MENU

News

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 Communications, Zhongwei Li and his colleagues describe how they can generate rudimentary kidney structures, known as organoids, that resemble the collecting duct system …

AcuraStem awarded $1 million Department of Defense grant to develop ALS drug candidate

AcuraStem, a patient-based drug discovery platform company developing novel therapeutics for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and neurodegenerative diseases, has received an Amyotrophic Lat-eral Sclerosis Research Program (ALSRP) Therapeutic Development Award from the Department of Defense, Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) totaling $1 million. Through CDMRP’s award mechanisms and funding rec-ommendations, the ALSRP highlights innovative …

Marcella Birtele

Marcella Birtele named Choi Family Postdoctoral Fellow at USC Stem Cell

In one sense, Marcella Birtele is following in her father’s footsteps: he works as an electrician in Italy, and she studies the electrophysiology of the brain as a postdoctoral fellow in Giorgia Quadrato’s lab at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC. “When I have doubts about …

Broken eggs

USC researchers regenerate skull tissue using stem cells and 3-D printed scaffolding in swine

Every year, surgeons perform more than 5,000 cranioplasties—surgeries that restore cranial defects—on patients who have experienced critical size cranial defects resulting from congenital defects, head trauma or tumor removals. Traditional materials used to correct these deficits have been bone grafts (from other humans or the patients themselves) or metal or plastic plates — none of …

Eli Bosnoyan

As a graduate of USC’s stem cell master’s program, Eli Bosnoyan celebrates a Trojan Family that stretches from Syria to South LA

When Eli Bosnoyan first set foot on the USC campus, he was a six-year-old boy from Aleppo, Syria, visiting relatives in Los Angeles during his summer vacation. “I was with my brother,” said Bosnoyan, who is now graduating from the Master of Science Program in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at USC. “We went …

Broad Directors with Broads at ISSCR 2019

Remembering Eli Broad

It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Eli Broad. Eli and Edythe’s philanthropy in the arts, science and education have been transformative. Eli approached philanthropy with an investor’s instinct for maximizing his impact and a visionary’s intuition for sensing the next big thing. Eli and Edythe were long-time supporters of …

Robert E. Maxson

USC celebrates Robert E. Maxson’s lifetime of achievement and adventure

USC Emeritus Professor Robert E. Maxson has an understated explanation for why he’s flown so many planes, sailed so many boats, skied so many mountains, played so many guitars, taken so many trips to Antarctica, and studied so many different aspects of developmental biology. “I’m drawn to things that take all my attention, and things …

Neural stem cells

Do our brains age faster than the rest of our bodies?

If you feel your brain power diminishing as you advance into middle age and beyond, blame your neural stem cells. In a new study published in Cell Stem Cell, a team led by USC Stem Cell scientist Michael Bonaguidi demonstrates that neural stem cells—the stem cells of the nervous system—age rapidly. “There is chronological aging, …

Pat Levitt (Photo courtesy of CHLA)

Chief Scientific Officer at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles appointed to CIRM Board

Pat Levitt, PhD, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ (CHLA) Chief Scientific Officer and Director of The Saban Research Institute, has been appointed to the board that oversees the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). CIRM is the voter-created agency that funds stem cell research at institutions and organizations throughout the state. “Dr. Levitt will bring a …

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 unraveling this complexity, USC Stem Cell scientist Leonardo Morsut is designing artificial genetic programs to perturb natural signaling networks and study how this …

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 a new study in the journal eLife from Andy McMahon’s laboratory in the Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at the …

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 time, money and expertise, so it makes sense to place it all under one roof. USC and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) are …

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 …

Stay connected.