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Overview

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.

Statistics

  • 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.

Researchers

Digestion and Metabolism News

Kuo-Chang (Ted) Tseng from the Crump Lab and Michelle Hung from the Ichida Lab enjoy a beachside brainstorm.

Scientists feel the sand between their toes at the retreat for USC’s stem cell department

A pair of young scientists picked up a piece of driftwood and thoughtfully traced a series of letters in the wet sand of Ventura Beach. The word “microglia”—referring to the immune cells …

USC and CHLA awarded $8 million to expand access to cell and gene therapy clinical trials

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the state’s stem cell agency, has awarded a five-year, $8 million grant to the Keck School of Medicine of USC and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). …

A cell showing the enzyme BirA*G3, which tags the proteins of the "secretome" (Image courtesy of the McMahon Lab)

This mouse can’t keep a secret about the “secretome”

The “secretome” refers to proteins that are secreted by a cell, a tissue or an organism. In a new study published in Open Biology, USC Stem Cell scientist Andy McMahon and his …

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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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