(Image courtesy of the Chen Lab)

A new way to treat craniosynostosis?

Craniosynostosis is a birth defect in which the bones in a baby’s skull fuse too early — before the brain is fully formed. It happens in 1 in nearly 2,200 births and …

Jian Xu (Photo by John Skalicky)

Ostrow faculty member Jian Xu does craniofacial biology with heart

The researcher was recently promoted to the rank of Associate Professor of Dentistry with tenure. TO SOME, IT MIGHT SEEM UNUSUAL that Jian Xu, whose PhD research focused on cardiac hypertrophy and …

Image courtesy of the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC

Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC awarded research training grants from National Institutes of Dental and Craniofacial Research

The prestigious five-year training grants are meant to support tomorrow’s leading thinkers in craniofacial research as they launch their academic careers. The Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC has been awarded two …

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 …

Conventional treatment for craniosynostosis often involves surgery and cranial helmets during the long recovery process. (Photo courtesy of iStock)

Stem cells may correct deformity and restore brain function after childhood disorder

USC scientists have regenerated parts of the skull affected by a common birth defect called craniosynostosis. Using stem cells to regenerate parts of the skull, USC scientists partially corrected a skull deformity …

Brainy baby

Probing the genes that organize early brain development

When brains begin developing, there are a lot of moving parts — and when mutations happen in early neurodevelopment, it can lead to disorders like macrocephaly and autism. But scientists don’t know …

Assistant Professor Jianfu Chen is working on ways to understand how the disorder is regulated in genes, and hopes one day to find treatments.

Ostrow researcher probes the roots of microcephaly, inside cells

Microcephaly is a condition where the circumference of an individual’s head is smaller than normal. It can be caused by genetic abnormalities as well as fetal exposure to drugs; alcohol; certain viruses, …

Jianfu Chen (Photo courtesy of the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC)

A Zika surprise: African strain can do more damage than Asian strain

The Zika virus has spread to 44 countries, with thousands infected and thousands of babies born with microcephaly, a rare complication that causes small heads. But even though research dollars are being …

Jianfu Chen, PhD