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DNA (Image by Christoph Bock/Max Planck Institute for Informatics)

How to rewind the clock on arthritic cartilage … stat!

A new study in Aging Cell describes how a key protein, called Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3 (STAT3), might turn back the clock on aging cartilage that leads to osteoarthritis. …

Thomas Lozito and Donald the crested gecko (Photo by Sergio Bianco)

A Tale of tails: How reptile regeneration could help humans

“I’ve always been interested in science and in lizards. I got my first pet lizard when I was around 4 years old, and it was love at first sight,” says Thomas Lozito, …

Kuo-Chang (Ted) Tseng from the Crump Lab and Michelle Hung from the Ichida Lab enjoy a beachside brainstorm.

Scientists feel the sand between their toes at the retreat for USC’s stem cell department

A pair of young scientists picked up a piece of driftwood and thoughtfully traced a series of letters in the wet sand of Ventura Beach. The word “microglia”—referring to the immune cells …

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). …

Albert Almada

USC Stem Cell scientist Albert Almada receives a grant from the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) and Glenn Foundation for Medical Research

Most senior citizens don’t have bulging biceps. USC Stem Cell scientist Albert Almada is uncovering the reasons why with support from a $125,000 grant from the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) …

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 …

Image courtesy of the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC

Figuring out how teeth are built, one cell at a time

USC researchers look inside teeth to figure out how we might regenerate teeth in the future. TEETH ARE MARVELOUSLY  COMPLICATED structures — and the way they develop is also complex. The majority …

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 …

From left, Albert Almada and Miller Huang

The Baxter Foundation celebrates promising research in muscle loss and pediatric cancer

For more than 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 …

A zebrafish showing the skeleton and jaw (magenta), the eye (green circle on the left), and gill-like pseudobranch and gills (green structures on the right). (Image by Mathi Thiruppathy/Crump Lab)

How did vertebrates first evolve jaws?

Five-hundred million years ago, it was relatively safe to go back in the water. That’s because creatures of the deep had not yet evolved jaws. In a new pair of studies in …

After surgical rib resection (top), a cartilage and bone bridge form (second from top) and then resolve (third from top) and remodel to regenerate the missing tissue in the gap (bottom). Blue shows cartilage matrix; red shows mineralized matrix. (Images by Stephanie Kuwahara and Max Serowoky/ Mariani Lab)

For large bone injuries, it’s Sonic hedgehog to the rescue

A USC Stem Cell study in NPJ Regenerative Medicine presents intriguing evidence that large bone injuries might trigger a repair strategy in adults that recapitulates elements of skeletal formation in utero. Key …

Nelson Poliran, Jr.

Where are they now? Stem cell master’s program alumnus Nelson Poliran, Jr., a dentist in rural New Mexico

In this series of alumni profiles, we highlight graduates of USC’s master of science program in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. Our accomplished alumni have pursued many different paths—ranging from a …

Jian Xu (Photo by John Skalicky)

Ostrow faculty member Jian Xu does craniofacial biology with heart

The researcher was recently promoted to the rank of Associate Professor of Dentistry with tenure. TO SOME, IT MIGHT SEEM UNUSUAL that Jian Xu, whose PhD research focused on cardiac hypertrophy and …

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 …

Spine from a healthy mouse (left) and a mouse with genetically disrupted cartilage progenitor cells (Image by Dawei Geng and Tea Jashashvili)

Arthritis-related gene also regenerates cartilage in joints and growth plates

The IL-6 family of proteins has a bad reputation: it can promote inflammation, arthritis, autoimmune disease and even cancer. However, a new USC-led study published in Communications Biology reveals the importance of …

Confocal microscopy image of an adult zebrafish head with neural crest-derived cells in red. The Crump lab has used single-cell sequencing to understand how these cells build and repair the head skeleton, with implications for understanding human craniofacial birth defects and improving repair of skeletal tissues. (Image by Hung-Jhen Chen/Crump Lab)

A crowning achievement in understanding head development

Cranial neural crest cells, or CNCCs, contribute to many more body parts than their humble name suggests. These remarkable stem cells not only form most of the skull and facial skeleton in …

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)

Stopping arthritis before it starts

A novel off-the-shelf bio-implant containing embryonic stem cells has the potential to revolutionize the treatment of cartilage injuries More than a million Americans undergo knee and hip replacements each year. It’s a …

Image courtesy of the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC

USC collaboration helps FaceBase reach 1,000-dataset milestone

The data repository allows craniofacial scientists to share data, which could ultimately lead to improved care for patients with craniofacial developmental disorders. Rapid technological development in the past decade has allowed scientists …

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 …