Discoveries Magazine

Cedars-Sinai

Faculty News: Fall 2016

Robert H. Baloh, MD, PhD, director of Neuromuscular Medicine, associate professor of Neurology, and the Ben Winters Chair in Regenerative Medicine, was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation, one of the nation’s oldest and most respected medical honor societies. The organization includes more than 3,000 physician-scientists from all specialties who are selected for their outstanding records of scholarly achievement in biomedical research. Cedars-Sinai now has 16 active members in the society. He also received Cedars-Sinai’s 2016 Prize for Research in Scientific Medicine for a series of discoveries involving an inherited form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration, a type of brain dementia that can accompany ALS.

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Matthew Bloom, MD, associate director of Trauma Services and assistant professor of Surgery, received the Peter C. Canizaro Award from the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST). The award was established by AAST in 1991 to recognize the best paper by a young member.

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Linda Burnes Bolton, DrPH, RN, FAAN, chief nursing officer and vice president for Nursing at Cedars-Sinai, received the 2016 TRUST Award from the Health Research & Educational Trust of the American Hospital Association. The TRUST Award honors individuals who exhibit visionary leadership in healthcare and who use research and education to improve healthcare quality in the United States. Burnes Bolton is one of the nation’s most visible and respected figures in nursing. Under her leadership, Cedars-Sinai founded the Geri and Richard Brawerman Nursing Institute in 2002 to help expand the supply of skilled nurses in the Los Angeles region.

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Sumeet S. Chugh, MD, associate director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, medical director of the Heart Rhythm Center, and the Pauline and Harold Price Chair in Cardiac Electrophysiology Research, received a $2.5 million grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to develop a risk-assessment tool that could identify patients susceptible to sudden cardiac arrest, a usually fatal heart rhythm malfunction.

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David Engman, MD, PhD, a molecular genetic pathologist renowned for his groundbreaking research into parasitic diseases, has joined Cedars-Sinai as chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. He was previously professor of Pathology and Microbiology-Immunology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and medical director of the Molecular Genetics Laboratory and the Diagnostic Molecular Biology Laboratory at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, as well as head of the hospital’s Division of Diagnostic Molecular Biology in the Department of Pathology.

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Benedick A. Fraass, PhD, vice chair for Research and director of Medical Physics, received the Gold Medal from the American Society for Radiation Oncology for outstanding lifetime contributions to the field.

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Joel M. Geiderman, MD, professor of Emergency Medicine and co-chair of the Ruth and Harry Roman Emergency Department, received the Howard I. Wilner, MD, Alumnus of the Year Award from the Cedars-Sinai Alumni Association and medical staff to honor his accomplishments and contributions to medicine.

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Ting-Ting Hong, MD, PhD, a research scientist at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, received two grants from the American Heart Association to study the role of BIN1, a gene that codes for proteins in the heart. The first, an Innovative Research Grant of $150,000, will fund a project to develop BIN1 as a blood-based biomarker for arrhythmia and heart failure. The other, a Beginning Grant-in-Aid of $140,000, will fund an investigation into how calcium is regulated in cardiac structures that are organized by BIN1 and help determine the strength of beat-to-beat heart contraction.

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John Jenrette, MD, has been named executive vice president of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Network. A respected physician-executive known for developing new delivery models to meet consumer desires for accessible, high-quality care, he was previously senior vice president of San Diego–based Sharp HealthCare and CEO of Sharp Community Medical Group.

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Stanley Jordan, MD, director of Nephrology and Transplant Immunology and medical director of Cedars-Sinai’s Kidney Transplant Program, received the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Transplantation (Clinical) from The Transplantation Society.

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A Cedars-Sinai group led by Beth Y. Karlan, MD, has been awarded a grant from the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund to support research into the relationship between the evolution of ovarian carcinoma and the microenvironment. Karlan is director of the Women’s Cancer Program at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology, director of the Gilda Radner Hereditary Cancer Program, the Board of Governors Chair in Gynecologic Oncology, and a professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The project team also includes Sandra Orsulic, PhD, associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and director of Women’s Cancer Biology; W. Ruprecht Wiedemeyer, PhD, research scientist with the Women’s Cancer Program; and Paul-Joseph Aspuria, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in Karlan’s lab.

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Beth Y. Karlan, MD, and Linda Burnes Bolton, DrPH, RN, FAAN, have been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, one of healthcare’s highest honors.

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Julia Ljubimova, MD, PhD, director of the Nanomedicine Research Center in the Department of Neurosurgery and the Nanomedicine Program at the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, has received a career award from the Proteomass Scientific Society for achievements in translational medicine. She also has garnered a five-year, $2.8 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to advance her research of tumor nanoimmunology to treat cancers of the brain, breast, and lung.

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C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, received the 2016 Bernadine Healy Leadership in Women’s Cardiovascular Disease Award by the American College of Cardiology for her contributions to the profession. Bairey Merz is director of the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. She is a pioneer in investigating sex and gender differences in cardiovascular disease. The annual award is bestowed upon a fellow of the American College of Cardiology who has demonstrated leadership and accomplishment in the field of cardiovascular disease in women, exemplified by research, teaching, practice, or service.

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Rekha Murthy, MD, has been named vice president for Medical Affairs and associate chief medical officer. She succeeds Neil Romanoff, MD, who retired June 30 after 25 years at Cedars-Sinai. Murthy has served as medical director of the Department of Hospital Epidemiology for 21 years. She received the Ritz E. Heerman Memorial Award from the California Hospital Association for leadership in enhancing infection prevention and treatment statewide. She served as chair of the Hospital Acquired Infection Workgroup of the association’s Hospital Quality Institute and has led initiatives in hand-hygiene compliance, vaccination, and response to evolving Ebola-related regulations.

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Ueli Rutishauser, PhD, assistant professor of Neurosurgery and director of Human Neurophysiology Research, received the 2016 Memory and Cognitive Disorders Award from the McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience. The award, which supports innovative efforts to solve the problems of neurological and psychiatric diseases, will provide $300,000 over three years to fund Rutishauser’s research into mechanisms of memory disorders.

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Mark Vrahas, MD, has been named founding chair of the Cedars-Sinai Department of Orthopaedics. An expert in orthopedic trauma and pelvic surgery, he previously served as a professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School and vice chair for Population Health and OR Operations at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. He founded the Harvard Orthopedic Trauma Initiative to foster collaboration among services at Harvard-affiliated teaching hospitals. Vrahas completed medical school and residency at the University of Pittsburgh.

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Daniel Wallace, MD, professor of Medicine and associate director of the Rheumatology Fellowship Program, has been named a master of the American College of Rheumatology, among the organization’s highest honors.

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