Cedars-Sinai International Stem Cell Research Institute to Open; Goal Is to Expedite Research from Bench to Bedside

Los Angeles - July, 17, 2006 - One of the world’s most prominent leaders in stem cell research and its application to disease has joined Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to co-direct the new Cedars-Sinai International Stem Cell Research Institute, which will hold opening ceremonies at Cedars-Sinai on Monday, July 17, at 5 p.m.

Developmental geneticist Nissim Benvenisty, M.D,. Ph.D., who is recognized worldwide for his discoveries and innovations in the development and modification of stem cells, will direct the new international institute with David I. Meyer, Ph.D., vice president of Research and Scientific Affairs at Cedars-Sinai.

The institute’s approach is unique as its scientists in Southern California will work collaboratively with researchers in the United States and other nations.  Results from research supported by the institute will be shared with Cedars-Sinai clinicians, allowing scientists to more quickly apply new knowledge of genetics and biology to subsequent studies that may benefit patients.  It is hoped that this streamlined “bench to bedside” approach to research will result in more effective treatments in cardiovascular medicine, neuroscience, oncology, surgery and transplantation.  

Cedars-Sinai scientists are already conducting more than a dozen studies involving adult stem cells in areas such as neurology and neurosurgery, cardiology, and connective tissues.

Dr. Benvenisty joins Cedars-Sinai as co-director of the International Stem Cell Research Institute. He will also maintain his position with The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Researchers in Israel have been at the forefront of stem cell science, in part because Jewish traditions related to the beginning of life permit work with embryonic stem cells.  Dr. Benvenisty will discuss the promise of embryonic stem cell research at the event, which begins at 5 p.m. at the Harvey Morse Auditorium, Plaza Level South Tower, Cedars-Sinai  Medical Center, 8700 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles.   Please park in Lots 1 or 2 for validation.

Additional speakers include:

  • Thomas M. Priselac, president and CEO, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
  • David I. Meyer, Ph.D., co-director, Cedars-Sinai International Stem Cell Research Institute
  • Keith Black, M.D., interim chair of the Department of Neurosurgery and director of the Cedars-Sinai Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute
  • Jeannie Fontana, M.D., Ph.D., President, SALSa, Inc. – Solutions for ALS Foundation
  • Shlomo Melmed, M.D., senior vice president for Academic Affairs and director of the Burns and Allen Research Institute at Cedars-Sinai