Neurons and muscle

Skeletal muscle grown in a dish offers new insight for neuromuscular diseases

Neuromuscular diseases are debilitating and mostly incurable, affecting 160 out of every 100,000 people worldwide. Disorders such as ALS and multiple sclerosis impact the function of muscles, causing muscle wastage and loss …

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. …

Synapses between nerve cells, called neurons, and muscle cells in the fruit fly Drosophila are giving clues to how neurons maintain communication. Here, a synapse is immunostained with antibodies that recognize the neuronal membrane (blue), active zones (green) and neurotransmitter receptors (red). (Image courtesy of Dion Dickman)

Answers for diseases like schizophrenia may lie in how the brain maintains balance

Pop psychologists tout “balance” as key to mental health, and they may be more right than they realize. Neuroscientist Dion Dickman is gaining insight into how the brain maintains healthy balance on …

Skeletal myotubes grown for three weeks on gelatin hydrogel (Image by Archana Bettadapur, Gio Suh, Evelyn Wang, Holly Huber, Alyssa Viscio and Megan McCain)

USC researchers use gelatin instead of the gym to grow stronger muscles

USC researcher Megan L. McCain and colleagues have devised a way to develop bigger, stronger muscle fibers. But instead of popping up on the bicep of a bodybuilder, these muscles grow on …

From top: Dion Dickman (left), Megan McCain and Justin Ichida; Rong Lu (left) and Keyue Shen (Photos by Cristy Lytal)

USC Stem Cell researchers receive the inaugural Broad Innovation Awards

Two teams of scientists have won the inaugural Eli and Edythe Broad Innovation Awards in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at USC. This year’s competition provides $120,000 each to the teams …

Dion K. Dickman, PhD