Outstanding Science Alumni Award for 2011 by Penn State University’s Eberly College of Science. The award recognizes alumni who have “a record of significant professional achievements in their field and who are outstanding role models for the current students in the college.”
Dr. Silberman is the clinical chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology and the Robert J. and Suzanne Gottlieb Chair in Surgical Oncology. His research involves genetic analysis of patients with multiple primary malignancies, and he is the author of a nationally acclaimed textbook on surgical oncology.
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Prediman K. Shah, MD, and C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, each received the American College of Cardiology’s highest honors for scientific research and clinical care, awarded during the College’s annual Scientific Session in Chicago in March. Dr. Shah, who is renowned for his work in developing a mutant-gene-based therapy to reverse arterial plaque and his research on a potential cholesterol vaccine against heart disease, was presented with the Distinguished Scientist (Basic Domain) Award. Dr. Bairey Merz, a pioneer in identifying gender differences in heart disease, received the Distinguished Scientist (Clinical Domain) Award.
“It is a remarkable achievement for two of our faculty members to earn this honor in the same year,” says Eduardo Marbán, MD, PhD, the Mark S. Siegel Family Professor and director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. “For years, both Dr. Shah and Dr. Bairey Merz have been on the leading edge of cardiology, and to have recognition of this magnitude by one’s peers is the greatest honor for any doctor.”
Dr. Shah is director of the Division of Cardiology and also directs the Oppenheimer Atherosclerosis Research Center. He holds the Shapell and Webb Family Chair in Clinical Cardiology at Cedars-Sinai and is a past president of the American Heart Association–Western States Affiliate. Dr. Bairey Merz directs the Women’s Heart Center and is the Women’s Guild Chair in Women’s Health.
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Terrence Town, MD, in the Department of Biomedical Science, has been awarded two significant grants to pursue his study of drugs that could disrupt the formation and accumulation of plaques that build up in the brain, which may be a root cause of Alzheimer’s disease. He will receive a five-year, $2 million Research Project Grant from the National Institutes of Health and a $550,000 grant from the American Federation for Aging Research. Dr. Town holds the Ben Winters Chair in Regenerative Medicine.
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Rita Shane, PharmD, director of Pharmacy Services, will receive the 2012 Harvey A.K. Whitney Lecture Award from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists at the organization’s summer meeting, where she will deliver a lecture about the challenge of translating healthcare imperatives and evidence into clinical practices. In awarding Dr. Shane this honor, the society cited her exceptional leadership, commitment to safety, advocacy for regulatory changes in California, and efforts to expand clinical pharmacy services at Cedars-Sinai.
The new Infectious and Immunologic Diseases Research Center within the Department of Biomedical Sciences will be led by Moshe Arditi, MD, as director and George Liu, MD, PhD, as associate director. The center was created to foster collaboration within and outside of Cedars-Sinai in order to accelerate translational research in infectious and immunological diseases and increase the pace at which novel diagnostics and therapeutics can be delivered to patients.
Dr. Arditi is executive vice chair of research in the Department of Pediatrics and director of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Allergy and Immunology. Dr. Liu is a leading pediatric infectious diseases physician-scientist.