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Latest News from Around the CTSA Program Network

Cedars-Sinai Smidt Heart Institute
Barbershop-Based Healthcare Study Lowers High Blood Pressure in African-American Men


Compared to other racial and ethnic groups, black men have a higher rate of hypertension and are less likely to use medication to bring their blood pressure under control. So Dr. Ronald Victor of Cedars-Sinai and colleagues developed and tested an intervention that brought blood-pressure treatment to 52 black-owned, Los Angeles barbershops. More than 63% of men who received prescriptions from pharmacists lowered their blood pressure to healthy levels within six months. The findings were published  in The New England Journal of Medicine and presented as Late-Breaking Clinical Trial at the American College of Cardiology's 67th Annual Scientific Session and Expo in Orlando, Florida.

April 23, 2018

Discovery of four subtypes of melanoma points to new treatment approaches


Melanoma, a relatively rare but deadly skin cancer, has been shown to switch differentiation states -- that is, to regress to an earlier stage of development -- which can lead it to become resistant to treatment. Now, UCLA researchers led by Dr. Thomas Graeber have found that melanomas can be divided into four distinct subtypes according to their stages of differentiation. Cell subtypes that de-differentiated -- meaning they reverted back to a less-mature cell -- showed sensitivity to a type of self-inflicted cell death called ferroptosis.

The research also showed that certain subtypes of melanoma cells could be successfully treated using multiple therapies in combination with ferroptosis-inducing drugs. 

April 23, 2018

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Scientists Re-Create Brain Neurons to Study Obesity and Personalize Treatment


Scientists have re-created brain neurons of obese patients using "disease in a dish" technology, offering a new method to study the brain's role in obesity and possibly help tailor treatments to specific individuals.

The technology is the first step in developing a great platform that potentially could be used to evaluate the effects of experimental therapeutics on specific patients, according to Dhruv Sareen, PhD, assistant professor at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, a partner institutuion in the UCLA CTSI.  "Ultimately," Sareen said, "we are paving the way for personalized medicine, in which drugs could be customized for obese patients with different genetic backgrounds and disease statuses.”

April 23, 2018

Program invests in early-stage translational science researchers

Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute

Researchers of cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder, staph infections in babies, health behavior choices in sexual minority college students, high blood pressure management in African Americans, proactive sexually transmitted infection testing, and the brain’s role in determining a smoker’s flavor preference will receive dedicated time to advance their work through a Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute program that invests in early-career faculty. The institute’s KL2 Scholars Program gives researchers establishing themselves in their fields dedicated time to help their findings benefit human health more quickly while becoming successful, independent translational scientists.

The 2018 scholars started in January after a competitive application process and are part of the program for up to three years. This year’s scholars are Oluwamuyiwa Winifred AdebayoYendelela CuffeeJessica EricsonSteffany FredmanChandrika GowdaAndrea HobkirkCara Rice and Kathleen Sturgeon.

April 13, 2018

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