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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 …

JO neurons

USC Stem Cell scientists start a buzz around fruit flies in hearing research

Even though a fruit fly doesn’t have ears, it can hear with its antennae. In a new study published in the journal Development, USC Stem Cell scientists describe how adult flies can regenerate sensory hearing cells in their antennae, and how studying flies can provide a new way to understand and develop treatments for the …

Dion Dickman, Megan McCain, and Justin Ichida

Scientists Justin Ichida and Dion Dickman: USC’s coolest tenured professors from Hawaii

Now that Justin Ichida and Dion Dickman are both tenured professors at USC, they no longer have to worry about who was the coolest kid in their elementary schools back in Honolulu. But just for the record, it was Ichida. As a third-generation Hawaiian, Ichida fit right in. His background was similar to many on …

Osteoblasts

Broad Clinical Fellows take a stem cell-based approach to liver disease and bone loss

This year’s Broad Clinical Research Fellows are developing stem cell-based approaches for patients of all ages—from two-week-old infants with liver disease, to senior citizens with bone loss following joint replacement surgeries. Since 2015, the Broad Clinical Research Fellowships have enabled physician-scientists at USC, UCLA and the University of California, San Francisco, to engage in one …

Tracy Tran

USC Stem Cell PhD student Tracy Tran: Celebrating the journey of a budding developmental biologist

As a child in Vietnam, Tracy Tran helped her family run a small business importing porcelain products from China and assumed she would follow in their footsteps. Neither of her parents had a college degree, and they worked very hard to support Tran and her sister. Once her parents finally had the resources, they used …

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. …

Albert Almada

USC scientist Albert Almada puts muscle into stem cell research

USC Stem Cell scientist Albert Almada once had ambitions of becoming a catcher in a professional baseball league—until he was sidelined by a rotator cuff injury in his shoulder. “Life painfully closes one door and then cracks open another, and then over time, you start to realize that that is how things should have happened …

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 …

Mohamed Abou-el-Enein named Executive Director of USC/CHLA Cell Therapy Program

Mohamed Abou-el-Enein, MD, PhD, MSPH, has joined the Keck School of Medicine as the inaugural Executive Director of the Joint USC/CHLA Cell Therapy Program. He began his post Jan. 4.   Abou-el-Enein will also serve as Medical Director of the new cGMP facility for cell and gene therapy that is under construction in the Norris …

Jianfu Jeff Chen

From grains to brains, USC scientist Jianfu (Jeff) Chen uncovers the roots of disease

Although USC scientist Jianfu (Jeff) Chen now studies human neurological disorders, he was originally more interested in organisms without brains, such as rice and wheat. “When I was about to go to college in China, there was big emphasis on the biology major, because of the guy who happened to be a pioneer in the …

Is this the gamechanger we’ve been waiting for in craniosynostosis?

One of our every 2,500 infants born in the United States will suffer from craniosynostosis — a craniofacial defect caused by the premature fusion of the different bones that comprise the human skull. In a typically developing infant, these bones are separated by fibrous joints (think: “soft spots”) that allow for the skull’s continuing expansion …

USC Stem Cell PhD Student Ruzanna “Rose” Shkhyan works to end inflamm-aging

USC PhD student Ruzanna “Rose” Shkhyan has gotten a first-hand look at how stem cell discoveries can lead to clinical trials. As member of the USC Stem Cell laboratory of Denis Evseenko, she contributed research that led to the development of a therapeutic agent that can modulate inflammation, which will be in a clinical trial …

USC Stem Cell scientist Giorgia Quadrato receives a 2020 Mallinckrodt Grant

Giorgia Quadrato, an assistant professor in USC’s Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, was recently awarded an Edward Mallinckrodt Foundation (EMF) grant to further her research about modeling human brain development and disease. Quadrato is one of five fellows nationally to receive this competitive award in 2020.  Other recipients are in the fields …

Senta in the lab

Can COVID-19 cause diabetes?

Can the novel coronavirus—SARS-CoV-2—cause diabetes? No one knows, but Senta Georgia, PhD, is trying to find out. Dr. Georgia, an investigator in The Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, recently received a $100,000 peer-reviewed grant from the American Diabetes Association to examine the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on pancreatic beta cells (cells in the …

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 …

D. Brent Polk

Treatment for Inflammatory bowel disease doesn’t always work; new study uncovers why

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) affects more than 70,000 children in the United States and the prevalence is rising. In fact, 25% of the 3.1 million individuals with IBD present before 21 years of age. There is no cure for IBD, and treatment often includes medication to block a molecule that causes inflammation in the intestines …

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