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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, …

Happy 10th Anniversary, BCC!

Happy 10th anniversary to USC’s stem cell research center

On October 29, 2010, we opened the doors of the Eli and Edythe Broad CIRM Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC. Today, on the 10th anniversary of the building’s grand opening, we reflect on a decade of progress in a celebratory video, featuring messages from everyone from USC President Carol Folt …

California’s biggest stem cell experiment: The impact of the stem cell ballot proposition at USC

In 2008, USC broke ground on an $80 million building dedicated solely to stem cell research and regenerative medicine. The plans called for a monolithic structure clad in black marble and reflective glass, rising five stories and enclosing nearly 90,000 square feet. When it was completed, the university had a stunning new contemporary research space …

Osteophyte

When it comes to arthritic bone spurs, stem cells hurt instead of heal

The same stem cells that heal broken bones can also generate arthritic bone spurs called osteophytes, according to a new study in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases. “Although these stem and progenitor cells promote healthy bone repair in other contexts, they are inappropriately activated to cause a pathological bony protuberance in the context of arthritis,” …

USC-led study traces the evolution of gill covers

The emergence of jaws in primitive fish allowed vertebrates to become top predators. What is less appreciated is another evolutionary innovation that may have been just as important for the success of early vertebrates: the formation of covers to protect and pump water over the gills. In a new study published in the Proceedings of …

Stem cells

USC’s stem cell master’s program awards new scholarships and welcomes its largest incoming class

This fall, USC’s master’s program in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine will be providing a remote learning experience for its largest incoming class to date. The incoming class of 46 students is a diverse group: the cohort is 63 percent female, 20 percent international, and includes both a physician and a rabbi. Six of …

Remote learning

USC Stem Cell’s high school program Zooms ahead

In late February 2020, 10 local high school juniors gathered at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC for the first meeting of a four-month hands-on learning experience, sponsored by the Amgen Foundation. Each of the 10 students had been nominated by a science teacher from an …

Ebony Flowers

Ebony Flowers receives fellowship from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Postdoctoral Enrichment Program

Ebony Flowers has already received three fellowships during her year-and-a-half as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at USC. First, she was awarded the Choi Family Postdoctoral Fellowship, which helped recruit her to Min Yu’s laboratory. Then she earned a fellowship from the A.P. Giannini Foundation, which provided …

Ya-Wen Chen and Vishal Patel

The Baxter Foundation supports USC research on epilepsy and lung injury

The Donald E. and Delia B. Baxter Foundation is supporting innovative biomedical research at the Keck School of Medicine of USC by granting $100,000 awards to two assistant professors: Vishal Patel, MD, PhD, in the USC Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute (INI) and Ya-Wen Chen, PhD, in the USC Hastings Center for …

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 …

Cristy Lytal

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