News Release

Cedars-Sinai heart experts elected to lead, join prominent medical societies

Susan Cheng, MD, elected to American Society for Clinical Investigation Council, while Eugenio Cingolani, MD, and Damini Dey, PhD, are chosen for membership in prestigious medical organizations

Grant and Award Announcement

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Two Smidt Heart Institute experts have been honored for their contributions to medical research by being inducted into select medical societies, while a third expert has been selected for a leadership position.

Cardiologist, echocardiographer and clinician-scientist Susan Cheng, MD, director of Cardiovascular Population Sciences in the Smidt Heart Institute and the Erika J. Glazer Chair in Women’s Cardiovascular Health and Population Science, has been elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) Council. ASCI is regarded as the most prestigious honorary society in internal medicine, and Cheng is one of only two U.S. physicians elected to the council this year.

Cheng leads research programs aimed at uncovering drivers of cardiovascular aging in women and men, why the sexes experience the aging process differently, and how aging leads to different types of heart disease.

“I’m honored to serve the organization in this capacity,” said Cheng, whose term begins April 21,“and I’m particularly eager to represent Cedars-Sinai on the council as well as to continue my work in the study of sex differences in cardiovascular pathophysiology and disease.”

The society also inducted cardiac electrophysiologist Eugenio Cingolani, MD, director of the Cardiogenetics Program at the Smidt Heart Institute, for outstanding achievement in academic medicine.

Cingolani, whose most recently published study explored how to create biological pacemakers by reprogramming heart cells to make them beat spontaneously, is among the society’s 100 new active and international members from 49 institutions. Cingolani and his peers will be inducted into the society during a special ceremony Friday, April 21, in Chicago at a joint meeting with the Association of American Physicians and the American Physician Scientists Association.

The American Society for Clinical Investigation is a nonprofit medical honor society comprising more than 3,000 physician-scientists from all medical specialties. The society is dedicated to advancing research that extends understanding of diseases and improves treatment; members are committed to mentoring future generations of physician-scientists.

Founded in 1908, the organization is one of the nation’s oldest medical honor societies and is among the few focused on the special role of physician-scientists in research, clinical care and medical education, as well as leadership positions in academic medicine and the life sciences industry.

“Improving heart health through novel research and treatment protocols is among my greatest passions,” said Cingolani, also an associate professor of Cardiology and director of Preclinical Research at Smidt Heart Institute, “and recognition for that from the ASCI is a career highlight.”

Damini Dey, PhD, director of the Quantitative Image Analysis Program in the Biomedical Imaging Research Institute at Cedars-Sinai, has been inducted into the 2023 Class of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows—a recognition that is reserved for the top 2% of medical and biological engineers.  

Dey, professor of Biomedical Sciences at Cedars-Sinai and co-associate director of the Biomedical Imaging Research Institute, was nominated, reviewed and elected by peers and members of the AIMBE College of Fellows for her pioneering contributions in artificial intelligence analysis of cardiac images to predict and prevent heart attacks. Dey was formally inducted March 27 in Arlington, Virginia, as part of the group’s annual meeting.

The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering College of Fellows honors those who have made outstanding contributions to “engineering and medicine research, practice or education” and to “the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of medical and biological engineering or developing/implementing innovative approaches to bioengineering education.”

“What an incredible honor to receive this recognition,” Dey said. “I’ve always been impressed by the mission of the organization, in particular its commitment to accelerating medical and biological innovation. I look forward to continuing my research emphasis on AI and machine learning in cardiac imaging to predict heart attack risk and to precisely quantify the effect of prevention strategies.”

Dey is among 140 colleagues who make up the AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2023. Inductees have previously included Nobel Prize laureates and Presidential Medal of Science and/or Technology and Innovation recipients.

“My congratulations to Dr. Cheng, Dr. Cingolani and Dr. Dey on receiving such prestigious acknowledgement from two highly regarded organizations on their incredible clinical and research contributions to our understanding, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cardiovascular diseases,” said Jeffrey Golden, MD, vice dean of Research and Graduate Education and director of the Burns and Allen Research Institute at Cedars-Sinai. “The recognition is admirable, as is their commitment to advancements in heart health.”

The Smidt Heart Institute is ranked #1 in California and #3 in the nation for Cardiology & Heart Surgery in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals 2022-23.” 

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