Newswise — LOS ANGELES (March 19, 2014) – Prominent proteomic and cardiac scientist Jennifer Van Eyk, PhD, has been named the inaugural director of Cedars-Sinai’s Advanced Clinical Biosystems Research Institute.
Van Eyk also will lead basic research at Cedars-Sinai’s Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center aimed at unlocking the mysteries of gender differences in heart disease.
Widely regarded as a leader in the field of proteomics – the study of proteins, their structures and functions – Van Eyk joins Cedars-Sinai from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where her laboratory carried out mechanistic research and developed clinical tests to determine whether certain proteins were found in patients’ blood samples. Evidence of proteins common to specific diseases can help physicians determine diagnoses and effective treatments.
“Professor Jennifer Van Eyk has brought together a world-class team which combines an acute understanding of the basic cellular mechanisms of heart disease with expertise from clinicians,” said Shlomo Melmed, MD, dean of the Cedars-Sinai faculty and the Helene A. and Philip E. Hixon Distinguished Chair in Investigative Medicine. “Her leadership in speedily and safely bringing innovations from primary research to the patients who need it most will be key in developing tomorrow’s leading edge treatments and diagnostic tools.”
Van Eyk is best known for developing a number of lab tests to determine the presence of certain proteins or amino acids in patients’ blood, which could indicate whether patients have experienced a heart attack or have heart disease.
C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, director of the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center in the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, said Van Eyk, the augural Erika J. Glazer chair in Women’s Heart Health, will be instrumental in detecting cellular differences between men and women.
“We are at the very beginning of understanding that men and women experience different symptoms and causes of heart disease,” said Bairey Merz, the Women's Guild Chair in Women's Health. “Those differences begin at the molecular level, so that is where Dr. Van Eyk will lead us in our quest to unlock the mysteries of gender differences in medicine.”
Van Eyk earned her Bachelor of Science degree in biology and chemistry at the University of Waterloo, Canada and her doctorate in biochemistry at the University of Alberta, Edmonton. During her directorship of the Johns Hopkins National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Proteomics Center, a National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Proteomics Center located at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Van Eyk also served as director of the Bayview Proteomics Group and as professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology in Biological Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering. In addition to publishing numerous research articles on her work, Van Eyk has co-edited books on clinical proteomics, including “Clinical Proteomics: From Diagnosis to Therapy” and “Proteomic and Genomic Analysis of Cardiovascular Disease.”
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