The Cedars-Sinai Advanced Clinical Biosystems Research Institute at Smidt Heart Institute works with academic, industry and pharmaceutical partners to translate scientific findings into diagnostics and treatments for myriad diseases.
Major collaborative research projects include the Women's Ischemic Syndrome Evaluation study. Led by C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, this longstanding national study seeks to gain new insights into factors that contribute to heart disease in women. This collaboration utilizes the institute's technology to perform ultrasensitive assays for cardiac troponin, among other biomolecules, while simultaneously studying its disease-specific variants. The hope is these studies will lead to additional biochemical parameters with which to distinguish and potentially diagnose ischemic heart disease in women.
Another institute collaborator is Clive Svendsen, PhD, professor of biomedical sciences, director of the Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute, and the Kerry and Simone Vickar Family Foundation Distinguished Chair in Regenerative Medicine. This partnership is utilizing proteomics instruments to find protein biomarkers for these diseases in motor neurons generated from induced pluripotent stem cells. The hope is this study may help develop therapies for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and spinal muscular atrophy.
The institute is collaborating with Roberta Gottlieb, MD, director of molecular cardiobiology at the Smidt Heart Institute, co-director of the Metabolism and Mitochondrial Research Core, and the Dorothy and E. Phillip Lyon Chair in Molecular Cardiology in honor of Clarence M. Agress MD, to study protein biomarkers for mitophagy. The hypothesis is that this process may be impaired in patients with metabolic syndrome, explaining why they tend to heal more slowly from heart attacks. The project seeks to test a drug that possibly facilitates mitophagy and thus leads to the quicker healing of patients' damaged hearts.
Using mass spectrometry-based proteomics, the institute is collaborating with Michael Freeman, PhD, director of cancer biology and therapeutics research in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, to study signal transduction and biomarker discovery.
The American Heart Association chose the institute to be the joint recipient of a $2 million award for a study seeking to identify novel blood proteins that consistently predict cardiovascular risk across diverse patient cohorts.
The institute also is a cornerstone of the Cedars-Sinai Precision Health partnership. Jennifer Van Eyk, PhD, is co-director and Ian Wright, CBiol, is chief strategic officer of this new effort.