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Tubular networks developing in a mammalian kidney (Image by Tracy Tran/Andy McMahon Lab)

Growing hope: What are stem cells, and how does USC use them?

Stem cell therapies have accelerated at a promising pace, but how do they work? And what are stem cells?

From left, stem cell researchers Andres Matias Lebensohn, Maxwell Z. Wilson, Seth Shipman, Pulin Li and Yejing Ge (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

At USC’s Junior Faculty Mini-Symposium, stem cell scientists build to understand

When physicist Richard Feynman died in 1988, he left a message scrawled across his chalkboard: “What I cannot create, I do not understand.” Twenty years later, scientists in a very different field …

At an early stage, a nephron forming in the human kidney generates an S-shaped structure. Green cells will generate the kidneys’ filtering device, and blue and red cells specialized regions responsible for distinct nephron activities. (Image courtesy of Stacy Moroz and Tracy Tran/McMahon Lab)

Never accept a kidney donation from a mouse

Researchers are hard at work building mini-kidneys from human cells—using blueprints mostly drawn from lab mice. But mouse kidneys differ from their human counterparts in more than mere scale, as detailed by …

Valter Longo (Photo by John Skalicky)

What to know about fasting, aging, the “longevity diet” and when you should eat

Biochemist Valter Longo has devoted decades to discovering connections between nutrition and successful aging. He runs the Longevity Institute at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, which aims to extend healthy …

Bérénice Benayoun (Photo courtesy of the USC Davis School of Gerontology)

Bérénice Benayoun studies possibility of rejuvenating genes

Bérénice Benayoun, assistant professor at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology and principal investigator with USC Stem Cell, explores the role of epigenetics—the ways that genes turn “off” or “on”—in the …

Laura Perin (Photo courtesy of CHLA)

New cellular approach found to control progression of chronic kidney disease

Researchers have demonstrated for the first time that extracellular vesicles—tiny protein-filled structures—isolated from amniotic fluid stem cells (AFSCs) can be used to effectively slow the progression of kidney damage in mice with …

Embryonic stem cells (Image/courtesy of Qi-Long Ying)

Subtle cues can dictate the fate of stem cells

If you’ve seen one GSK3 molecule, do not assume that you have seen them all. A new study in Developmental Cell reveals important differences in two similar forms of GSK3, which, in …

Pinchas Cohen (Photo courtesy of the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology)

Pinchas Cohen recognized as top influencer in aging field

A newly published list of 2017’s top 50 “Influencers in Aging” includes Pinchas Cohen, dean of the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology and principal investigator with USC Stem Cell. The list …

Nanoparticles vs. germs (Photo courtesy of @nanopeek)

Peeking into the science world

For adolescents, social media use is nearly inevitable. According to “Science Daily,” a website that circulates recently developed research news headlines, 76 percent of teenagers in the United States actively use Instagram …

Injury-related damage in a mouse chronic kidney disease model (Image by Jing Liu/McMahon Lab)

The Broad Foundation awards $1 million to early-stage stem cell research projects

The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation has awarded two $125,000 grants to early-stage scientific investigations at USC’s stem cell research center. The projects are among eight winners of the $1 million Fund …

Zhongwei Li (Photo by Cameron Quon)

USC Stem Cell scientist Zhongwei Li is writing a recipe for a kidney

USC Stem Cell scientist Zhongwei Li could have gone into the family restaurant business. Instead, he’s dedicated his career to experimenting with a very different set of ingredients: kidney stem cells. “The …

Eun Ji Chung (Photo by Michelle Henry)

Eun Ji Chung receives 2017 AIChE 35 Under 35 Award

To describe Eun Ji Chung as “goal-oriented” might be the understatement of the year. Chung, a Gabilan Assistant Professor in the USC Viterbi Department of Biomedical Engineering and USC Stem Cell principal investigator, …

Rat

USC Stem Cell researchers receive $3 million of NIH funding to produce sophisticated laboratory rats

USC Stem Cell principal investigator Qi-Long Ying and his team are pleased to introduce a new transgenic animal—the conditional and inducible gene knockout rat. Created using embryonic stem cell-based technology, these remarkable …

Richard Lopez (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

High school student Richard Lopez gets an early start with stem cell science

Even though Richard Lopez is still in high school, he can already tell you a thing or two about the ureteric bud, the metanephric mesenchyme and the developing kidney. More impressively, he …

Human development (Image courtesy of Evseenko Lab)

Whittier Foundation backs new group of research projects

The L.K. Whittier Foundation has been a critical source of funding for cancer research at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, supporting clinicians and …

From left, Broad Clinical Research Fellows Wan Jiao, Roshan Rajani and Anthony Squillaro (Photos courtesy of Wan Jiao, Cristy Lytal and Anthony Squillaro)

Broad Clinical Research Fellows strive to regenerate lymph nodes, liver and kidney

The lymph nodes, liver and kidney are not passive filters for toxins, but complex organ systems that perform an astonishing array of critical functions. To help patients who have suffered damage to …

Clockwise from top left: Andy McMahon, Rohit Varma, Jonathan Samet and Donna Spruijt-Metz (Photos courtesy of USC)

NIH funding helps Americans live longer and healthier

The nation’s medical research agency, the National Institutes of Health, funds research to help Americans live longer and healthier. Some 148 Nobel Prize winners have received support from the NIH, demonstrating how …

Kidney organoid (Image by Tracy Tran/McMcMahon Lab)

USC’s stem cell scientists secure the dollars to fight disease

The price of progress is not only the energy and talent of stem cell scientists, but also the research dollars that support their discoveries. In recent months, faculty members have secured numerous …

Barbara Kolo and Andy McMahon (Photo by Richard Carrasco)

Artist plus researcher equals infinite inspiration at the Keck School of Medicine of USC

What happens when you pair 14 artists with 14 USC biomedical researchers? The answer is currently on display at the Hoyt Gallery on the Health Sciences Campus of the Keck School of …

Megan McCain (Photo by Will Taylor)

Megan McCain appointed to Chonette Early Career Chair

Megan McCain, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, and stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, has been honored with the Chonette Early Career Chair at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. As an …