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What is the USC Ombuds?

Stress levels are running high with a pandemic, global recession, and social injustice threatening livelihoods and lives. While the USC Office of the Ombuds can’t resolve the world’s woes, it can serve as a confidential, impartial, informal, and independent problem-solving resource for students, faculty and staff. The University Ombuds—Thomas Kosakowski at the Health Sciences Campus, …

20 day old cortical organoid courtesy of Tuan Nguyen Quadrato lab

USC scientists use brain organoids to study intellectual disability, with support from the SynGAP Research Fund

Maybe a child misses a developmental milestone, such as rolling over, or saying that first word. Perhaps the child also falls down due to seizures, or develops symptoms of an autism spectrum disorder. Eventually, a doctor pinpoints the cause: a rare and spontaneous variant in a gene called SYNGAP1, which leads to a variety of …

Men are from Mars

New award supports study of why females age differently than males

A new research project led by USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology Assistant Professor Bérénice Benayoun aims to learn more about why female mammals, including humans, age differently than males. Sex dimorphism – physiological characteristics that differ between the sexes in a species – can have big implications for health and lifespan. Human longevity differs …

Photo by Isaac Mora

Better cancer treatments may lie ahead thanks to Yong (Tiger) Zhang and USC engineers

A USC School of Pharmacy-led team has engineered a new, faster way to make drugs that precisely target malignant cells – while leaving healthy tissue undamaged – that could lead the way to better treatments for numerous types of cancer. The drugs, called antibody-drug conjugates or ADCs, belong to a relatively new class in which …

Organ of Corti

USC Stem Cell study shows when to quit “Yapping”

It turns out that to hear a person yapping, you need a protein called Yap. Working as part of what is known as the Yap/Tead complex, this important protein sends signals to the hearing organ to attain the correct size during embryonic development, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National …

Writing

Manuscript writing course for KSOM students and postdocs

Are you a KSOM postdoc or graduate student working on a manuscript? Whether you’re staring at a blank page, or going through the umpteenth round of revisions, this free workshop will get you ready to submit your manuscript to a scientific journal. Offered via Zoom, the 4-week workshop will start on Tuesday, May 26, at …

Hirschsprung’s Disease

Growing nerve cells in the gut

The human body has what is sometimes called a “second brain” in the digestive tract. The enteric nervous system (ENS) performs many vital functions, including coordinating the movement of food to allow the body to absorb nutrients. When babies are born with an incomplete or absent ENS, their prognosis is extremely serious. In a new …

Ryan Maier

Meet the team keeping USC’s medical school running during COVID-19

By late March, the USC Health Sciences Campus had emptied out as students, staff and faculty sheltered at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, it was simply not possible to halt all research, construction, and case-by-case campus access needs. Since the start of quarantine, the Keck School of Medicine’s Facilities and Space Planning …

Andrew P. McMahon

USC Professor Andrew P. McMahon elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Andrew P. McMahon—who is the W.M. Keck Provost and University Professor in USC’s departments of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine, and Biological Sciences at the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences—has been elected as a new member of the National Academy of Sciences in honor of his …

Long Cai

The Broad Foundation brings together stem cell scientists, engineers and physicians at USC and beyond

Developing new stem cell therapies requires more than a solo biologist having a eureka moment alone in the lab. Real progress relies on collaborations between biologists, engineers and physicians. That’s why The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation has continued its support of two strategic initiatives: innovation awards bringing together teams of engineers and scientists from …

Student-Postdoctoral Fellow Stem Cell Challenge Grants

To stimulate interdisciplinary stem cell research across USC Overview USC Stem Cell invites applications for the Student-Postdoctoral Fellow Stem Cell Challenge Grants. The goal of the program is to stimulate new interdisciplinary stem cell research across the USC community, and to provide a means of enhancing student/postdoc creativity and independence. Proposals should be initiated by …

Humayun and Kashani

Physician-scientists pioneer new surgical approach to treat progressive blindness

Dry age-related macular degeneration (dry AMD) poses a significant clinical challenge. It is one of the leading causes of progressive blindness, robbing millions of people over the age of 65 of their central vision, and it often hinders patients’ abilities to read books, drive and discern the faces of their loved ones. Although vitamin-based supplements …

Stem Cell

Call for Applications: T32 Training Fellowships in Developmental Biology, Stem Cells, and Regeneration

All PhD students who are conducting research related to developmental biology, stem cell biology, and/or regenerative medicine are encouraged to apply for a training fellowship. We have several slots available for both U.S. Citizens and international students, and funding will be for one year with a second year dependent on participation in program activities and …

Oliver Bell

Design redundancy is in our DNA

Design redundancy is not only an invention of engineers for building machines, but also a principle of nature for designing organisms. This principle is at play in the regulation of the genes responsible for directing stem cells to multiply themselves in the developing mouse embryo, as described in a new study in Science Advances.

Brainy baby

Probing the genes that organize early brain development

When brains begin developing, there are a lot of moving parts — and when mutations happen in early neurodevelopment, it can lead to disorders like macrocephaly and autism. But scientists don’t know much about the ways that development goes askew, particularly in humans. That’s why Wei Zhang, a postdoctoral scholar and research associate at USC’s …

Class of 2020

Meet three students from USC’s master’s program in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine

The 34 students in USC’s master’s program in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine have at least two things in common. First, they’re smart, with an average incoming GPA of 3.4. And second, they all seemed to enjoy the boba tea served at this year’s Student Orientation at the Eli and Edythe Broad CIRM Center …

Humayun (pictured) was featured with Kashani for their innovations in sight restoration in a recent episode of Voice of America's "VOA/TEK." (Photo/Episode Still)

Researchers featured on “VOA/TEK” for their innovations in eyesight restoration

Voice of America’s “VOA/TEK,” a news program dedicated to highlighting cutting-edge technologies and medical breakthroughs, recently featured Mark Humayun, MD, PhD, University Professor of Ophthamology at the Keck School of Medicine and co-director of the USC Gayle and Edward Roski Eye Institute, and Amir Kashani, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Clinical Ophthalmology at the Keck …

USC finds new routes to industry engagement and funding

Story courtesy of In-Part Over the last year, Dr. Qing Liu-Michael, Program Director at USC Stem Cell and the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at the University of Southern California (USC), has been using IN-PART’s Discover service to find new streams of collaboration with companies proactively seeking academic …

Justin Ichida‘s lab is doing groundbreaking work in the field of stem cell research. (Photo/Damon Casarez)

His race against ALS: Justin Ichida

Story courtesy of Trojan Family Magazine Justin Ichida regularly gets emails from strangers asking the same urgent question: “Will your research on ALS be done in time to save my life?” The emails are a constant reminder that he’s in a race against time. “I don’t really know them, but they tell me their whole …

As dry AMD progresses, patients perceive a dark spot obscuring the center of their vision. (Image/National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health)

New grant backs development of treatment for dry age-related macular degeneration

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) recently awarded $3.73 million to Mark Humayun, MD, PhD, University Professor of Ophthalmology, Cornelius J. Pings Chair in Biomedical Sciences, director of the USC Dr. Allen and Charlotte Ginsburg Institute for Biomedical Therapeutics, and co-director of the USC Roski Eye Institute. The funding will support researchers at the …

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