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Lindsey Michaela Katie Joanna SELFIE

Meet six USC Stem Cell postdocs-turned-professors

Only 23 percent of biomedical PhD holders eventually land tenure-track faculty positions, according to a report by the National Institutes of Health Biomedical Research Workforce Working Group. Beating these odds, six postdoctoral trainees from USC’s Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine recently landed coveted jobs as tenure-track assistant professors: Lori O’Brien at the …

Layers of healthy human kidney cells (visible as red and green in fluorescent image) form a working filter in the new model developed by Dr. Perin and Dr. Da Sacco in the GOFARR Lab.

CHLA scientists develop first physiologically-accurate in vitro model of the human kidney glomerulus

Story courtesy of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Kidneys work to constantly filter blood and remove toxins from the body. Conditions such as chronic kidney disease (CKD) are characterized by a reduced ability to perform this essential function. CKD incidence is growing and more than 1.4 million individuals depend on dialysis or kidney transplant for survival. …

Navigage, Rose Hills Foundations support Berenice Benayoun

From catching cognitive impairment earlier to understanding the genetics of age-related disease and health disparities, USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology faculty conduct exciting research supported by organizations committed to helping others. The Navigage Foundation awarded grants for pilot research projects led by USC Leonard Davis faculty members Berenice Benayoun and Mireille Jacobson. Jacobson, an …

USC Stem Cell junior faculty balance babies with biomedical research

Growing stem cells isn’t just something junior faculty do in the lab. Eight of the junior faculty in the Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine recently welcomed new babies into their families—more than half of them within the past year. Here, our junior faculty parents share their joy and wisdom about balancing career …

From restoring sight to reversing brain damage, USC stem cell researchers are making life-changing discoveries

If anyone has a clear vision of the power of stem cell cures, it’s Anna Kuehl. She suffered a retina-wrecking disease that cost her much of her sight before USC physicians surgically implanted stem cells to restore her ability to see. Today, she can see the letters on computer keys, use her iPhone and read …

This tiny fish could unlock mysteries about growing old

Back in its native habitat, the African turquoise killifish wiggles from its egg, eats, spawns and dies — all within a few months. Life goes by fast when your home is a quickly evaporating pond of rainwater. But even when raised as pets in a home aquarium, these killifish still live for less than a …

(Illustration by Chris Gash)

Eat less, live longer? The science of fasting and longevity

When it comes to what, when and how we eat, fasting — voluntarily abstaining from food for varying periods of time — is having a moment. It was the most popular diet of 2018, according to a survey from the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFICF), and forms of fasting rank among Google’s top-trending diet …

Bérénice Benayoun honored for genetics research

The Genetics Society of America (GSA) and the Gruber Foundation have awarded Assistant Professor Bérénice Benayoun the 2019 Rosalind Franklin Young Investigator Award for her research in genetics. The award, intended to showcase talented female scientists with a focus on genetics, allocates a total of $75,000 that is then distributed evenly across 3 years. GSA …

Stem cell scientists take it one cell at a time at the Junior Faculty Candidate Mini-symposium

Cells should be treated as individuals, according to the scientists who presented research at the Junior Faculty Candidate Mini-symposium, hosted by USC’s Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine on February 5. While cells have traditionally been evaluated as populations, these up-and-coming scientists shared their frontier approaches for studying the specific features and activities …

McMahon named University Professor; Davies, Matarić and Pastor named Distinguished Professors

Interim USC President Wanda M. Austin has appointed Andrew P. McMahon as University Professor, and Kelvin J. A. Davies, Maja J. Matarić and Manuel Pastor Jr. as Distinguished Professors.

Disease risk seen in disrupted biological clock

USC scientists report that a novel time-keeping mechanism within liver cells that helps sustain key organ tasks can contribute to diseases when its natural rhythm is disrupted.

Ellis Meng and Mike Waterman elected fellows of the National Academy of Inventors

Ellis Meng, a professor of biomedical engineering and electrical engineering, who holds the Gabilan Distinguished Professorship in Science and Engineering at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, and University Professor, Michael Waterman, who holds the USC Associates Chair in Natural Sciences, and is Professor of Biological Sciences and Mathematics in the Dornsife College of Letters, …

TIME names Valter Longo one of the 50 Most Influential People in Health Care of 2018

USC Leonard Davis School Professor Valter Longo, director of the USC Longevity Institute and USC Stem Cell principal investigator, has been named one of TIME’s the 50 Most Influential People in Health Care for his research on fasting-mimicking diets as a way to improve health and prevent disease. To read more, visit time.com/collection/health-care-50/5425015/valter-longo.

Eun Ji Chung awarded NIH New Innovator Award

Eun Ji Chung, Gabilan Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, has received the NIH New Innovator Award. Announced today by the NIH Common Fund’s High-Risk, High-Reward Research program, Chung’s proposal was one of 58 New Innovator proposals, also known as a DP2, selected nationwide and is only one of four USC projects that the NIH New …

USC Stem Cell scientist Andy McMahon and collaborators tune into the organ concert

Every minute of every day, your organs are using a complex language to communicate with each other about the basic physiological processes necessary for life—everything from blood pressure regulation to pH balance to metabolism. To decipher this little-known language, USC Stem Cell scientist Andy McMahon has joined forces with top scientists at Harvard and Stanford …

All about egg freezing: A Q&A with Dr. Richard J. Paulson, USC Fertility

If you’re not going to complete your family by age 35, it’s time to freeze your eggs, according to Dr. Richard J. Paulson, director of USC Fertility. Egg freezing offers a shot at pausing the biological clock for patients who wish to preserve their fertility into their late forties. Even though eggs can be frozen …

This tiny particle might change millions of lives

Remember the scene in the movie Mission: Impossible when Tom Cruise has to sneak into the vault? He had to do all sorts of moves to avoid detection. That’s what it’s like to sneak a targeted drug into a kidney and keep it from getting eliminated from the body.

From perfectly punctual to fashionably late, it takes all kinds to build a kidney

Running early or running late can have big consequences—especially when it comes to the progenitor cells involved in human kidney development. According to a new study in Developmental Cell from the USC Stem Cell laboratory of Andy McMahon, the progenitor cells that form the kidney’s filtering units, called nephrons, mature into entirely different types of …

Synthetic “tissues” build themselves

How do complex biological structures—an eye, a hand, a brain—emerge from a single fertilized egg? This is the fundamental question of developmental biology, and a mystery still being grappled with by scientists who hope to one day apply the same principles to heal damaged tissues or regrow ailing organs. Now, in a study published May 31 …

Growing hope: New organs? Not yet, but stem cell research is getting closer

If you lose a limb, it’s lost for life. If you damage a kidney, you won’t grow a new one. And if you have a heart attack, the scars are there to stay. But regenerative medicine is poised to change all of this. Building new tissue is within sight, and USC scientists are among the …

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