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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 …

In the cGMP facility space before construction. From left: Mohamed Abou-el-Enein; Tom Buchanan; Alan S. Wayne; Caryn Lerman; and Nikos Carli. (Photo/Sergio Bianco)

CHLA, Keck School, Keck Medicine and USC Norris partner on cell therapy program as construction on new facility begins

The essence of translational medicine is taking an idea from the drawing board and “translating” it into a real-world treatment that helps patients. The winding road of that process takes plenty of time, money and expertise, so it makes sense to place it all under one roof. USC and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) are …

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 …

Lung organoids

USC scientist Ya-Wen Chen receives American Lung Association grant to advance stem cell-based lung therapies

USC Stem Cell scientist Ya-Wen Chen hopes to pioneer a new approach to regenerating damaged lung tissue, with support from a Catalyst Grant from the American Lung Association (ALA). The award provides $50,000 year for up to two years. “For many patients with chronic lung diseases, the only available treatment is transplantation—a difficult, dangerous surgery …

Rekha Prakash

USC alumna Rekha Prakash brings biotech background to Roosevelt High School

As a LAUSD biotechnology instructor at Roosevelt High School, Rekha Prakash works two short miles from USC’s Health Sciences Campus, where she earned her master of science degree in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine in 2015. “I teach biomedical sciences,” she said. “It’s not a regular biology class. This is totally career technical education. …

USC Stem Cell scientist Amy Ryan studies diseases from cystic fibrosis to COVID-19

Scientist Amy Ryan has never lived according to a fixed plan. Instead, she has followed where life has led her—to a position as an assistant professor of medicine and stem cell biology and regenerative medicine at USC, studying lung diseases ranging from cystic fibrosis to COVID-19. Ryan’s original plan had little to do with lung …

Happy 10th Anniversary, BCC!

Happy 10th anniversary to USC’s stem cell research center

On October 29, 2010, we opened the doors of the Eli and Edythe Broad CIRM Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC. Today, on the 10th anniversary of the building’s grand opening, we reflect on a decade of progress in a celebratory video, featuring messages from everyone from USC President Carol Folt …

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 …

California’s biggest stem cell experiment: The impact of the stem cell ballot proposition at USC

In 2008, USC broke ground on an $80 million building dedicated solely to stem cell research and regenerative medicine. The plans called for a monolithic structure clad in black marble and reflective glass, rising five stories and enclosing nearly 90,000 square feet. When it was completed, the university had a stunning new contemporary research space …

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 …

Stem cells

USC’s stem cell master’s program awards new scholarships and welcomes its largest incoming class

This fall, USC’s master’s program in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine will be providing a remote learning experience for its largest incoming class to date. The incoming class of 46 students is a diverse group: the cohort is 63 percent female, 20 percent international, and includes both a physician and a rabbi. Six of …

Paula Cannon

Gene therapy research for HIV awarded $14.6 million NIH grant

An HIV research program led by scientists at USC and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has received a five-year, $14.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. The team is advancing a gene therapy approach to control the virus without the need for daily medicines. The program’s co-directors are Paula Cannon, PhD, Distinguished Professor …

Remote learning

USC Stem Cell’s high school program Zooms ahead

In late February 2020, 10 local high school juniors gathered at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC for the first meeting of a four-month hands-on learning experience, sponsored by the Amgen Foundation. Each of the 10 students had been nominated by a science teacher from an …

Ya-Wen Chen and Vishal Patel

The Baxter Foundation supports USC research on epilepsy and lung injury

The Donald E. and Delia B. Baxter Foundation is supporting innovative biomedical research at the Keck School of Medicine of USC by granting $100,000 awards to two assistant professors: Vishal Patel, MD, PhD, in the USC Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute (INI) and Ya-Wen Chen, PhD, in the USC Hastings Center for …

(Image courtesy of iStock)

Hunting for heart cells that can grow back after an injury

Hearts are tough organs. Over the course of a lifetime, they beat ever second of every day, keeping the entire body nourished with life-giving blood. But, even with all that stamina, heart tissue lacks the ability to regenerate after significant trauma like a heart attack. There are some heart cells that do have the ability …

SARS-CoV-2

USC Stem Cell scientists use “mini-lungs” and lung models to understand COVID-19

USC scientists are testing out experimental COVID-19 treatments on human “mini-lungs” and lung models, grown in the laboratory using stem cells. With names such as organoids and lung-chips, these simplified, lung-like structures are critically useful for studying infection and for screening large numbers of drug-like molecules to identify promising leads. Ya-Wen Chen—a new assistant professor …

ombuds

What is the USC Ombuds?

Stress levels are running high with a pandemic, global recession, and social injustice threatening livelihoods and lives. While the USC Office of the Ombuds can’t resolve the world’s woes, it can serve as a confidential, impartial, informal, and independent problem-solving resource for students, faculty and staff. The University Ombuds—Thomas Kosakowski at the Health Sciences Campus, …

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 …

Alec Fisher

Amid COVID-19 fears, USC Spirit Leader donates stem cells for leukemia patient

When Alec Fisher signed up as a potential bone marrow donor two years ago, he didn’t expect to hear back for a while, if at all — and certainly not in the middle of a pandemic. As someone who has had personal experiences with serious health issues, Fisher felt a calling to donate. When he …

Ya-Wen Chen

USC Stem Cell scientist Ya-Wen Chen grows miniature lungs with maximum potential

As the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus outbreak escalated into a pandemic, USC lung researcher Ya-Wen Chen expected to be spending a lot of time at home, sheltering in place. “At the beginning of the quarantine, I was going to focus on writing grants,” said Chen, who joined USC as an assistant professor of medicine, and stem cell …

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