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Class of 2020

Meet three students from USC’s master’s program in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine

The 34 students in USC’s master’s program in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine have at least two things in common. First, they’re smart, with an average incoming GPA of 3.4. And second, they all seemed to enjoy the boba tea served at this year’s Student Orientation at the Eli and Edythe Broad CIRM Center …

USC Stem Cell scientist Rong Lu named Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Scholar

Why do some leukemia patients have more aggressive disease, and why do some of their cancer cells resist treatment? USC Stem Cell scientist Rong Lu is tackling these critical questions with $550,000 of support from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Career Development Program. The program is designed to support talented blood cancer researchers in the …

A recent study of bird feather evolution offers promising implications for advances in medical technology. (Photo/Shao Huan Lang)

Study examining the evolution of feathers shows potential for medical applications

New research from an international team led by USC scientists set out to learn how feathers developed and helped birds spread across the world. Flight feathers, in particular, are masterpieces of propulsion and adaptation, helping penguins swim, eagles soar and hummingbirds hover. Despite such diversity, the feather shares a common core design: a one-style-fits-all model …

Assistant Professor Eun Ji Chung, the Dr. Karl Jacob Jr. and Karl Jacob III Early-Career Chair. (Image/Hugh Kretschmer)

Lighting up cardiovascular problems using nanoparticles

Heart disease and stroke are the world’s two most deadly diseases, causing over 15 million deaths in 2016 according to the World Health Organization. A key underlying factor in both of these global health crises is the common condition, atherosclerosis, or the build-up of fatty deposits, inflammation and plaque on the walls of blood vessels. …

Frank Petrigliano, MD, and Denis Evseenko, MD, PhD, have been collaborating on medical innovations to help heal and even regenerate damaged joints. (Photo/Ricardo Carrasco III)

Sports medicine innovations are helping weekend warriors stay in the game

Call them recreational athletes. Couch-to-5K joggers. Weekend warriors. Whichever name you use, they’re the ones who wait all week to hit the soccer field, basketball court or running trail on Saturday morning. They’re up at 5 a.m. for a long run before work or playing softball until the lights switch off at night. They might not …

Humayun (pictured) was featured with Kashani for their innovations in sight restoration in a recent episode of Voice of America's "VOA/TEK." (Photo/Episode Still)

Researchers featured on “VOA/TEK” for their innovations in eyesight restoration

Voice of America’s “VOA/TEK,” a news program dedicated to highlighting cutting-edge technologies and medical breakthroughs, recently featured Mark Humayun, MD, PhD, University Professor of Ophthamology at the Keck School of Medicine and co-director of the USC Gayle and Edward Roski Eye Institute, and Amir Kashani, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Clinical Ophthalmology at the Keck …

USC finds new routes to industry engagement and funding

Story courtesy of In-Part Over the last year, Dr. Qing Liu-Michael, Program Director at USC Stem Cell and the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at the University of Southern California (USC), has been using IN-PART’s Discover service to find new streams of collaboration with companies proactively seeking academic …

Justin Ichida‘s lab is doing groundbreaking work in the field of stem cell research. (Photo/Damon Casarez)

His race against ALS: Justin Ichida

Story courtesy of Trojan Family Magazine Justin Ichida regularly gets emails from strangers asking the same urgent question: “Will your research on ALS be done in time to save my life?” The emails are a constant reminder that he’s in a race against time. “I don’t really know them, but they tell me their whole …

Janet Oldak

Oldak named Fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science

Professor Janet Oldak has been selected as a Fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The prestigious honor is bestowed upon members through nominations by their AAAS peers. Oldak has been selected for her outstanding contributions to molecular mechanisms in biomineralization, assembly and function of inherently disordered matrix proteins for development …

Stem cell scientists reveal key differences in male, female kidney

USC researchers have completed a detailed deconstruction of the kidney, revealing for the first time an intimate portrait of sexual differences and more in the organ. The findings could benefit 37 million Americans suffering from kidney disease by helping to distinguish how it affects men and women differently. They can help doctors pinpoint genes linked …

At the heart of regeneration: Scientists reveal a new frontier in cardiac research

Story courtesy of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles One of the reasons coronary heart disease is so deadly is that fluid build-up and scarring can develop in the heart tissue. This prevents the heart from contracting properly, impacting its ability to supply the body with fresh blood. If scarring is extensive, heart failure can result. “We’re …

Development of brain metastasis is a complex process in which metastatic cells (green) overcome the protective effect of immune cells (red). (Image/Yu Lab, USC Stem Cell)

Research reveals why breast cancer spreads to the brain

USC researchers have determined how cancer cells target certain organs, which could help develop treatments to slow or stop the disease from spreading. Most cancers kill because tumor cells spread beyond the primary site to invade other organs. Now, a USC study of brain-invading breast cancer cells circulating in the blood reveals they have a …

Breast cancer cells. Image/Wikimedia Commons

Keyue Shen to lead ongoing research initiative into cancer metastasis

Cancer is the world’s second leading cause of mortality. According to the World Health Organization, it was responsible for around 9.6 million deaths in 2018. Yet over 90 percent of cancer deaths are not caused by the original tumor or disease. They are instead caused by the processes of metastasis; the spread of cancer or …

As dry AMD progresses, patients perceive a dark spot obscuring the center of their vision. (Image/National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health)

New grant backs development of treatment for dry age-related macular degeneration

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) recently awarded $3.73 million to Mark Humayun, MD, PhD, University Professor of Ophthalmology, Cornelius J. Pings Chair in Biomedical Sciences, director of the USC Dr. Allen and Charlotte Ginsburg Institute for Biomedical Therapeutics, and co-director of the USC Roski Eye Institute. The funding will support researchers at the …

Researchers at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles have made a critical advance in the field of lung research by looking at how the human lung develops at the single cell level. (Illustration/Shutterstock)

Researchers focus on lung development at its origins

The invention of interactive map applications has revolutionized wayfinding, providing an unprecedented level of information far beyond what printed road maps can offer. Researchers at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) are giving us a similar look into the anatomy of the human lung, and their findings could help babies breathe easier. Infants born prematurely often …

(Shutterstock)

USC researchers tackle a growing problem: Dental implant disease

More than 3 million dental implants have been placed in the mouths of U.S. patients, and that number rises by 500,000 each year. While implants help many people restore their oral health, they come at a cost. Nearly 15 percent of patients with implants develop peri-implantitis, an infectious disease that triggers an immune response of …

Photo of Ebony Flowers

Ebony Flowers named Choi Family Postdoctoral Fellow at USC Stem Cell

For Ebony Flowers, a postdoctoral fellow in the USC Stem Cell laboratory of Min Yu, doing science is ultimately about helping patients. “The fact that Min Yu’s Lab is looking at actual human samples from breast cancer patients, and I’m looking to see how this process of metastasis occurs in humans is appealing. You can …

Yong (Tiger) Zhang, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences at the USC School of Pharmacy, was awarded a three-year, $990,000 New Investigator Award by Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP) of California. (Photo by Isaac Mora)

$990,000 New Investigator grant awarded to Yong (Tiger) Zhang

Yong (Tiger) Zhang, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences at the USC School of Pharmacy, was awarded a three-year, $990,000 New Investigator Award by Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP) of California. His project is titled “Novel Immunotherapeutics for Cigarette-Smoking Associated Acute Myeloid Leukemia.” Funding for the grant comes from the California Healthcare, Research …

Broad CIRM Center

Request for Proposals: Broad Innovation Awards for Collaborative Research Teams

Computational Biology and Single Cell Approaches to Stem Cell Systems Through the generous support of the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, we are pleased to announce a new collaborative research initiative in Computational Biology and Single Cell Approaches to Stem Cell Systems. The goal of funding is to seed new collaborative projects with the expectation …

Breakthrough in testosterone-producing cells could lead to treatment for “low T”

USC researchers have successfully grown human, testosterone-producing cells in the lab, paving the way to someday treat low testosterone with personalized replacement cells. In Monday’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists describe how they transformed stem cells into functioning Leydig cells — the cells in the testes that produce the male sex hormone. “Our …

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