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Brain Nerves and Senses News

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 …

From top: Dion Dickman (left), Megan McCain and Justin Ichida; Rong Lu (left) and Keyue Shen (Photos by Cristy Lytal)

USC Stem Cell researchers receive the inaugural Broad Innovation Awards

Two teams of scientists have won the inaugural Eli and Edythe Broad Innovation Awards in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at USC. This year’s competition provides $120,000 each to the teams …

Stem cells self-organize to form a hollow ball of cells. (Image by In Kyoung Mah and Francesca Mariani)

A gene called Prkci helps organize organisms and their organs

A gene called Prkci can point cells in the right direction, according to a new study in Developmental Biology. In the study, USC Stem Cell researcher In Kyoung Mah from the laboratory …

Valter Longo (Photo by Dietmar Quistorf)

Diet that mimics fasting may also reduce multiple sclerosis symptoms

Evidence is mounting that a diet mimicking the effects of fasting has health benefits beyond weight loss, with a new USC-led study indicating that it may reduce symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Scientists …

Graduate student Vincent Haoze Yu; Broad Clinical Fellow Rodrigo Martínez Monedero, MD; Michael Sidgmore; principal investigator Neil Segil, PhD; and graduate student Louise Menendez in the Choi Family Therapeutic Screening Facility at the Eli and Edythe Broad CIRM Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC. Segil's team is collaborating with USC Stem Cell researchers Justin Ichida, PhD, Takahiro Ohyama, PhD, and Radha Kalluri, PhD, to reprogram skin cells into sensory cells of the inner ear. (Photo courtesy of HSC News)

Sidgmore Family Foundation gift to help hearing loss research

There has always been one insurmountable problem related to hearing loss: When the sensory hair cells in the inner ear die, they don’t regenerate. These microscopic cells signal to the brain that …

Mark Humayun, MD, PhD, shakes hands with President Barack Obama after receiving the National Medal of Technology and Innovation during a ceremony May 19, 2016, at the White House.

Mark Humayun receives the National Medal from President Obama

Mark S. Humayun, co-director of the USC Gayle and Edward Roski Eye Institute and director of the USC Institute for Biomedical Therapeutics, received the nation’s highest award for achievement in technology from …

The Journal of Neuroscience cover from April 27, 2016

Key mutations may worsen hearing loss from the chemotherapy drug cisplatin

The chemotherapy drug cisplatin can kill cancer, but it can also kill the sensory cells of the inner ear — causing permanent hearing loss. This hearing loss is likely to be more severe …

Justin Ichida as an undergraduate at UCLA (Photo courtesy of Justin Ichida)

Outside the lab: Justin Ichida, a stem cell scientist with the spirit of aloha and rock ’n roll

As a third-generation Hawaiian, USC Stem Cell researcher Justin Ichida is equally comfortable with lu’aus and lead guitars as with laboratories. As an assistant professor of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine …

Justin Ichida (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

USC Stem Cell scientist Justin Ichida named New York Stem Cell Foundation – Robertson Investigator

Some people see an award as remuneration for work well done. Upon being named a New York Stem Cell Foundation – Robertson Investigator, ALS researcher Justin Ichida sees his award as motivation …

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

Amplifying cell signals for potentially lower cost stem cell interventions

Editor’s Note: USC Stem Cell principal investigators Malcolm Snead and Yan Zhou were among the authors of “Supramolecular Nanofibers Enhance Growth Factor Signaling by Increasing Lipid Raft Mobility,” published on April 12, …

3-D printed Cas9 enzyme that snips a DNA sequence at a location identified by CRISPR. (Photo courtesy of the NIH 3D Print Exchange, National Institutes of Health)

USC Stem Cell scientists enter the conversation about CRISPR

CRISPR-Cas9 is a gene-editing technique that enables scientists to disable, replace or modify sections of DNA. It allows for unprecedented precision and speed in the field of genome editing. It has been used to …

Kimberley Babos (Photo courtesy of ISSCR)

PhD student Kimberley Babos featured in ISSCR Member Spotlight

Kimberley Nicole Babos, a PhD candidate and Ichida Lab member at USC, recently gave an interview to the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) for a Member Spotlight.

Jon-Paul Pepper (Photo courtesy of Keck Medicine of USC)

Meet Jon-Paul Pepper, USC Stem Cell principal investigator and director of the USC Facial Nerve Center

Meet Jon-Paul Pepper, director of the USC Facial Nerve Center and assistant professor of clinical otolaryngology–head and neck surgery at Keck Medicine of USC. As a surgeon and scientist, he is striving …

From left, Hsiang-Ying (Sherry) Lee, Sergei Doulatov, Leonardo Morsut, Alexander Pollen and Joan Font-Burgada (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

USC Stem Cell mini-symposium introduces next-generation researchers

The next generation of scientists is turning to stem cells to advance our understanding of systems ranging from the blood to the brain, from the liver to the lungs. Six of these …

Qi-Long Ying (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

Scientists Qi-Long Ying and Austin Smith win the 2016 McEwen Award for Innovation

Video by Henry Liu Researchers Qi-Long Ying from USC and Austin Smith from the University of Cambridge have won the 2016 McEwen Award for Innovation, the highest honor bestowed by the International …

Ismael Fernández-Hernández (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

Ismael Fernández-Hernández receives USC-CONACYT Provost Fellowship

We can learn a lot from fly brains, according to Ismael Fernández-Hernández, a postdoctoral fellow in the USC Stem Cell laboratory of Michael Bonaguidi. Fernández-Hernández is an accomplished researcher who showed that …

Broad Fellow Gabriel R. Linares (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

USC stem cell researcher Gabriel R. Linares receives Broad Fellowship

For this year’s Broad Fellow, Gabriel R. Linares, science is personal. “I have to say the turning point that spiked my interest in science was when I was in high school, and …