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USC Stem Cell scientist Joanna Smeeton wins NIH Pathway to Independence Award

After her breakthrough discovery that zebrafish can be used to study arthritis, postdoctoral fellow Joanna Smeeton has received a prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH) Pathway to Independence Award. Known as the K99/R00, the award will help her transition from the postdoctoral to the faculty stage of her career.

Trojan Natasha Natarajan looks to the future of stem cells

“Everyone in this audience right now, you all started out as a stem cell,” said Natasha Natarajan at the 2017 TEDxUSC conference. “And then your DNA came in, did all the work, and differentiated each group of your stem cells into your muscles, into your heart, into your brain until we get the finished product: …

Whittier Foundation backs new group of research projects

The L.K. Whittier Foundation has been a critical source of funding for cancer research at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, supporting clinicians and basic scientists who are advancing tailored therapies and nanobiotechnology.

The faculty job search just got easier, thanks to two USC Stem Cell postdocs

“I think we’re all here for the same reason,” said Michaela Patterson, a postdoc in the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC. “We’re considering applying for faculty jobs, and we’re at a loss for where to start.” To prepare themselves for the rigors of the application process, …

Researchers listen to zebrafish to understand human hearing loss

Can a fish with a malformed jaw tell us something about hearing loss in mice and humans? The answer is yes, according to a new publication in Scientific Reports.

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 …

Stem cell scientist D’Juan Farmer named inaugural Choi Family Postdoctoral Fellow at USC

D’Juan Farmer grew up in a neighborhood where attending college—let alone pursuing a PhD or postdoctoral training—was not the expectation. Now, he’s earned the inaugural Choi Family Postdoctoral Fellowship, which provides support to recruit exceptional postdoctoral fellows to USC Stem Cell laboratories. How did Farmer do it? “Willpower,” said Farmer, who is pursuing his postdoctoral …

University honors Gage Crump and other faculty for mentorship

USC Stem Cell scientist Gage Crump is one of seven faculty members with ties to the Health Sciences Campus receiving USC Mentoring Awards. The awards recognize faculty who exemplify the best in mentoring activities and programs, creating environments that further the academic success of students and faculty.

Broad Fellow Joanna Smeeton fishes around for stem cell-based treatments for arthritis

USC Stem Cell scientist Joanna Smeeton knows what arthritis can do to people: she’s witnessed the annual exodus out of her native country of Canada during the winter months. As this year’s Broad Fellow, she is exploring stem cell-based approaches to studying and eventually treating this common cause of cold aversion, disability and pain.

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.

USC researchers awarded $3.3 million NIDCR grant to find more effective treatment for common birth defect

It might surprise you to learn that your cranium is not one continuous smooth bone encasing your brain. It’s actually comprised of eight bones, separated by fibrous joints, to give your skull flexibility. That’s the reason babies have “soft spots” and your brain was able to continue growing unabated throughout childhood. With craniosynostosis—a birth defect …

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

Andy McMahon: Leigh Turner and Paul Knoepfler present a disturbing report in Cell Stem Cell on the growth of businesses marketing stem cell interventions in the US. Los Angeles is one “stem cell treatment” hotspot. Through their examination of these unproven, potentially unethical and even dangerous treatments, Turner and Knoepfler raise serious concerns about practices …

Arthritis originated in primordial fish

We all know someone affected by arthritis—as well as that old dog down the block. But according to a new study in eLife, arthritis is much more widespread in the animal kingdom than previously suspected. In the study, Amjad Askary and Joanna Smeeton from the USC Stem Cell laboratory of Gage Crump took a close …

USC Stem Cell scientist Lindsey Barske wins NIH Pathway to Independence Award

Years ago, Lindsey Barske pulled on a pair of tall rubber boots and began a journey that led from her college research experience on the muddy Alaskan tundra to her current postdoctoral studies in the USC Stem Cell lab of Gage Crump. Now, she’s arrived at a key turning point, having received a National Institutes …

Next generation of stem cell scientists detail their research from head to toe

The Stem Cell and Developmental Biology Retreat was a total body experience — covering organ systems ranging from the brain to the skeleton, from the kidney to the heart. Held on May 20 in USC’s Galen Center, the retreat showcased presentations and research posters by dozens of postdoctoral scholars and PhD students.

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 …

USC study shows how skeletal stem cells form the blueprint of the face

Timing is everything when it comes to the development of the vertebrate face. In a new study published in PLoS Genetics, USC Stem Cell researcher Lindsey Barske from the laboratory of Gage Crump and her colleagues identify the roles of key molecular signals that control this critical timing. Previous work from the Crump and other …

Iroquois genes make cartilage cells act “oh so immature”

Arthritis, the leading cause of disability in the U.S., involves the loss of a special type of cartilage cell lining the joints. In a study appearing on the cover of the latest issue of Developmental Cell, first author Amjad Askary — a PhD student in the USC Stem Cell lab of Gage Crump — and …

USC undergraduates get a dose of stem cells in two new MEDS courses

Science fiction author Margaret Atwood has frequently stated that biotechnology itself is neutral. It is how people use it that is good or bad. In the new spring course MEDS 380 Stem Cells: Fact and Fiction, this concept became a touchpoint for discussions of everything from clones to chimeras to cyborgs. The course was offered …

USC postdocs win Doerr Stem Cell Challenge Grants

Just as there are times when two heads are better than one, there are times when two labs are better than one. Thanks to the new Doerr Stem Cell Challenge Grants, teams of postdoctoral researchers from different USC labs have each received up to $10,000 in funding to pursue interdisciplinary one-year projects.

Gage Crump, PhD

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