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A zebrafish showing the skeleton and jaw (magenta), the eye (green circle on the left), and gill-like pseudobranch and gills (green structures on the right). (Image by Mathi Thiruppathy/Crump Lab)

How did vertebrates first evolve jaws?

Five-hundred million years ago, it was relatively safe to go back in the water. That’s because creatures of the deep had not yet evolved jaws. In a new pair of studies in …

Pipetting (Photo by Chris Shinn)

2022 Call for Applications: NIH T32 PhD Fellowships in Developmental Biology, Stem Cells, and Regeneration

All PhD students who are conducting research related to developmental biology, stem cell biology, and/or regenerative medicine are encouraged to apply for a training fellowship. We have several slots available for both …

Natasha Raj-Derouin (Photo courtesy of Natasha Raj-Derouin)

Where are they now? Stem cell master’s program alumna Natasha Raj-Derouin, an MD pursuing reproductive endocrinology and infertility

In this series of alumni profiles, we highlight graduates of USC’s master of science program in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. Our accomplished alumni have pursued many different paths—ranging from a …

Confocal microscopy image of an adult zebrafish head with neural crest-derived cells in red. The Crump lab has used single-cell sequencing to understand how these cells build and repair the head skeleton, with implications for understanding human craniofacial birth defects and improving repair of skeletal tissues. (Image by Hung-Jhen Chen/Crump Lab)

A crowning achievement in understanding head development

Cranial neural crest cells, or CNCCs, contribute to many more body parts than their humble name suggests. These remarkable stem cells not only form most of the skull and facial skeleton in …

Image courtesy of the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC

USC collaboration helps FaceBase reach 1,000-dataset milestone

The data repository allows craniofacial scientists to share data, which could ultimately lead to improved care for patients with craniofacial developmental disorders. Rapid technological development in the past decade has allowed scientists …

Students

California’s stem cell agency awards USC $5 million to train scientists and clinicians

USC has been awarded a $5 million training grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to prepare PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, and clinical fellows for careers in stem cell research. …

The coronal suture contains stem cells (green).

Study of skull birth defect takes it from the top

Contrary to the popular song, the neck bone is actually connected to one of 22 separate head bones that make up the human skull. These plate-like bones intersect at specialized joints called …

Scott Fraser by Noe Montes

USC Professor Scott E. Fraser redefines impossible problems

USC Professor Scott E. Fraser is known for inventing new microscopes and other tools to observe living, developing embryos. But one of his lab’s most important pieces of technology filters coffee instead …

Robert E. Maxson

USC celebrates Robert E. Maxson’s lifetime of achievement and adventure

USC Emeritus Professor Robert E. Maxson has an understated explanation for why he’s flown so many planes, sailed so many boats, skied so many mountains, played so many guitars, taken so many …

Pituitary fish

Flaws emerge in modeling human genetic diseases in animals

My lab, based at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, uses zebrafish to model human birth defects affecting the face. When I tell people this, they are often skeptical …

Pituitary fish

Pituitary puzzle gets a new piece, revising evolutionary history

Insights into century-old controversy about key gland’s development arise from research led by the Keck School of Medicine of USC A new USC-led study suggests a change to the developmental — and …

USC's stem cell research center

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

USC brings the world’s largest stem cell conference to Los Angeles

For the first time ever, the City of Los Angeles hosted the world’s largest stem cell conference. By choosing Los Angeles as the host city for this major annual meeting, the International …

USC Stem Cell scientist Gage Crump gives a bare bones explanation of eLife skeletal development study

How do our skeletons form during embryonic development? To approach this question, PhD student Dion Giovannone, research scientist Sandeep Paul and the USC Stem Cell laboratory of Gage Crump looked to our …

Zebrafish make waves in our understanding of a common craniofacial birth defect

Children are not as hard-headed as adults—in a very literal sense. Babies are born with soft spots and flexible joints called sutures at the junctions where various sections of their skull bones …

USC Stem Cell and BCRegMed Virtual Symposium brings Canada to California

It didn’t require plane tickets to bring together scientists from USC Stem Cell in Los Angeles and BCRegMed in Vancouver. During October’s Virtual Symposium, videoconferencing technology enabled these scientists to share ideas …

Gage Crump, PhD