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From right, USC Stem Cell scientists Francesca Mariani and Stephanie T. Kuwahara (Photo by Sergio Bianco)

Messenger cells bring good news for bone healing

How do bones heal, and how could they heal better? The answer to these questions may lie in a newly discovered population of “messenger” cells, according to a recent USC Stem Cell study published in the journal eLife. “With nearly half a million patients in the U.S experiencing failed bone repair every year, stimulating these …

At the retreat for USC’s stem cell department, the students become the masters

Students and trainees took center stage at the annual retreat for USC’s Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. They presented their latest research to the 180 stem cell scientists who gathered at the event, held at the Pala Mesa Resort in Fallbrook, California this September.

Growing hope: New organs? Not yet, but stem cell research is getting closer

If you lose a limb, it’s lost for life. If you damage a kidney, you won’t grow a new one. And if you have a heart attack, the scars are there to stay. But regenerative medicine is poised to change all of this. Building new tissue is within sight, and USC scientists are among the …

Mariani Lab reveals rules for making ribs

Scientists from the USC Stem Cell lab of Francesca Mariani recently shared a recipe for ribs, and it doesn’t even require barbecue sauce.

Scientists get into detail at the retreat for USC’s stem cell department

“The process of disease is about detail,” said Larry Goldstein, the director of the stem cell program at the University of California, San Diego, and keynote speaker at the retreat for USC’s Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. Held on October 20 and 21 at the Pala Mesa Resort in Fallbrook, California, the …

USC’s stem cell scientists secure the dollars to fight disease

The price of progress is not only the energy and talent of stem cell scientists, but also the research dollars that support their discoveries. In recent months, faculty members have secured numerous grants to support stem cell-based approaches to study and treat illnesses ranging from osteoarthritis to Alzheimer’s disease to cystic fibrosis. Here are a …

Artist plus researcher equals infinite inspiration at the Keck School of Medicine of USC

What happens when you pair 14 artists with 14 USC biomedical researchers? The answer is currently on display at the Hoyt Gallery on the Health Sciences Campus of the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

Bone defects inspire perfect union between surgeon-scientist and stem cell researchers at USC

As chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, Jay R. Lieberman regularly sees patients with bone defects too severe to heal. This unmet clinical need inspired him to team up with two stem cell biologists, Gage Crump and Francesca Mariani, to find new solutions.

What I’m reading: Top picks from stem cell faculty

In a recent study in the journal Cell, Kyle Loh and colleagues in Irving Weissman’s group established a rapid protocol for converting human pluripotent stem cells into mesoderm—the progenitors for heart, skeleton, muscles and a variety of other critical tissue types in our bodies.

A gene called Prkci helps organize organisms and their organs

A gene called Prkci can point cells in the right direction, according to a new study in Developmental Biology. In the study, USC Stem Cell researcher In Kyoung Mah from the laboratory of Francesca Mariani and colleagues demonstrated Prkci’s role in organizing cells into balls and tubes during early embryo and organ formation.

USC Stem Cell researchers use zebrafish to understand the role of cartilage in bone repair

Scientists have long believed that the processes required for embryonic development are recapitulated during the regeneration of damaged body parts, such as fractured bones. In a new study published in Development, USC Stem Cell researchers Sandeep Paul, Simone Schindler and colleagues use the regeneration of the zebrafish jawbone to show that this is not necessarily …

A Prkci gene keeps stem cells in check

When it comes to stem cells, too much of a good thing isn’t wonderful: producing too many new stem cells may lead to cancer; producing too few inhibits the repair and maintenance of the body. In a paper published in Stem Cell Reports, USC researcher In Kyoung Mah from the lab of Francesca Mariani and …

Tri-institutional Stem Cell Retreat brings together Broad centers from USC, UCLA and UCSF

Working alone, a scientist or university can only make so much progress in finding answers to basic questions or new treatments for diseases ranging from HIV to cancer to diabetes. That’s why nearly 300 scientists from USC, UCLA and UCSF gathered in Santa Barbara for a Tri-institutional Stem Cell Retreat. Hosted by USC at the …

Halloween retreat showcases USC’s “scary smart” stem cell researchers

It was no tricks and all treats at the seventh annual retreat for the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC, held at the university’s Davidson Conference Center on Halloween. Center Director Andy McMahon welcomed nearly 100 researchers and encouraged them to mingle and get to “know at …

USC researchers discover the healing power of “rib tickling”

Unlike salamanders, mammals can’t regenerate lost limbs, but they can repair large sections of their ribs. In a new study in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, a team directed by USC Stem Cell researcher Francesca Mariani takes a closer look at rib regeneration in both humans and mice.

USC Stem Cell and the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center accelerate drug discovery

Three teams of USC stem cell researchers have won a coveted prize — the opportunity to test 3,000 drug candidates or chemicals for the potential to help patients. Two teams will focus their efforts on cancer, and the third team will search for ways to accelerate the healing of large bone fractures. The free screens …

A Retreat from everything but stem cells

It wasn’t the pristine 27-hole course that drew more than 120 stem cell researchers from USC and beyond to the Desert Princess Golf Resort near Palm Springs. It was the sixth annual retreat for the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC, which took place on October 20­ …

Winner of the September 2013 USC Stem Cell Image of the Month Contest

Dr. Andrew McMahon, Dr. Seth Ruffins and the judges of the USC Stem Cell Image of the Month contest would like to congratulate our September 2013 winner, In Kyoung Mah, a graduate student in Dr. Francesca Mariani’s lab. In Kyoung’s image of embryonic stem (ES) cells that have differentiated into neurons is currently on display …

USC announces winners of first Regenerative Medicine Initiative awards

Three newly assembled disease teams within USC Stem Cell will take the early steps this year that might lead to future stem-cell based therapies for certain forms of deafness, bone defects and pediatric leukemia. The teams are winners of USC’s Regenerative Medicine Initiative (RMI), a university-wide program kick-started by $1.2 million in funding from Carmen …

Francesca Mariani, PhD

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