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Three USC researchers win $4.3 million in awards from California’s stem cell agency

Three scientists from Keck Medicine of USC have won grants exceeding $4.3 million from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) for research that includes creating a temporary liver for patients, finding novel ways to treat immune disorders and blood diseases, and developing new animal models for heart failure, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases. The grants, …

Justin Ichida named John Douglas French Alzheimer’s Foundation Associate Professor of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at USC

Justin Ichida has been named the John Douglas French Alzheimer’s Foundation Associate Professor of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at USC. This new endowed professorship recognizes Ichida’s progress in developing stem cell-based approaches to studying neurodegenerative diseases including ALS, frontotemporal dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. “Alzheimer’s disease affects more than 50 million people worldwide, and …

Organ of Corti

USC Stem Cell scientists find a simpler way to make sensory hearing cells

Scientists from the USC Stem Cell laboratories of Neil Segil and Justin Ichida are whispering the secrets of a simpler way to generate the sensory cells of the inner ear. Their approach uses direct reprogramming to produce sensory cells known as “hair cells,” due to their hair-like protrusions that sense sound waves. The study was …

SARS-CoV-2

USC Stem Cell scientists use “mini-lungs” and lung models to understand COVID-19

USC scientists are testing out experimental COVID-19 treatments on human “mini-lungs” and lung models, grown in the laboratory using stem cells. With names such as organoids and lung-chips, these simplified, lung-like structures are critically useful for studying infection and for screening large numbers of drug-like molecules to identify promising leads. Ya-Wen Chen—a new assistant professor …

ombuds

What is the USC Ombuds?

Stress levels are running high with a pandemic, global recession, and social injustice threatening livelihoods and lives. While the USC Office of the Ombuds can’t resolve the world’s woes, it can serve as a confidential, impartial, informal, and independent problem-solving resource for students, faculty and staff. The University Ombuds—Thomas Kosakowski at the Health Sciences Campus, …

20 day old cortical organoid courtesy of Tuan Nguyen Quadrato lab

USC scientists use brain organoids to study intellectual disability, with support from the SynGAP Research Fund

Maybe a child misses a developmental milestone, such as rolling over, or saying that first word. Perhaps the child also falls down due to seizures, or develops symptoms of an autism spectrum disorder. Eventually, a doctor pinpoints the cause: a rare and spontaneous variant in a gene called SYNGAP1, which leads to a variety of …

Ya-Wen Chen

USC Stem Cell scientist Ya-Wen Chen grows miniature lungs with maximum potential

As the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus outbreak escalated into a pandemic, USC lung researcher Ya-Wen Chen expected to be spending a lot of time at home, sheltering in place. “At the beginning of the quarantine, I was going to focus on writing grants,” said Chen, who joined USC as an assistant professor of medicine, and stem cell …

Peter Fabian

USC Stem Cell scientist Peter Fabian wins NIH Pathway to Independence Award

As a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at USC, Peter Fabian has proven himself to be a big fish in the pool of aspiring faculty members. Only three years after joining the USC Stem Cell laboratory of Gage Crump to study craniofacial development in tiny zebrafish embryos, Fabian …

Rong Lu

USC Stem Cell scientist Rong Lu wins an NIH Emerging Investigator Award

Millions of blood cells are regenerated every second. To study the unique properties of individual blood forming stem cells and how they contribute to aging, leukemia and other medical conditions, USC Stem Cell scientist Rong Lu has received a $6.6 million Emerging Investigator Award from National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), which is part …

Organ of Corti

USC Stem Cell study shows when to quit “Yapping”

It turns out that to hear a person yapping, you need a protein called Yap. Working as part of what is known as the Yap/Tead complex, this important protein sends signals to the hearing organ to attain the correct size during embryonic development, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National …

Writing

Manuscript writing course for KSOM students and postdocs

Are you a KSOM postdoc or graduate student working on a manuscript? Whether you’re staring at a blank page, or going through the umpteenth round of revisions, this free workshop will get you ready to submit your manuscript to a scientific journal. Offered via Zoom, the 4-week workshop will start on Tuesday, May 26, at …

Kalya Stanten

Countdown to Commencement: USC Stem Cell master’s student Kalya Stanten follows the science

By following her love of science, USC master’s student Kalya Stanten has found herself in some very interesting places—including a virology lab at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I’m in Paula Cannon’s lab,” said Stanten, who is graduating with a Master of Science in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. “Through my own work …

Min Yu (Photo by Chris Shinn)

USC Stem Cell scientist Min Yu awarded Era of Hope Scholar Award from the U.S. Department of Defense for breast cancer research

Most breast cancer cells won’t kill you. It is the rare cell that can survive the perilous journey through the bloodstream and seed the metastatic lesions responsible for the vast majority of breast cancer-related deaths. And although these rare cancer cells are difficult to find and even harder to study in the lab, they have …

Andrew P. McMahon

USC Professor Andrew P. McMahon elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Andrew P. McMahon—who is the W.M. Keck Provost and University Professor in USC’s departments of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine, and Biological Sciences at the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences—has been elected as a new member of the National Academy of Sciences in honor of his …

Long Cai

The Broad Foundation brings together stem cell scientists, engineers and physicians at USC and beyond

Developing new stem cell therapies requires more than a solo biologist having a eureka moment alone in the lab. Real progress relies on collaborations between biologists, engineers and physicians. That’s why The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation has continued its support of two strategic initiatives: innovation awards bringing together teams of engineers and scientists from …

Ebony Flowers

USC Stem Cell scientist Ebony Flowers earns fellowship from the A.P. Giannini Foundation

From goji berries to green tea, antioxidant rich superfoods are celebrated for protecting against cancer-causing free radicals. But what is the role of free radicals—and the process of cell metabolism that produces free radicals—in patients who have already been diagnosed with breast cancer? USC Stem Cell postdoctoral fellow Ebony Flowers will address this question with …

Oliver Bell

Design redundancy is in our DNA

Design redundancy is not only an invention of engineers for building machines, but also a principle of nature for designing organisms. This principle is at play in the regulation of the genes responsible for directing stem cells to multiply themselves in the developing mouse embryo, as described in a new study in Science Advances.

lizard

Lizards’ immune systems are not only for fighting germs, but also for regrowing severed tails

The human immune system has been getting a bad rap lately. However, the lizard immune system is finally receiving its due credit for enabling lizards to regrow severed tails. In a recent study in the Journal of Immunology and Regenerative Medicine, researchers from USC and the University of Pittsburgh describe how immune cells, called phagocytes, …

USC Stem Cell scientist Rong Lu named Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Scholar

Why do some leukemia patients have more aggressive disease, and why do some of their cancer cells resist treatment? USC Stem Cell scientist Rong Lu is tackling these critical questions with $550,000 of support from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Career Development Program. The program is designed to support talented blood cancer researchers in the …

Photo of Ebony Flowers

Ebony Flowers named Choi Family Postdoctoral Fellow at USC Stem Cell

For Ebony Flowers, a postdoctoral fellow in the USC Stem Cell laboratory of Min Yu, doing science is ultimately about helping patients. “The fact that Min Yu’s Lab is looking at actual human samples from breast cancer patients, and I’m looking to see how this process of metastasis occurs in humans is appealing. You can …

Lindsey Michaela Katie Joanna SELFIE

Meet six USC Stem Cell postdocs-turned-professors

Only 23 percent of biomedical PhD holders eventually land tenure-track faculty positions, according to a report by the National Institutes of Health Biomedical Research Workforce Working Group. Beating these odds, six postdoctoral trainees from USC’s Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine recently landed coveted jobs as tenure-track assistant professors: Lori O’Brien at the …

Cristy Lytal

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