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California’s stem cell agency awards USC $5 million to train scientists and clinicians

USC has been awarded a $5 million training grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to prepare PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, and clinical fellows for careers in stem cell research. CIRM also approved 17 other training programs at universities and clinical facilities across California, including one at USC-affiliated Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). …

Impromptu McMahon lab meeting

USC Stem Cell: An incubator for medicine of the 21st century

Just over a decade ago, USC was a university with a few scattered stem cell biologists, and a vision for total transformation. The university was committed to designing a unique “incubator” for researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and beyond to collaborate and leverage the transformative power of stem cells to develop …

Scott Fraser by Noe Montes

USC Professor Scott E. Fraser redefines impossible problems

USC Professor Scott E. Fraser is known for inventing new microscopes and other tools to observe living, developing embryos. But one of his lab’s most important pieces of technology filters coffee instead of light: it’s a restaurant-quality Espresso machine. “I wanted to make a place where people would come to steal coffee,” he said. “And …

Bérénice Benayoun receives GSA Nathan Shock New Investigator Award

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA)—the nation’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging—has chosen Assistant Professor Bérénice Benayoun of the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology as the 2021 recipient of the Nathan Shock New Investigator Award. The distinguished honor is given for outstanding contributions to new knowledge about aging through basic …

Unmesh Jadhav and Kimberly Gokoffski

The Baxter Foundation advances USC research on optic nerve disease and colorectal cancer

For over 60 years, the Donald E. and Delia B. Baxter Foundation has supported innovative biomedical research at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, each year granting $100,000 awards to two faculty members. This year, the Baxter Foundation awarded Kimberly Gokoffski, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology at the USC Roski Eye Institute, …

Leonardo Morsut

USC Stem Cell scientist Leonardo Morsut awarded $2.5 million NIH grant to explore “synthetic” embryonic development

Whether in an earthworm or a human being, developmental processes are driven by complex networks of genetically-encoded signals that enable cells to take cues from each other and their environment. To begin unraveling this complexity, USC Stem Cell scientist Leonardo Morsut is designing artificial genetic programs to perturb natural signaling networks and study how this …

Xi Chen

For USC scientist Xi Chen, a chicken is more than just an egg’s way of making another egg

USC postdoctoral researcher Xi Chen knows that you have to break a few eggs in order to grow chicken stem cells. His work on maintaining embryonic stem cells (ESC) from chicken eggs provides insight into stem cell pluripotency and evolutionary developmental biology. “The choice of beginning with fertilized chicken eggs was critical to the success …

Osteoblasts

Broad Clinical Fellows take a stem cell-based approach to liver disease and bone loss

This year’s Broad Clinical Research Fellows are developing stem cell-based approaches for patients of all ages—from two-week-old infants with liver disease, to senior citizens with bone loss following joint replacement surgeries. Since 2015, the Broad Clinical Research Fellowships have enabled physician-scientists at USC, UCLA and the University of California, San Francisco, to engage in one …

Senta in the lab

Can COVID-19 cause diabetes?

Can the novel coronavirus—SARS-CoV-2—cause diabetes? No one knows, but Senta Georgia, PhD, is trying to find out. Dr. Georgia, an investigator in The Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, recently received a $100,000 peer-reviewed grant from the American Diabetes Association to examine the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on pancreatic beta cells (cells in the …

liver image

A high-tech look at rejection in pediatric liver transplants

Surgeon-scientist Juliet Emamaullee, MD, PhD, spends much of her time seeing patients and performing pediatric liver transplants at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. But you’ll also find her in the lab—studying how to make those new livers last longer in children. “About half of the kids we transplant are transplanted before the age of 2,” explains …

Tracy Grikscheit

USC pediatric surgeon aims to heal infants using stem cells

Tracy Grikscheit helps babies with digestive disorders. Stem cells could help her develop life-changing treatments. It’s an instinct many surgeons have: Whatever you have to remove, replace it with something better. Something that helps. Tracy Grikscheit hopes to get there one day with the tiny patients she serves. Grikscheit is a principal investigator at USC …

D. Brent Polk

Treatment for Inflammatory bowel disease doesn’t always work; new study uncovers why

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) affects more than 70,000 children in the United States and the prevalence is rising. In fact, 25% of the 3.1 million individuals with IBD present before 21 years of age. There is no cure for IBD, and treatment often includes medication to block a molecule that causes inflammation in the intestines …

Fraser by Noe Montes

USC biological imaging innovator elected to National Academy of Medicine

Scott Fraser, Provost Professor of Biological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Physiology and Biophysics, Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Pediatrics, Radiology and Ophthalmology, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine. Fraser, who holds joint appointments at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and USC Viterbi School of Engineering as well as …

Scott E. Fraser

USC’s Scott E. Fraser elected to National Academy of Medicine

USC biophysicist Scott E. Fraser, PhD, has as been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the organization announced Monday. He’s among 100 new members of the Academy. “For integrating biophysics, quantitative biology, and molecular imaging to enable unprecedented views of normal function and disease in live organisms, from embryonic development to old age,” the …

diabetes

Treating type 2 diabetes in youth

The occurrence of Type 2 diabetes in youth is increasing, yet the ability to control the disease by regulating blood glucose levels has proven difficult for this age group. A study published in the journal Pediatric Diabetes by investigators at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles found that patients who lost weight in the first year following …

fasting and breast cancer

Studies suggest a fasting diet could boost breast cancer therapy

A USC-led team of scientists has found that a fasting-mimicking diet combined with hormone therapy has the potential to help treat breast cancer, according to newly published animal studies and small clinical trials in humans. In studies on mice and in two small breast cancer clinical trials, researchers at USC and the IFOM Cancer Institute …

Men are from Mars

New award supports study of why females age differently than males

A new research project led by USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology Assistant Professor Bérénice Benayoun aims to learn more about why female mammals, including humans, age differently than males. Sex dimorphism – physiological characteristics that differ between the sexes in a species – can have big implications for health and lifespan. Human longevity differs …

Hirschsprung’s Disease

Growing nerve cells in the gut

The human body has what is sometimes called a “second brain” in the digestive tract. The enteric nervous system (ENS) performs many vital functions, including coordinating the movement of food to allow the body to absorb nutrients. When babies are born with an incomplete or absent ENS, their prognosis is extremely serious. In a new …

Oranges

Fasting plus vitamin C proves effective for hard-to-treat cancers

Scientists from USC and the IFOM Cancer Institute in Milan have found that a fasting-mimicking diet could be more effective at treating some types of cancer when combined with vitamin C. In multiple studies on mice, researchers found that the combination delayed tumor progression in multiple mouse models of colorectal cancer; in some mice, it caused …

Long Cai

The Broad Foundation brings together stem cell scientists, engineers and physicians at USC and beyond

Developing new stem cell therapies requires more than a solo biologist having a eureka moment alone in the lab. Real progress relies on collaborations between biologists, engineers and physicians. That’s why The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation has continued its support of two strategic initiatives: innovation awards bringing together teams of engineers and scientists from …

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