USC Stem Cell scientists are advancing our understanding of how the body develops, maintains and repairs the muscles, cartilage and skeleton. They are also using stem cells to find new regenerative therapies for conditions ranging from difficult-to-heal bone fractures to muscle injury, from birth defects to arthritis.


  • Arthritis and other rheumatoid conditions are the leading cause of disability in the US.
  • Approximately 6.3 million bone fractures occur each year in the US.
  • The most common fracture prior to age 75 is a wrist fracture. In those over age 75, hip fractures become the most common broken bone and can lead to permanent disability.
  • Between 10% and 55% of muscle injuries occur during sports activities.
  • Cleft lip and cleft palate are among the most common birth defects, affecting approximately one or two in a thousand babies.


Muscles and Skeleton News

From left, Denis Evseenko and Jay Lieberman (Photo by Sergio Bianco)

Potential relief for osteoarthritis moves to clinical trial after animal studies

A team of researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of USC have found a drug with the potential for curbing painful hyperinflammation from osteoarthritis, according to results of an animal study. …

One-week-old zebrafish with jaw cartilage in blue, tendons in magenta and jaw muscles in white. (Image by Hung-Jhen (Olivia) Chen/Crump Lab)

How to assemble a complete jaw

A USC-led team of scientists has made a drool-worthy discovery about how tendons and salivary glands develop in the jaw. Their results are published in a new study in Developmental Cell. In …

Yulia Shwartz

For USC Stem Cell scientist Yulia Shwartz, science gives her goosebumps

When USC Stem Cell scientist Yulia Shwartz experiences the thrill of scientific discovery, she often thinks of a line that Charles Darwin wrote in The Voyage of the Beagle: “every traveller must …

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Muscles and Skeleton Videos

Meet Dr. Yulia Shwartz, a new faculty member at USC Stem Cell. Her lab studies the mechanisms that control stem cell behavior in homeostasis, stress and aging, using the skin as a model.
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