LA Biomed Research Lab rendering.

LA Biomed Research Lab rendering.

USC has revamped its neurosurgery residency program with an eye on reducing brain-surgeon burnout.

This year’s 19 new neurosurgery residents were able to choose their mentors – considered crucial to completing a residency – and assigned backup mentors.

Doctors training to become brain surgeons often put in 80-hour weeks with hospital shifts of up to 28 hours straight. Burnout is a common side-effect on the residents, according to a nationwide study by the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

Nearly seven out of 10 residents reported burnout at some point in seven-year training programs across the nation – more than twice the rate of American workers as a whole.

Burnout can mean emotional exhaustion, an inability to connect with others, a lack of feeling toward patients and a nagging feeling of incompetence, according to one measure used in the study.

“As a patient, you don’t want your doctor to be depressed or demoralized when they’re working on you, because they’re not their best self,” said study author Dr. Frank Attenello, assistant professor of clinical neurological surgery at the Keck School, in a statement. “And as a society, we don’t want to discourage people from becoming neurosurgeons.”

L.A. BioMed Raises Roof

LA BioMed has topped off its $63 million biotechnology research lab development with a roof.

The four-story lab and incubator for biotech spinoffs, expected to open in December, will be a 78,000-square-foot biotech magnet in Torrance’s bioscience hub.

The angular, glass tower will include an 18,000-square-foot bioscience incubator for more than two dozen LA BioMed spinoffs and outside startups.

“This is a major milestone in Los Angeles County’s ongoing efforts to promote the bioscience industry,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, in a statement.

The incubator was funded in part by a combined $6 million given by the county and philanthropists Melanie and Richard Lundquist.

L.A. County is poised to sign an exclusive agreement with the nonprofit biomedical research agency to open a 15-acre biotech park for larger companies.

Similar efforts are now taking shape to encourage early stage-startups in L.A.’s $40 billion biotech industry.

Cal State University Los Angeles is finishing a $12 million 20,000-square-foot L.A. BioSpace Incubator expected to open this fall.

In El Sereno, developers Allan Glass and Howard Kozloff have ripped the roof off of an old wood-turning factory to create a $6 million, 22,000-square-foot Hatch BioScience Labs expected to open this year.

OneLegacy Recovery Center

OneLegacy, the nation’s largest nonprofit organ procurement organization, announced this month it opened in Redlands the state’s first dedicated transplant recovery center. Another is planned for Los Angeles County

“Repeated studies have shown that donor organ recovery performed at a dedicated facility improves donation outcomes while reducing costs,” said Prasad Garimella, chief operating officer for the 41-year-old downtown-based OneLegacy, in a statement.

The new 40,000-square-foot center will enable more rapid organ recovery and transplantation while freeing up hospital ICU and operating rooms for emergency patients, she said.

Industry Loss

Roberts “Bob” Smith, a pioneer in the development of the biochemistry department at UCLA, has died. He was 89.

Smith, a professor emeritus, served the university from 1958 until he retired in 1987.

The Canadian-born scientist was renowned for his cancer research, and was instrumental in the anti-viral drug ribavirin.

New Hires

Cancer and diabetes treatment and research center City of Hope, has appointed new chief financial and digital officers.

Jennifer Parkhurst, a recent partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers in San Francisco, will serve as chief financial officer for the Duarte hospital.

Mark Hulse will serve as the hospital’s first chief digital officer.

Staff reporter Dana Bartholomew can be reached at dbartholomew@labusinessjournal.com.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.