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Pituitary fish

Flaws emerge in modeling human genetic diseases in animals

My lab, based at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, uses zebrafish to model human birth defects affecting the face. When I tell people this, they are often skeptical that fish biology has any relevance to human health. But zebrafish have backbones like us, contain by and large the same types of …

Brain organoid

Brain development and disorder research receives $1.5 million NSF boost

The human brain is an incredibly complex organ to study in its living tissue form. Researchers cannot experiment on human tissue directly, and animal models are often too different to human physiology to be effective. For this reason, in the last decade, neurological research has been increasingly turning to “brain-on-a-chip” organoid models to give researchers …

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 …

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 …

Pituitary fish

Pituitary puzzle gets a new piece, revising evolutionary history

Insights into century-old controversy about key gland’s development arise from research led by the Keck School of Medicine of USC A new USC-led study suggests a change to the developmental — and evolutionary — story of the pituitary gland. The pea-sized gland, nestled at the base of the brain, produces hormones that drive growth, aggression, …

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 …

Osteophyte

When it comes to arthritic bone spurs, stem cells hurt instead of heal

The same stem cells that heal broken bones can also generate arthritic bone spurs called osteophytes, according to a new study in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases. “Although these stem and progenitor cells promote healthy bone repair in other contexts, they are inappropriately activated to cause a pathological bony protuberance in the context of arthritis,” …

Thomas Lozito

The childhood moments that launched their careers as explorers

Innocent curiosity can turn discovery into life’s purpose. A toddler locks eyes with a turtle for the first time; a mischievous teen concocts stink bombs in the garage. However their careers develop, future researchers often get their start as inquisitive kids. An unexpected brush with the weird, wild, worrying or wonderful just might end up …

USC-led study traces the evolution of gill covers

The emergence of jaws in primitive fish allowed vertebrates to become top predators. What is less appreciated is another evolutionary innovation that may have been just as important for the success of early vertebrates: the formation of covers to protect and pump water over the gills. In a new study published in the Proceedings of …

(Image courtesy of Yang Chai)

USC-led research team shares 10 years’ progress in collecting data to push craniofacial science forward

It has been a little more than a decade since the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) launched FaceBase, a central repository for craniofacial datasets and tools meant to advance craniofacial science by fostering cooperation and collaboration around the globe. The endeavor, which represents contributions by researchers from more than two dozen universities …

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 …

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 …

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 …

(Photo courtesy of the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC)

Investigating the neighboring environment for stem cells

A long-held goal in dental research is to harness the power of stem cells to regenerate bone and dental tissue. But to do so, it’s important to fully understand the environment the stem cells inhabit. A new study, titled “Runx2+ niche cells maintain incisor mesenchymal tissue homeostasis through IGF signaling,” published earlier this summer shows …

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 …

Ebony Flowers

Ebony Flowers receives fellowship from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Postdoctoral Enrichment Program

Ebony Flowers has already received three fellowships during her year-and-a-half as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at USC. First, she was awarded the Choi Family Postdoctoral Fellowship, which helped recruit her to Min Yu’s laboratory. Then she earned a fellowship from the A.P. Giannini Foundation, which provided …

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 …

Knee pain

Significantly less addictive opioid may slow progression of osteoarthritis while easing pain

A novel preclinical study by Keck Medicine of USC researchers, published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, reveals that a potential new opioid medication may have the ability to slow the progression of osteoarthritis while being less addictive than commonly prescribed opioid drugs. The medication activates the kappa opioid receptor (KOR), which binds to opioid-like compounds in …

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