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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 …

Ebony Flowers

USC Stem Cell scientist Ebony Flowers earns fellowship from the A.P. Giannini Foundation

From goji berries to green tea, antioxidant rich superfoods are celebrated for protecting against cancer-causing free radicals. But what is the role of free radicals—and the process of cell metabolism that produces free radicals—in patients who have already been diagnosed with breast cancer? USC Stem Cell postdoctoral fellow Ebony Flowers will address this question with …

Time to eat

What and when we eat affects our immune system. Here’s how.

Professor Valter Longo, director of the USC Longevity Institute, is investigating how fasting and diets that mimic fasting’s effects can help immune function, including vaccine efficacy and the body’s response to infection by viruses such as influenza and eventually COVID-19. Fasting and fasting mimicking diets appear to “get rid of damaged or mis­guided cells and …

hyperspectral fish

From detecting lung cancer to spotting counterfeit money, this new imaging technology could have countless uses

USC scientists have developed a new tool to peer more deeply and clearly into living things, a visual advantage that saves time and helps advance medical cures. It’s the sort of foundational science that can be used to develop better diagnostics and treatments, including detecting lung cancer or damage from pollutants. The technology is versatile …

USC Stem Cell scientist Rong Lu named Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Scholar

Why do some leukemia patients have more aggressive disease, and why do some of their cancer cells resist treatment? USC Stem Cell scientist Rong Lu is tackling these critical questions with $550,000 of support from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Career Development Program. The program is designed to support talented blood cancer researchers in the …

Development of brain metastasis is a complex process in which metastatic cells (green) overcome the protective effect of immune cells (red). (Image/Yu Lab, USC Stem Cell)

Research reveals why breast cancer spreads to the brain

USC researchers have determined how cancer cells target certain organs, which could help develop treatments to slow or stop the disease from spreading. Most cancers kill because tumor cells spread beyond the primary site to invade other organs. Now, a USC study of brain-invading breast cancer cells circulating in the blood reveals they have a …

Breast cancer cells. Image/Wikimedia Commons

Keyue Shen to lead ongoing research initiative into cancer metastasis

Cancer is the world’s second leading cause of mortality. According to the World Health Organization, it was responsible for around 9.6 million deaths in 2018. Yet over 90 percent of cancer deaths are not caused by the original tumor or disease. They are instead caused by the processes of metastasis; the spread of cancer or …

Photo of Ebony Flowers

Ebony Flowers named Choi Family Postdoctoral Fellow at USC Stem Cell

For Ebony Flowers, a postdoctoral fellow in the USC Stem Cell laboratory of Min Yu, doing science is ultimately about helping patients. “The fact that Min Yu’s Lab is looking at actual human samples from breast cancer patients, and I’m looking to see how this process of metastasis occurs in humans is appealing. You can …

Yong (Tiger) Zhang, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences at the USC School of Pharmacy, was awarded a three-year, $990,000 New Investigator Award by Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP) of California. (Photo by Isaac Mora)

$990,000 New Investigator grant awarded to Yong (Tiger) Zhang

Yong (Tiger) Zhang, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences at the USC School of Pharmacy, was awarded a three-year, $990,000 New Investigator Award by Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP) of California. His project is titled “Novel Immunotherapeutics for Cigarette-Smoking Associated Acute Myeloid Leukemia.” Funding for the grant comes from the California Healthcare, Research …

Breakthrough in testosterone-producing cells could lead to treatment for “low T”

USC researchers have successfully grown human, testosterone-producing cells in the lab, paving the way to someday treat low testosterone with personalized replacement cells. In Monday’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists describe how they transformed stem cells into functioning Leydig cells — the cells in the testes that produce the male sex hormone. “Our …

Bangyan Stiles, PhD, and colleagues from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering were awarded a three-year National Institutes of Health (NIH) project grant in the amount of $636,141. Photo by Ed Carreon.

NIH grant awarded to Bangyan Stiles and colleagues

Bangyan Stiles, PhD, professor of pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences at the USC School of Pharmacy, and colleagues from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering were awarded a three-year, $636,141 National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant for the project “Robust Inference in the Presence of Data Heterogeneity and Structured Missing Data.” Sze-chuan Suen, PhD and Meisam …

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 …

Yong (Tiger) Zhang, PhD, has been awarded a three-year, Career Development Award grant in the amount of $593,996 from the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs.

DOD grant awarded to Yong (Tiger) Zhang

Yong (Tiger) Zhang, PhD, was awarded a three-year, Career Development Award grant in the amount of $593,996 from the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs for his project “Developing Novel Immunotherapeutics for Acute Myeloid Leukemia.” Zhang is an assistant professor of pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences at USC School of Pharmacy. Read more about …

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 …

Min Yu (Photo by Chris Shinn)

USC Stem Cell scientist Min Yu brings curiosity and compassion to cancer research

In her new lab, Min Yu observed the eerie predictability of a line of human breast cancer cells. First in one mouse, then in many, the cells metastasized again and again to the same vital organ: the brain. Alarmed, Yu telephoned the oncologist who had collected the cells from a patient. Yu learned that the …

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 …

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