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Brain Nerves and Senses News

Megan McCain (Photo by Will Taylor)

Megan McCain appointed to Chonette Early Career Chair

Megan McCain, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, and stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, has been honored with the Chonette Early Career Chair at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. As an …

Leonardo Morsut (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

From professional volleyball to stem cell biology, Leonardo Morsut is at the top of his game

For USC Stem Cell researcher Leonardo Morsut, the word “set” refers to a collection of scientific data. “Set” is also the prelude to spiking a volleyball over the net—something he used to do for a living as a professional athlete in Italy.

From left, ChangHui Pak, Mayssa H. Mokalled, Naomi Habib, Frank Soldner and Alex J. Hughes (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

Next-generation stem cell scientists evidence strong nerves at USC mini-symposium

Five next-generation scientists got everyone’s neurons firing at the Junior Faculty Candidate Mini-symposium, hosted by USC’s Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine on March 7.

Zlatka Stojanova (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

What I’m Reading: Top pick from stem cell postdoc Zlatka Stojanova

Usher syndrome is a devastating genetic disorder that causes profound hearing loss, balance disorders and progressive blindness. In the ear, mutations in the Usher 1c (USH1C) gene lead to damage and loss …

Megan McCain (Photo by Will Taylor)

Bioengineering models for muscular dystrophy research

Studying muscular diseases proves extremely complicated. The current system of studying muscle cells and tissues using animal models is often inconclusive and cost-prohibitive. Looking to improve the status quo, Megan McCain—a Gabilan …

Kris Boesen and his father Rodney (Photo by Greg Iger)

Americans for Cures produces animation about spinal cord injury

This animation, produced by Americans for Cures, illustrates how stem cells are providing a better treatment for patients with spinal cord injury. Asterias Biotherapeutics launched a multi-center clinical trial to fix nerve …

Immunohistochemical staining of sensory hair cell-like cells. The cells were induced from fibroblasts by the over-expression of selected transcription factors. (Image courtesy of Suhasni Gopalakrishnan, Louise Menendez, Juan Llamas, Justin Ichida and Neil Segil)

Current research on inner ear hair cell regeneration

Article courtesy of the February 2017 issue of KeckZine Otolaryngology Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) is the most common sensory disability in humans and is most often caused by the death of so-called …

A car accident left Kris Boesen paralyzed. Experimental stem cell surgery gave him a chance to regain mobility in his arms and hands. (Photo by Greg Iger)

Stem cell therapy gives paralyzed man second chance at independence

Courtesy of USC Trojan Family Magazine Four days after undergoing major surgery, 21-year-old Kris Boesen picked up a smartphone and sent a text. It was the first message that he had sent …

Mark S. Humayun (Photo courtesy of the Keck School of Medicine of USC)

Dr. Mark Humayun elected a 2016 Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors

Today the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) announced Mark S. Humayun, co-director of the University of Southern California (USC) Roski Eye Institute and director of the USC Institute for Biomedical Therapeutics, has …

Haoze (Vincent) Yu and Kate Galloway (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

USC Stem Cell’s Kate Galloway and Haoze (Vincent) Yu answer a new ALS challenge

Although it’s not the type of challenge that involves an ice bucket, this year’s Doerr Stem Cell Challenge Grant has brought together two young scientists from different USC labs to tackle ALS. …

Senta Georgia (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

What I’m Reading: Top pick from stem cell faculty member Senta Georgia

Earlier this year, a team at the Karolinska Institute published a paper that profiled gene activity in single cells from human embryos created in the context of in vitro fertilization. Now this …

Qi-Long Ying (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

What I’m Reading: Top pick from stem cell faculty member Qi-Long Ying

In a recent study published in Cell Stem Cell, Joshua Black and colleagues demonstrated that skin cells are converted into neurons using a powerful tool called CRISPR/Cas9 to concurrently modify and activate …

Wange Lu (Photo by Chris Shinn)

What I’m reading: Top pick from stem cell faculty member Wange Lu

Our genetic material is packed into the nucleus of the cell, but is the packing process random or organized in some way? In a recent study published in Cell Stem Cell, Krijger …

Megan McCain (Photo by Will Taylor)

Megan McCain receives American Heart Association Faculty Award

Megan McCain has received a 2016 Scientist Development Grant from the American Heart Association. The three-year, $231,000 grant supports highly promising early career scientists in cardiovascular and stroke research. McCain—Gabilan Assistant Professor …

Kris Boesen and his father Rodney (Photo by Greg Iger)

Paralyzed man regains use of arms and hands after experimental stem cell therapy at Keck Hospital of USC

Keck Medical Center of USC today announced that a team of doctors became the first in California to inject an experimental treatment made from stem cells, AST-OPC1, into the damaged cervical spine …

Researchers have found a protein that may help with the brain’s recovery from a stroke. (Illustration courtesy of Shutterstock)

There’s hope for reversing stroke-induced long-term disability

Permanent brain damage from a stroke may be reversible thanks to a developing therapeutic technique, a USC-led study has found. The novel approach combines transplanted human stem cells with a special protein …

Joseph T. Rodgers (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

What I’m reading: A top pick from stem cell faculty member Joseph T. Rodgers

In a recent issue of Science, Jay Shendure, Alexander Schier and colleagues present an extraordinarily powerful new approach to trace the lineage of cells as they divide within an organism.

Mosquito (Image courtesy of the National Institutes for Health)

Two Zika proteins responsible for microcephaly identified

USC researchers have tracked down two Zika proteins potentially responsible for thousands of microcephaly cases in Brazil and elsewhere—taking one small step toward preventing Zika-infected mothers from birthing babies with abnormally small …

From left, Andy McMahon and Gage Crump (Photos by Phil Channing and the Crump Lab)

What I’m reading: Top picks from stem cell faculty members Andy McMahon and Gage Crump

Andy McMahon: Leigh Turner and Paul Knoepfler present a disturbing report in Cell Stem Cell on the growth of businesses marketing stem cell interventions in the US. Los Angeles is one “stem …

The organ of Corti, the hearing organ of the inner ear, is made up of a single row of inner hair cells and three rows of outer hair cells (green), surrounded by supporting cells (purple). (Image by Yassan Abdolazimi and Neil Segil)

USC Stem Cell researchers listen for clues about how the gene Atoh1 enables hearing

Non-mammals such as birds can recover from deafness as quickly as humans can recover from a cut or bruise. In contrast, when humans and other mammals sustain damage to the inner ear’s …