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Justin Ichida named John Douglas French Alzheimer’s Foundation Associate Professor of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at USC

Justin Ichida has been named the John Douglas French Alzheimer’s Foundation Associate Professor of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at USC. This new endowed professorship recognizes Ichida’s progress in developing stem cell-based approaches to studying neurodegenerative diseases including ALS, frontotemporal dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. “Alzheimer’s disease affects more than 50 million people worldwide, and …

Organ of Corti

USC Stem Cell scientists find a simpler way to make sensory hearing cells

Scientists from the USC Stem Cell laboratories of Neil Segil and Justin Ichida are whispering the secrets of a simpler way to generate the sensory cells of the inner ear. Their approach uses direct reprogramming to produce sensory cells known as “hair cells,” due to their hair-like protrusions that sense sound waves. The study was …

Nanci Ryder

A tribute to patient advocate Nanci Ryder

We are deeply saddened by the passing of our friend and champion, Nanci Ryder. Nanci was an amazing woman who worked tirelessly to improve the lives of others. As a Hollywood publicist, Nanci excelled at establishing the careers of rising stars. Her clients included Renee Zellweger, Michael J. Fox, Courteney Cox, Don Diamont, and countless …

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, …

20 day old cortical organoid courtesy of Tuan Nguyen Quadrato lab

USC scientists use brain organoids to study intellectual disability, with support from the SynGAP Research Fund

Maybe a child misses a developmental milestone, such as rolling over, or saying that first word. Perhaps the child also falls down due to seizures, or develops symptoms of an autism spectrum disorder. Eventually, a doctor pinpoints the cause: a rare and spontaneous variant in a gene called SYNGAP1, which leads to a variety of …

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 …

Qi-Long Ying

Shanghai Cell Therapy Group launches collaboration with USC researcher to improve the ex vivo expansion of hematopoietic stem cells for clinical applications

Shanghai Cell Therapy Group (SHCell) recently entered into a six-year research collaborative project with Professor Qi-Long Ying from the University of Southern California (USC). Through the project, sponsored by $3.6 million from the Baize Plan Fund, the Ying laboratory aims to develop conditions for the long-term ex vivo expansion of mouse and human hematopoietic stem …

Yang Chai

Yang Chai appointed University Professor

Associate Dean of Research Yang Chai PhD ’91, DDS ’96 has been appointed a University Professor, making history as the first faculty member to achieve such distinction at the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC. The designation, held by fewer than 20 other faculty members across the university, is awarded very selectively to those whose …

Peter Fabian

USC Stem Cell scientist Peter Fabian wins NIH Pathway to Independence Award

As a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at USC, Peter Fabian has proven himself to be a big fish in the pool of aspiring faculty members. Only three years after joining the USC Stem Cell laboratory of Gage Crump to study craniofacial development in tiny zebrafish embryos, Fabian …

Rong Lu

USC Stem Cell scientist Rong Lu wins an NIH Emerging Investigator Award

Millions of blood cells are regenerated every second. To study the unique properties of individual blood forming stem cells and how they contribute to aging, leukemia and other medical conditions, USC Stem Cell scientist Rong Lu has received a $6.6 million Emerging Investigator Award from National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), which is part …

Photo by Isaac Mora

Better cancer treatments may lie ahead thanks to Yong (Tiger) Zhang and USC engineers

A USC School of Pharmacy-led team has engineered a new, faster way to make drugs that precisely target malignant cells – while leaving healthy tissue undamaged – that could lead the way to better treatments for numerous types of cancer. The drugs, called antibody-drug conjugates or ADCs, belong to a relatively new class in which …

Megan McCain and friends

Megan McCain is one of six USC Viterbi faculty to win NSF CAREER Award

A record six assistant professors at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering — Megan McCain, Department of Biomedical Engineering; Mitul Luhar, Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engienering; Aleksandra Korolova and Haipeng Luo, Department of Computer Science; and Daniel McCurry and Qiming Wang, Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering — have received the prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER Award for innovative and novel research …

C-DOCTOR

Center for Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Tissue and Organ Regeneration awarded $30-million grant

The studies seem like something straight out of science fiction. There’s one focused on using stem cells to regenerate skull bone for patients with skull defects. Another aims to develop a hydrogel patch that could reduce scarring and regenerate hair follicles and sweat glands in burn victims. Another looks to create a transdermal patch that …

Organ of Corti

USC Stem Cell study shows when to quit “Yapping”

It turns out that to hear a person yapping, you need a protein called Yap. Working as part of what is known as the Yap/Tead complex, this important protein sends signals to the hearing organ to attain the correct size during embryonic development, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National …

Writing

Manuscript writing course for KSOM students and postdocs

Are you a KSOM postdoc or graduate student working on a manuscript? Whether you’re staring at a blank page, or going through the umpteenth round of revisions, this free workshop will get you ready to submit your manuscript to a scientific journal. Offered via Zoom, the 4-week workshop will start on Tuesday, May 26, at …

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 …

Kalya Stanten

Countdown to Commencement: USC Stem Cell master’s student Kalya Stanten follows the science

By following her love of science, USC master’s student Kalya Stanten has found herself in some very interesting places—including a virology lab at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I’m in Paula Cannon’s lab,” said Stanten, who is graduating with a Master of Science in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. “Through my own work …

Ryan Maier

Meet the team keeping USC’s medical school running during COVID-19

By late March, the USC Health Sciences Campus had emptied out as students, staff and faculty sheltered at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, it was simply not possible to halt all research, construction, and case-by-case campus access needs. Since the start of quarantine, the Keck School of Medicine’s Facilities and Space Planning …

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