In the opening lecture, Shlomo Melmed, MB, ChB, executive vice president of Academic Affairs and dean of the Medical Faculty, said Cedars-Sinai excels in integrating academic and clinical missions, fostering innovation and reward, and impacting medicine and society.
He noted that the institution was ranked No. 8 overall in the "Best Hospitals 2019-20" analysis by the magazine U.S. News & World Report, which also listed it among the top 50 U.S. institutions in 12 specialties. Each year, faculty publish 2,600 publications, including in the highest-quality journals.
Among recent achievements of Cedars-Sinai investigators and the research enterprise:
- National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants to address the opioid epidemic.
- First to use a minimally invasive device to repair aortic aneurysms.
- Opened proteomics and genomics cores to facilitate multi-omics collaborations.
- $8 million in grants for a tissue regeneration technique developed at Cedars-Sinai to harness stem cells to regrow tissue damaged by trauma.
- Discovered a unique circulating biomarker for heart failure.
- $12 million NIH grant for research into idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and lung allograft dysfunction.
- Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute grant to study depressive symptoms in advanced heart failure.
- $10 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine for a clinical trial involving stem cells in retinitis pigmentosa.
Cedars-Sinai is growing on both the clinical and research fronts, Melmed added. The volumes of most organ transplant programs have increased by double digits in the last three years. Federal awards for research are up, topping $100 million yearly. Extensive new research and biomanufacturing facilities are opening this year.
For the future, Melmed said he sees Cedars-Sinai extending its vision and improving performance. Key goals include continuing to evolve its learning health system with accelerated discovery, research-grade clinical information and lower costs of knowledge generation.
On the second day of the conference, participants heard from two keynote speakers:
- Christine Porath, PhD, from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Porath, author of "Mastering Civility: A Manifesto for the Workplace," discussed how to define respectful behavior and the impact of working in a disrespectful culture—which can include employees cutting back on their efforts, missing work or even leaving their jobs. She said what people most want from their workplace leaders is respect.
- Timothy Robert B. Johnson, MD, professor and former chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Bates Professor of Diseases of Women and Children at the University of Michigan. Citing a National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report, he discussed how to define sexual harassment and its frequency. He cited data indicating that about half of women faculty and staff in academia may experience harassment, and that a fifth or more of students may experience such harassment from faculty, staff or patients. Sexual harassment can negatively impact not only the targets but also co-workers and the entire organization, Johnson explained. He recommended that the entire academic community be responsible for reducing and preventing all forms of workplace harassment.
Other topics at the conference, discussed extensively by faculty panels, included "Energizing Our Physician Scientists," "Conflicts of Interest," "Measurement of Physician Performance by RVUs," "Scaling Our Basic Science Efforts," and "Processes at Cedars-Sinai for Assuring a Healthy Workplace."