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Immunohistochemical staining of sensory hair cell-like cells. The cells were induced from fibroblasts by the over-expression of selected transcription factors. (Image courtesy of Suhasni Gopalakrishnan, Louise Menendez, Juan Llamas, Justin Ichida and Neil Segil)

Current research on inner ear hair cell regeneration

Article courtesy of the February 2017 issue of KeckZine Otolaryngology Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) is the most common sensory disability in humans and is most often caused by the death of so-called …

A car accident left Kris Boesen paralyzed. Experimental stem cell surgery gave him a chance to regain mobility in his arms and hands. (Photo by Greg Iger)

Stem cell therapy gives paralyzed man second chance at independence

Courtesy of USC Trojan Family Magazine Four days after undergoing major surgery, 21-year-old Kris Boesen picked up a smartphone and sent a text. It was the first message that he had sent …

Mark S. Humayun (Photo courtesy of the Keck School of Medicine of USC)

Dr. Mark Humayun elected a 2016 Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors

Today the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) announced Mark S. Humayun, co-director of the University of Southern California (USC) Roski Eye Institute and director of the USC Institute for Biomedical Therapeutics, has …

Haoze (Vincent) Yu and Kate Galloway (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

USC Stem Cell’s Kate Galloway and Haoze (Vincent) Yu answer a new ALS challenge

Although it’s not the type of challenge that involves an ice bucket, this year’s Doerr Stem Cell Challenge Grant has brought together two young scientists from different USC labs to tackle ALS. …

Senta Georgia (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

What I’m Reading: Top pick from stem cell faculty member Senta Georgia

Earlier this year, a team at the Karolinska Institute published a paper that profiled gene activity in single cells from human embryos created in the context of in vitro fertilization. Now this …

Qi-Long Ying (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

What I’m Reading: Top pick from stem cell faculty member Qi-Long Ying

In a recent study published in Cell Stem Cell, Joshua Black and colleagues demonstrated that skin cells are converted into neurons using a powerful tool called CRISPR/Cas9 to concurrently modify and activate …

Wange Lu (Photo by Chris Shinn)

What I’m reading: Top pick from stem cell faculty member Wange Lu

Our genetic material is packed into the nucleus of the cell, but is the packing process random or organized in some way? In a recent study published in Cell Stem Cell, Krijger …

Megan McCain (Photo by Will Taylor)

Megan McCain receives American Heart Association Faculty Award

Megan McCain has received a 2016 Scientist Development Grant from the American Heart Association. The three-year, $231,000 grant supports highly promising early career scientists in cardiovascular and stroke research. McCain—Gabilan Assistant Professor …

Kris Boesen and his father Rodney (Photo by Greg Iger)

Paralyzed man regains use of arms and hands after experimental stem cell therapy at Keck Hospital of USC

Keck Medical Center of USC today announced that a team of doctors became the first in California to inject an experimental treatment made from stem cells, AST-OPC1, into the damaged cervical spine …

Researchers have found a protein that may help with the brain’s recovery from a stroke. (Illustration courtesy of Shutterstock)

There’s hope for reversing stroke-induced long-term disability

Permanent brain damage from a stroke may be reversible thanks to a developing therapeutic technique, a USC-led study has found. The novel approach combines transplanted human stem cells with a special protein …

Joseph T. Rodgers (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

What I’m reading: A top pick from stem cell faculty member Joseph T. Rodgers

In a recent issue of Science, Jay Shendure, Alexander Schier and colleagues present an extraordinarily powerful new approach to trace the lineage of cells as they divide within an organism.

Mosquito (Image courtesy of the National Institutes for Health)

Two Zika proteins responsible for microcephaly identified

USC researchers have tracked down two Zika proteins potentially responsible for thousands of microcephaly cases in Brazil and elsewhere—taking one small step toward preventing Zika-infected mothers from birthing babies with abnormally small …

From left, Andy McMahon and Gage Crump (Photos by Phil Channing and the Crump Lab)

What I’m reading: Top picks from stem cell faculty members Andy McMahon and Gage Crump

Andy McMahon: Leigh Turner and Paul Knoepfler present a disturbing report in Cell Stem Cell on the growth of businesses marketing stem cell interventions in the US. Los Angeles is one “stem …

The organ of Corti, the hearing organ of the inner ear, is made up of a single row of inner hair cells and three rows of outer hair cells (green), surrounded by supporting cells (purple). (Image by Yassan Abdolazimi and Neil Segil)

USC Stem Cell researchers listen for clues about how the gene Atoh1 enables hearing

Non-mammals such as birds can recover from deafness as quickly as humans can recover from a cut or bruise. In contrast, when humans and other mammals sustain damage to the inner ear’s …

From top: Dion Dickman (left), Megan McCain and Justin Ichida; Rong Lu (left) and Keyue Shen (Photos by Cristy Lytal)

USC Stem Cell researchers receive the inaugural Broad Innovation Awards

Two teams of scientists have won the inaugural Eli and Edythe Broad Innovation Awards in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at USC. This year’s competition provides $120,000 each to the teams …

Stem cells self-organize to form a hollow ball of cells. (Image by In Kyoung Mah and Francesca Mariani)

A gene called Prkci helps organize organisms and their organs

A gene called Prkci can point cells in the right direction, according to a new study in Developmental Biology. In the study, USC Stem Cell researcher In Kyoung Mah from the laboratory …

Valter Longo (Photo by Dietmar Quistorf)

Diet that mimics fasting may also reduce multiple sclerosis symptoms

Evidence is mounting that a diet mimicking the effects of fasting has health benefits beyond weight loss, with a new USC-led study indicating that it may reduce symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Scientists …

Graduate student Vincent Haoze Yu; Broad Clinical Fellow Rodrigo Martínez Monedero, MD; Michael Sidgmore; principal investigator Neil Segil, PhD; and graduate student Louise Menendez in the Choi Family Therapeutic Screening Facility at the Eli and Edythe Broad CIRM Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC. Segil's team is collaborating with USC Stem Cell researchers Justin Ichida, PhD, Takahiro Ohyama, PhD, and Radha Kalluri, PhD, to reprogram skin cells into sensory cells of the inner ear. (Photo courtesy of HSC News)

Sidgmore Family Foundation gift to help hearing loss research

There has always been one insurmountable problem related to hearing loss: When the sensory hair cells in the inner ear die, they don’t regenerate. These microscopic cells signal to the brain that …

Mark Humayun, MD, PhD, shakes hands with President Barack Obama after receiving the National Medal of Technology and Innovation during a ceremony May 19, 2016, at the White House.

Mark Humayun receives the National Medal from President Obama

Mark S. Humayun, co-director of the USC Gayle and Edward Roski Eye Institute and director of the USC Institute for Biomedical Therapeutics, received the nation’s highest award for achievement in technology from …

The Journal of Neuroscience cover from April 27, 2016

Key mutations may worsen hearing loss from the chemotherapy drug cisplatin

The chemotherapy drug cisplatin can kill cancer, but it can also kill the sensory cells of the inner ear — causing permanent hearing loss. This hearing loss is likely to be more severe …