USC Stem Cell scientists are advancing our understanding of how the body develops, maintains and repairs its digestive and metabolic systems, including the liver, pancreas and digestive tract. They are also developing new regenerative treatments for patients with diabetes, metabolic syndromes, inflammatory bowel diseases, short bowel syndrome, hepatitis, liver fibrosis, liver cancer, colon cancer and many other diseases.


  • Nearly 10 percent of Americans—more than 30 million people—have diabetes, which is the seventh leading cause of death in the US.
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, affect 1.6 million Americans.
  • Approximately 4.3 percent of people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in their lifetimes. Colorectal cancer affects more than 1.3 Americans, and is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the US.
  • More than 40,000 Americans are diagnosed with liver cancer each year. Nearly 30,000 Americans die from liver cancer each year.
  • Worldwide, 500 million people have hepatitis B or C. These viruses kill 1.5 million people a year.


Digestion and Metabolism News

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$2 million grant boosts technological advancements in cutting-edge cell therapy manufacturing facility

The Keck School of Medicine of USC has received $2 million from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to further augment its newly launched cGMP Laboratory, a state-of-the-art facility designed to …

Senta Georgia

Senta Georgia reflects on Title IX and becoming the first Black PhD scientist to earn tenure at the Keck School of Medicine of USC

When USC Stem Cell researcher Senta Georgia was granted tenure on March 10, 2023, she became the first Black PhD scientist to earn this promotion in the history of the Keck School …

Berenice Benayoun (Photo by Charles Camarda)

USC Professor Bérénice Benayoun receives grant to study menopause and ovarian aging

Bérénice Benayoun, assistant professor of gerontology at the USC Leonard Davis School, received a $200,000 grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI). The funding will support Benayoun’s work in understanding the molecular …

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Digestion and Metabolism Videos

To discover new therapies to treat disease, scientists use living cells to study drug action and identify new drug candidates. The Choi Family Therapeutic Screening Facility in USC’s stem cell research center uses robotic systems that can simultaneously conduct thousands of tests of drug-like molecules in a “high-throughput screen” process designed to give insight into new therapies to treat many types of disease.
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