USC Stem Cell scientists are advancing our understanding of how the body develops, maintains and repairs the brain, nerves and senses. They are using stem cells to find new regenerative therapies for conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, neurodegenerative diseases, brain tumors, hearing loss and vision loss.


  • Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the US. An estimated 5.5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, causes progressive paralysis and usually results in fatal respiratory failure within three to five years of diagnosis.
  • Brain tumors are the most common cancer and leading cause of cancer-related death in children fourteen years and younger.
  • Twenty percent of Americans—or 48 million people—report some degree of hearing loss.
  • More than 20 million Americans report some degree of vision loss.


Brain, Nerves and Senses News

National Academy of Inventors elects four Keck School of Medicine of USC faculty as senior members

The National Academy of Inventors (NAI), a nonprofit member organization that encourages inventors in higher education, has announced that four researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of USC are part of …

Oliver Bell and Daniel Bsteh

USC Stem Cell study throws our understanding of gene regulation for a loop

The blueprint for human life lies within the DNA in the nucleus of each of our cells. In human cells, around six and a half feet of this genetic material must be …

Lab-grown 6-month-old human Purkinje cell (Image by Alexander Atamian and Marcella Birtele/Quadrato Lab)

USC Stem Cell scientists develop a game-changing organoid model to study human cerebellar development and disease

In a first for USC Stem Cell scientists, the laboratory of Giorgia Quadrato, an assistant professor of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, has pioneered a novel human brain organoid model that …

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Brain, Nerves and Senses Videos

Dr. Justin Ichida’s research focuses on how genetic and environmental factors contribute to human neurodegenerative disease. His laboratory uses cellular reprogramming and stem cell technology to build patient-specific in vitro models of neurodegenerative disease, enabling the screening of drug-like compounds in search of potential therapeutics. To learn more, visit
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