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Three USC researchers win $4.3 million in awards from California’s stem cell agency

Three scientists from Keck Medicine of USC have won grants exceeding $4.3 million from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) for research that includes creating a temporary liver for patients, finding novel ways to treat immune disorders and blood diseases, and developing new animal models for heart failure, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases. The grants, …

AcuraStem awarded $1 million Department of Defense grant to develop ALS drug candidate

AcuraStem, a patient-based drug discovery platform company developing novel therapeutics for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and neurodegenerative diseases, has received an Amyotrophic Lat-eral Sclerosis Research Program (ALSRP) Therapeutic Development Award from the Department of Defense, Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) totaling $1 million. Through CDMRP’s award mechanisms and funding rec-ommendations, the ALSRP highlights innovative …

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. But just for the record, it was Ichida. As a third-generation Hawaiian, Ichida fit right in. His background was similar to many on …

Justin Ichida named John Douglas French Alzheimer’s Foundation Associate Professor of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at USC

Justin Ichida has been named the John Douglas French Alzheimer’s Foundation Associate Professor of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at USC. This new endowed professorship recognizes Ichida’s progress in developing stem cell-based approaches to studying neurodegenerative diseases including ALS, frontotemporal dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. “Alzheimer’s disease affects more than 50 million people worldwide, and …

Organ of Corti

USC Stem Cell scientists find a simpler way to make sensory hearing cells

Scientists from the USC Stem Cell laboratories of Neil Segil and Justin Ichida are whispering the secrets of a simpler way to generate the sensory cells of the inner ear. Their approach uses direct reprogramming to produce sensory cells known as “hair cells,” due to their hair-like protrusions that sense sound waves. The study was …

SARS-CoV-2

USC Stem Cell scientists use “mini-lungs” and lung models to understand COVID-19

USC scientists are testing out experimental COVID-19 treatments on human “mini-lungs” and lung models, grown in the laboratory using stem cells. With names such as organoids and lung-chips, these simplified, lung-like structures are critically useful for studying infection and for screening large numbers of drug-like molecules to identify promising leads. Ya-Wen Chen—a new assistant professor …

Nanci Ryder

A tribute to patient advocate Nanci Ryder

We are deeply saddened by the passing of our friend and champion, Nanci Ryder. Nanci was an amazing woman who worked tirelessly to improve the lives of others. As a Hollywood publicist, Nanci excelled at establishing the careers of rising stars. Her clients included Renee Zellweger, Michael J. Fox, Courteney Cox, Don Diamont, and countless …

Ya-Wen Chen

USC Stem Cell scientist Ya-Wen Chen grows miniature lungs with maximum potential

As the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus outbreak escalated into a pandemic, USC lung researcher Ya-Wen Chen expected to be spending a lot of time at home, sheltering in place. “At the beginning of the quarantine, I was going to focus on writing grants,” said Chen, who joined USC as an assistant professor of medicine, and stem cell …

Justin Ichida‘s lab is doing groundbreaking work in the field of stem cell research. (Photo/Damon Casarez)

His race against ALS: Justin Ichida

Story courtesy of Trojan Family Magazine Justin Ichida regularly gets emails from strangers asking the same urgent question: “Will your research on ALS be done in time to save my life?” The emails are a constant reminder that he’s in a race against time. “I don’t really know them, but they tell me their whole …

tangled

USC scientists surmount big obstacle to reprogram cells

USC scientists have surmounted a big roadblock in regenerative medicine that has so far constrained the ability to use repurposed cells to treat diseases. The researchers figured out how to reprogram cells to switch their identity much more reliably than present capabilities. The technique uses enzymes to untangle reprogramming DNA somewhat similar to how a …

Innovators of USC: Justin Ichida stays at the forefront of ALS research

Justin Ichida keeps his research patient-based. That’s why Ichida, Richard N. Merkin, M.D., Assistant Professor of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, and his startup company AcuraStem participated in the ALS Association Golden West Chapter Walk to Defeat ALS at Exposition Park in Los Angeles.

CIRM Stem Cell Awareness Day: Science Career Videos

In honor of CIRM’s Stem Cell Awareness Day, USC Stem Cell invites you to explore careers in science. Meet progressive master’s student Carina Seah, PhD student Kimberley Babos, postdoc Jorge Contreras and clinical fellow Abigail Zamora.

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.

The USC scientist who aims to beat ALS, and the patients cheering him on

Justin Ichida regularly gets emails from strangers asking an urgent question: Will your research on ALS be done in time to save my life? “I don’t really know them, but they tell me their whole story,” said Ichida, a scientist with the USC Stem Cell program. “They’ll ask, ‘How long is it going to take …

AcuraStem, USC and Icagen to collaborate on fast track SBIR grant for the development of a novel small molecule therapy to treat ALS

AcuraStem, an early stage biotech company located in Los Angeles, and Justin Ichida at USC have been awarded a $3.7 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) FastTrack grant by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) to continue research they are conducting with Icagen, Inc. for the development of a small molecule therapeutic …

USC scientists discover schizophrenia gene roles in brain development

A USC research team identified 150 proteins affecting cell activity and brain development that contribute to mental disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar condition and depression. It’s the first time these molecules, which are associated with the disrupted-in-schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) protein linked to mental disorders, have been identified. The scientists developed new tools involving stem cells to …

USC Stem Cell scientist Justin Ichida named inaugural Richard N. Merkin Scholar

In USC’s Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, half of the faculty members are assistant professors, poised at the threshold of their careers in biomedical research. One of these promising pioneers, ALS researcher Justin Ichida, has been chosen as the first of four USC Richard N. Merkin Scholars. Ichida and his fellow scholars, …

The toxic relationship between ALS and frontotemporal dementia

ALS and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are two neurodegenerative diseases with a toxic relationship, according to a new USC Stem Cell study published in Nature Medicine.

Countdown to Commencement: Gio Suh builds muscles without exercising

“I’ve always wanted to be in a textbook and impact the world,” said Gio Suh, who is graduating in December 2017 from the master of science program in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

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 …

The Broad Foundation awards $1 million to early-stage stem cell research projects

The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation has awarded two $125,000 grants to early-stage scientific investigations at USC’s stem cell research center. The projects are among eight winners of the $1 million Fund for Innovative Stem Cell Research, established by the Broads to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the three stem cell research centers that they …

Justin Ichida, PhD

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