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USC and CHLA awarded $8 million to expand access to cell and gene therapy clinical trials

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the state’s stem cell agency, has awarded a five-year, $8 million grant to the Keck School of Medicine of USC and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). …

Justin Ichida (left) and Zhongwei Li (Photos by Chris Shinn and courtesy of Zhongwei Li)

USC Stem Cell scientists Justin Ichida and Zhongwei Li receive NIH Director’s Awards

It’s hard to obtain research funding for safe ideas, and it’s even harder to find funding for risky ones. But thanks to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s Awards, USC Stem …

A cell showing the enzyme BirA*G3, which tags the proteins of the "secretome" (Image courtesy of the McMahon Lab)

This mouse can’t keep a secret about the “secretome”

The “secretome” refers to proteins that are secreted by a cell, a tissue or an organism. In a new study published in Open Biology, USC Stem Cell scientist Andy McMahon and his …

Human cystic kidney organoid (Image by Cheng (Jack) Song/McMahon Lab)

USC Stem Cell scientists use mini-kidney models to identify potential drugs for polycystic kidney disease

In a new study in Cell Stem Cell, scientists from the USC laboratory of Andy McMahon generated simple kidney-like structures called organoids, and used them to identify potential drugs to treat adult-onset …

Detail of brain from Mukund Iyer's first place winning entry (Image by Mukund Iyer)

Communicating science visually: Mukund Iyer, MaryAnne Achieng and Stephanie Chang win the 2022 Winter BioRender contest

For his graphic on immune cell function in the brain, Mukund Iyer took first place in the Winter 2021 BioRender Illustration competition for his schematic of breast cancer cells’ entry through the …

Clockwise from top left, Miao Cui, Yulia Shwartz, Olena Zhulyn, and Kyle McCracken

Stem cell scientists explore the mysteries of regeneration at the Junior Faculty Candidate Seminar and Symposium

How can we regenerate tissues that are damaged, lost or diseased in the human body? This was the central question driving the four scientists who presented their research at the Junior Faculty …

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 …

Illustration by Jonathan Haase

Cycles of a fasting-mimicking diet help mice live longer, healthier

While many diets have been studied for effectiveness in preventing obesity and heart disease in both mice and humans, research on the effects and benefits of short, periodic cycles of fasting on obesity and heart health are lacking. In a new USC study on the health effects of a low-calorie diet that mimics …

Bérénice Benayoun (Photo courtesy of the USC Davis School of Gerontology)

Bérénice Benayoun receives prestigious investigator-focused grant

The Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award directly supports scientists, providing stability, flexibility and more opportunities for breakthroughs. The National Institute of General Medical Sciences has awarded an R35 Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) …

By superimposing images of several of the kidney’s filtering units, known as nephrons, researchers can visualize how little these structures deviate from a stereotypical developmental trajectory.

USC-led study traces the blueprints for how human kidneys form their filtering units

When it comes to building a kidney, only nature possesses the complete set of blueprints. But a USC-led team of scientists has managed to borrow some of nature’s pages through a comprehensive …

(Image courtesy of iStock)

Top scientists and research institutions propose improvements to cell- and gene-based therapy development

Led by a USC cell and gene therapy researcher, an international coalition calls for more transparency and reproducibility in research and development of breakthrough treatments.   Scientists around the world are achieving significant …

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 …

Megan McCain and family

USC Professor Megan McCain crafts an approach to tissue engineering

Megan McCain has always liked using her hands to create things, ranging from art projects to human heart cells that grow on silicon chips. “I’ve always loved building things and doing crafts, …

Bérénice Benayoun (Photo courtesy of the USC Davis School of Gerontology)

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 …

A mouse kidney one month after acute injury. Cells that proliferated in response to the injury are shown in green. (Image by Louisa M. S. Gerhardt/McMahon Lab)

The same cell type can help or hinder repair after acute kidney injury

The USC Stem Cell laboratory of Andy McMahon has identified a type of injured cell that might contribute to the transition from an acute kidney injury to chronic kidney disease, as described …

kidney organoid

USC Stem Cell scientists make big progress in building mini-kidneys

A team of scientists at the Keck School of Medicine of USC has created what could be a key building block for assembling a synthetic kidney. In a new study in Nature …

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 …

Impromptu McMahon lab meeting

USC Stem Cell study identifies molecular “switch” that turns precursors into kidney cells

Kidney development is a balancing act between the self-renewal of stem and progenitor cells to maintain and expand their numbers, and the differentiation of these cells into more specialized cell types. In …

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 …

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 …