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Brain Nerves and Senses News

De Novo (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

The helix of hearing

Doctor of Pharmacy candidate Loranna Grigoryan and undergraduate biological sciences major Jonathan Lee fashioned a series of human ears attached to a two-and-a-half foot structure evoking DNA’s double helix. The work of …

Justin Ichida, PhD (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

Justin Ichida screens potential therapies for Lou Gehrig’s disease

Justin Ichida started young on his path to becoming a scientist. He was in seventh grade when he discovered his passion for genetics through the pages of Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park. “It’s …

The labs of Raymond C. Stevens, right, and Peter Kuhn will bring a cohort of approximately 50 researchers to USC. Their labs will be housed in the new USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience. (Photo by Ryan Young)

USC recruits renowned leaders in molecular research

Raymond C. Stevens and Peter Kuhn have been named Provost Professor of Biological Sciences and Chemistry and Dean’s Professor of Biological Sciences, respectively. The announcements were made by Provost Elizabeth Garrett and …

Jon-Paul Pepper (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

Jon-Paul Pepper is a surgeon, scientist, student and award-winner

Video by Alric Devotta USC’s Jon-Paul Pepper is not the average award winner. He’s also not the average facial plastic surgeon, faculty researcher or master’s student — in part, because he’s currently all …

David Cobrinik (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

How a single genetic change causes retinal tumors in children

Retinoblastoma is a retinal tumor usually affecting children one to two years of age. Although rare, it is the most common malignant tumor of the eye in children. Left untreated, retinoblastoma can …

Roberta Diaz Brinton (Photo courtesy of USC)

Roberta Diaz Brinton honored as Woman of the Year by Los Angeles Magazine

Los Angeles Magazine has named Roberta Diaz Brinton its Woman of the Year for her revelatory research to combat Alzheimer’s disease. Brinton, executive committee member of USC Stem Cell and holder of …

George Ban-Weiss, Maryam Shanechi and Megan McCain, from left (Photos courtesy of USC Viterbi)

Megan McCain and colleagues make MIT list of 35 Innovators Under 35

The annual MIT Technology Review list of 35 Innovators Under 35 includes three USC Viterbi School of Engineering faculty members — including Megan McCain, principal investigator with USC Stem Cell. Professors McCain and …

The structure of the ear (Public domain image courtesy of Gray’s Anatomy)

NIH grant provides “ear training” for the next generation of neuroscientists

If you want to know why hearing and communication neuroscience matters, meet Richard Reed. A musician who lost his hearing for nearly a decade, Reed received a cochlear implant and successfully continued his career as a professional pianist and organist. He will be speaking and performing at 4 p.m. on August 22 on the University Park Campus to celebrate the start of the academic year and the renewal of the Hearing & Communication Neuroscience (HCN) training grant at USC.

Andy McMahon (Photo by Phil Channing)

Andy McMahon and USC Stem Cell: From discoveries to cures

Video by Little Pictures How do fingers become fingers and not toes? How does the brain generate the correct number of neurons? How do the kidneys branch into the complex and elegant …

David Hinton, MD, (left) and Mark Humayun, MD, PhD (Photo by Ryan Ball)

Mark Humayun and David Hinton look to stem cells to bring sight to the blind

Video by Ryan Ball For years, people were throwing away cells that could bring eyesight to the blind. These dark, blackened cells looked like spots of contamination in the petri dishes in …

Justin Ichida (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

The Baxter Foundation supports innovative, young medical researchers at USC

In 1959, the Donald E. and Delia B. Baxter Foundation made its first grant of $6,000 to USC. Fifty-five years later, the foundation continues its tradition of supporting innovative medical research with …

A look inside the ear of a mouse, with the middle ear ossicles off-centered (Image by Camilla Teng)

Winner of the January 2014 USC Stem Cell Image of the Month Contest

Dr. Andy McMahon and the judges of the USC Stem Cell Image of the Month contest would like to congratulate our January 2014 winner, Camilla Teng, a graduate student in Dr. Rob …

The inferior alveolar nerve provides a niche for stem cells that maintain incisor homeostasis. When the nerve is severed, homeostasis is disrupted and within one month the affected incisor becomes chalky and breaks. (Photos/courtesy of Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology)

Dental study provides wealth of stem cell details

An Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC study has uncovered new details on how bundles of nerves and arteries interact with stem cells and also showcases revolutionary techniques for following the cells …

Valter Longo (Photo by Dietmar Quistorf)

Valter Longo seeks a recipe for longevity

Video by the USC Davis School of Gerontology Valter Longo, PhD, principal investigator with USC Stem Cell, is out to prove that gerontology is a young man’s game — just like rock …

Research on age-related macular degeneration conducted by Mark Humayun, left, and David Hinton has been funded by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Clinical trial to study loss of vision

Keck Medicine of USC research to slow vision loss for macular degeneration patients has been funded as part of the third round of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine’s (CIRM) Disease Team …

AAAS logo

Robert Maxson and five other USC professors named fellows of AAAS

Robert Maxson Jr., an executive committee member of USC Stem Cell, is one of six USC scientists to be elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

From left to right: Marvin Nelson, MD, MBA, Rex Moats, PhD, Brent Polk, MD, Elizabeth Garrett, JD, Scott Fraser, PhD, Carmen Puliafito, MD, MBA (Photo courtesy of Children's Hospital Los Angeles)

USC and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles launch imaging lab for translational research

With the launch of the Translational Biomedical Imaging Lab (TBIL), investigators at the University of Southern California (USC) and The Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles moved us closer to a …

Andy McMahon (Photo by Phil Channing)

Hedgehog’s long snout finds a cure

In 1993, the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) funded three researchers through one of the program’s prestigious Research Grants to work jointly on patterning of the mid-hindbrain region of the vertebrate embryo. …

Mark Humayun, who is holding the Argus II artificial retina implant, plans to emphasize clinical, research and educational missions as director of the USC Eye Institute. (Photo by Jon Nalick)

Humayun named first director of USC Eye Institute

University Professor Mark Humayun, internationally known for his work on the Argus II artificial retina implant intended to restore sight to the blind, has been named the inaugural director of the USC …

In the neural stem cells at the left, the protein SMEK1 (red) is localized in the nucleus (blue), while the protein PAR3 (green) is in the cytoplasm. When neural stem cells divide, as in the cells at the right, SMEK1 moves to the cytoplasm, where it regulates PAR's activity. (Image courtesy of Wange Lu)

USC researchers apply brainpower to understanding neural stem cell differentiation

How do humans and other mammals get so brainy? USC researcher Wange Lu, PhD, and his colleagues shed new light on this question in a paper published in Cell Reports on October …