Possessing more than 900 active projects, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is one of the United States’ leading organizations for clinical and medical research. Pioneering scientists from around the country and the world visit Cedars-Sinai and its diverse array of laboratories, institutes, and research groups to push the boundaries of medical knowledge and break new ground with innovative treatments and therapies. Following are some of the most important research focus areas at Cedars-Sinai.
At Cedars-Sinai’s Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, the core mission is to find new and innovative ways to quickly translate research discoveries into patient therapies that are safe and effective. Through a wide variety of clinical experiments in fields such as blood cell development, stem cells, gene cloning, cancer biology, and population science, Cedars-Sinai cancer research teams are seeking more effective methods to diagnose, treat, and prevent many types of cancer.
Diabetes and obesity
Over the last few decades, the rate of obesity in the United States have risen to alarmingly high levels. This is a problematic trend because obesity is coupled with many other chronic conditions—including hypertension, heart disease, and some types of cancer—in addition to being a major risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes. Indeed, investigators at the Cedars-Sinai Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute were among the first to recognize and demonstrate the close relationship between obesity and diabetes. Today, researchers at this institute use an integrated, four-pillar approach to their work on these conditions, focusing equally on detection, prevention, treatment, and the search for a cure.
Focused on a number of different subspecialty areas, including inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatobiliary, and hepatology, Cedars-Sinai’s digestive diseases research unit adheres to the philosophy that sound clinical research is the best way to accelerate effective patient care. Researchers in this unit work together with federally funded research bodies, as well as with players in the biotechnology, medical device, and pharmaceutical industries, to develop essential new products and technologies in order to deliver precise and personalized care across a spectrum of digestive diseases.
Under the umbrella of Cedars-Sinai’s Smidt Heart Institute, cardiac researchers investigate fundamental questions relating to molecular biology, physiology, pharmacology, and biochemistry in order to understand the root causes of complex diseases of the heart and to develop therapeutics to treat them. A broad array of focus areas are under investigation by the institute’s research teams, including the potential of cardiac stem cell therapy, new strategies and techniques to detect and treat transplant rejection, the prevention of sudden cardiac arrest, how gender differences impact the development of heart disease, and the creation of next-generation devices that offer mechanical circulatory support.
Successful medical diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes greatly depend on effective imaging techniques. Encompassing the fields of radiology (which covers ultrasounds, X-rays, and MRI scans, among others), nuclear medicine (which uses radioactive tracers to display details of the body’s physiology, metabolism, and molecular function), and optical imaging (which can display the cellular structural information of most hollow organs), the Biomedical Imaging Research Institute at Cedars-Sinai brings together prominent scientists and physicians from multiple medical specialties to develop novel imaging techniques and integrate them into the clinical setting.
Neurological diseases are among the most complex and cutting-edge areas in contemporary medical research. Cedars-Sinai’s world-class neurological research teams are exploring a range of conditions and working to make scientific discoveries that will improve treatment and patient outcomes. Specific projects underway include the investigation of early diagnostic markers for Alzheimer’s disease; the identification of safer and more effective treatments for brain aneurysms; the development of cellular therapies to treat malignant and benign brain tumors; and the study of how the neural mechanisms of learning, memory, and decision-making function differently in people with epilepsy, movement disorders, and autism.
The Cedars-Sinai Lung Institute is comprised of world-class researchers across multiple disciplines who share the common goal of understanding the mechanisms that underlie and cause various lung diseases, and translating that understanding into improved patient care and outcomes. Specific pulmonary diseases that researchers are investigating include acute respiratory distress syndrome, pulmonary hypertension, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and lung transplantation and lung infection. To optimize its work, the Lung Institute takes a bench-to-bedside approach that spans the full research spectrum and offers an effective way to explore basic disease mechanisms, develop and implement new diagnostic modalities, and test innovative therapies.
Focused on areas such as breast and ovarian cancer, maternal-fetal medicine, reproductive endocrinology, fertility, and women’s heart disease, Cedars-Sinai is at the forefront of translational research aimed at improving women’s health. Some important innovations that Cedars-Sinai has pioneered in this field include the development of Maternal Quality of Care Indicators, the creation of personalized therapeutic approaches that offer targeted treatment of gynecologic and breast cancers, and the establishment of a bio-repository for chorionic villa sampling procedures that allow researchers to investigate the origins of diseases that affect babies and mothers in early pregnancy.