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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, …

JO neurons

USC Stem Cell scientists start a buzz around fruit flies in hearing research

Even though a fruit fly doesn’t have ears, it can hear with its antennae. In a new study published in the journal Development, USC Stem Cell scientists describe how adult flies can regenerate sensory hearing cells in their antennae, and how studying flies can provide a new way to understand and develop treatments for the …

Dion Dickman, Megan McCain, and Justin Ichida

Scientists Justin Ichida and Dion Dickman: USC’s coolest tenured professors from Hawaii

Now that Justin Ichida and Dion Dickman are both tenured professors at USC, they no longer have to worry about who was the coolest kid in their elementary schools back in Honolulu. But just for the record, it was Ichida. As a third-generation Hawaiian, Ichida fit right in. His background was similar to many on …

Osteoblasts

Broad Clinical Fellows take a stem cell-based approach to liver disease and bone loss

This year’s Broad Clinical Research Fellows are developing stem cell-based approaches for patients of all ages—from two-week-old infants with liver disease, to senior citizens with bone loss following joint replacement surgeries. Since 2015, the Broad Clinical Research Fellowships have enabled physician-scientists at USC, UCLA and the University of California, San Francisco, to engage in one …

Lung organoids

USC scientist Ya-Wen Chen receives American Lung Association grant to advance stem cell-based lung therapies

USC Stem Cell scientist Ya-Wen Chen hopes to pioneer a new approach to regenerating damaged lung tissue, with support from a Catalyst Grant from the American Lung Association (ALA). The award provides $50,000 year for up to two years. “For many patients with chronic lung diseases, the only available treatment is transplantation—a difficult, dangerous surgery …

Rekha Prakash

USC alumna Rekha Prakash brings biotech background to Roosevelt High School

As a LAUSD biotechnology instructor at Roosevelt High School, Rekha Prakash works two short miles from USC’s Health Sciences Campus, where she earned her master of science degree in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine in 2015. “I teach biomedical sciences,” she said. “It’s not a regular biology class. This is totally career technical education. …

Albert Almada

USC scientist Albert Almada puts muscle into stem cell research

USC Stem Cell scientist Albert Almada once had ambitions of becoming a catcher in a professional baseball league—until he was sidelined by a rotator cuff injury in his shoulder. “Life painfully closes one door and then cracks open another, and then over time, you start to realize that that is how things should have happened …

USC Stem Cell scientist Amy Ryan studies diseases from cystic fibrosis to COVID-19

Scientist Amy Ryan has never lived according to a fixed plan. Instead, she has followed where life has led her—to a position as an assistant professor of medicine and stem cell biology and regenerative medicine at USC, studying lung diseases ranging from cystic fibrosis to COVID-19. Ryan’s original plan had little to do with lung …

Jianfu Jeff Chen

From grains to brains, USC scientist Jianfu (Jeff) Chen uncovers the roots of disease

Although USC scientist Jianfu (Jeff) Chen now studies human neurological disorders, he was originally more interested in organisms without brains, such as rice and wheat. “When I was about to go to college in China, there was big emphasis on the biology major, because of the guy who happened to be a pioneer in the …

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, …

Cristy Lytal

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