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Ching-Ling (Ellen) Lien

California’s stem cell agency awards CHLA $5 million training grant

Stem cells are the seeds that grow our hearts, brains, lungs, intestines—every one of the body’s tissues and organs. By studying stem cells and their potential to replace damaged or dysfunctional cells, …

Smog

How does air pollution influence Alzheimer’s risk?

Higher exposure to air pollution is strongly associated with cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease, especially for people with certain genetic risk factors for the disease. Exactly how pollution interacts with these genes …

Bell in the lab

Drug-like molecule points to novel strategies for cancer therapy

A decade ago, genome sequencing revealed a big surprise: about 50 percent of human cancers are linked to mutations in what are known as epigenetic regulators, which control the activity of genes. …

Impromptu McMahon lab meeting

USC Stem Cell: An incubator for medicine of the 21st century

Just over a decade ago, USC was a university with a few scattered stem cell biologists, and a vision for total transformation. The university was committed to designing a unique “incubator” for …

Illustration by Jonathan Haase

Cycles of a fasting-mimicking diet help mice live longer, healthier

While many diets have been studied for effectiveness in preventing obesity and heart disease in both mice and humans, research on the effects and benefits of short, periodic cycles of fasting on obesity and heart health are lacking. In a new USC study on the health effects of a low-calorie diet that mimics …

mourning gecko

Aided by stem cells, a lizard regenerates a perfect tail for the first time in 250 million years

Lizards can regrow severed tails, making them the closest relative to humans that can regenerate a lost appendage. But in lieu of the original tail that includes a spinal column and nerves, …

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

Bérénice Benayoun receives prestigious investigator-focused grant

The Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award directly supports scientists, providing stability, flexibility and more opportunities for breakthroughs. The National Institute of General Medical Sciences has awarded an R35 Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) …

(Image courtesy of Children's Hospital Los Angeles)

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles awarded $6.8 million five-year grant to help lead national consortium on healthy brain development

Groundbreaking 25-site study will follow thousands of children from multiple demographics before birth through early childhood. When children are sick, clinicians can consult a known standard for how their heart, lungs and …

Students

2021 Call for Applications: CIRM Training Fellowships in Stem Cell Biology and Tissue Regeneration

We have several positions open for PhD students, postdocs, and clinical trainees who are conducting research related to developmental biology, stem cell biology, and/or regenerative medicine. Fellowships are open to all regardless …

Neurons and muscle

Skeletal muscle grown in a dish offers new insight for neuromuscular diseases

Neuromuscular diseases are debilitating and mostly incurable, affecting 160 out of every 100,000 people worldwide. Disorders such as ALS and multiple sclerosis impact the function of muscles, causing muscle wastage and loss …

Joyce Richey, PhD, meets with medical student leaders of DEI interest groups. (Photo courtesy of the Keck School of Medicine of USC)

Keck School of Medicine of USC: A place where we all belong

Building a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture at the Keck School. For the betterment of the Keck School of Medicine community, an innovative initiative was conceived last year known as the JEDI-WeST …

As USC’s first senior vice president for health affairs, Steve Shapiro oversees clinical operations at Keck Medicine of USC and research and medical training at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. (USC Photo/Richard Carrasco III)

Steve Shapiro brings a big-picture approach to medicine to USC

Steve Shapiro takes the macro view of medicine. This spring, he became the first senior vice president for health affairs at USC, where he will oversee — and build bridges between — clinical …

By superimposing images of several of the kidney’s filtering units, known as nephrons, researchers can visualize how little these structures deviate from a stereotypical developmental trajectory.

USC-led study traces the blueprints for how human kidneys form their filtering units

When it comes to building a kidney, only nature possesses the complete set of blueprints. But a USC-led team of scientists has managed to borrow some of nature’s pages through a comprehensive …

The coronal suture contains stem cells (green).

Study of skull birth defect takes it from the top

Contrary to the popular song, the neck bone is actually connected to one of 22 separate head bones that make up the human skull. These plate-like bones intersect at specialized joints called …

Organ of Corti

USC Stem Cell scientists explore the latent regenerative potential of the inner ear

Scientists from the USC Stem Cell laboratory of Neil Segil have identified a natural barrier to the regeneration of the inner ear’s sensory cells, which are lost in hearing and balance disorders. …

LA smog (Image courtesy of the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC)

Jian Xu investigates environmental pollution’s contribution to birth defects

Jian Xu hopes to better understand the mechanisms behind environmental toxins increasing the occurrence of birth defects in order to develop new treatments or even prevent craniofacial birth defects. Nearly 120,000 babies …

(Image courtesy of iStock)

Top scientists and research institutions propose improvements to cell- and gene-based therapy development

Led by a USC cell and gene therapy researcher, an international coalition calls for more transparency and reproducibility in research and development of breakthrough treatments.   Scientists around the world are achieving significant …

Neutrophil

Study highlights differences in immune cell function between male and female mice

A new USC study of a common, yet poorly understood type of white blood cell reveals the human immune cell’s response to pathogens differs greatly by sex and by age.  In this mouse study, males proved much more susceptible to a condition called sepsis than females. However, the scientists also found that the female disease-defense system is …

3-D illustration of ciliated cells. (Image courtesy of iStock)

Could mapping tiny hairlike structures help treat lung illnesses?

With a $2.3 million NIH award, USC researchers will study how cilia behavior and structure impact their function, a key in improving diagnostics and treatments for lung illnesses like COVID-19. Cilia, microscopic …

Scott Fraser by Noe Montes

USC Professor Scott E. Fraser redefines impossible problems

USC Professor Scott E. Fraser is known for inventing new microscopes and other tools to observe living, developing embryos. But one of his lab’s most important pieces of technology filters coffee instead …