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Verge Genomics announces a multi-institution collaboration with Columbia University, MGH, USC and the University of Michigan to advance ALS research

Verge Genomics, a drug discovery company utilizing genomic data for neuroscience therapeutics, announced today that it is has established a multi-institution industry-academic collaboration with four top universities focused on accelerating the translation of preclinical models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) through the creation of a comprehensive foundation of ALS data, encompassing genomic, biochemical, and phenotypic …

USC alumna Amanda Kwieraga makes paintings from acrylic, wood and stem cell science

“Anyone who views something under a microscope or through a telescope will tell you that science is art, and that art is the perfect way to convey science,” said Amanda Kwieraga, an alumna of USC’s master of science in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine program. Using acrylic and ink on wood panels, Kwieraga is …

USC Stem Cell artist Amanda Kwieraga plants a Neuronal Forest

“Anyone who views something under a microscope or through a telescope will tell you that science is art, and that art is the perfect way to convey science,” said Amanda Kwieraga, an alumna of USC’s master of science in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine program. Using acrylic and ink on a wood panel, Kwieraga …

USC researcher Kim Staats looks for the pattern in sporadic cases of ALS

USC postdoctoral researcher Kim Staats found her calling when a childhood neighbor was diagnosed with ALS, a paralyzing and fatal neurodegenerative disease. At the time, Staats was pursuing bachelor’s and master’s degrees in kinesiology at Free University Amsterdam (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), with plans to either practice or teach physical therapy after graduation. As a kinesiology …

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 …

USC Stem Cell scientist Justin Ichida explores Alzheimer’s disease, with support from the John Douglas French Alzheimer’s Foundation

About 15 percent of the cells in our brains are scavengers—roving immune cells known as microglia that remove infectious agents, damaged neurons and plaques. USC Stem Cell scientist Justin Ichida is taking a close look at the role of microglia in the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, with support from a $100,000 gift from the John …

Countdown to Commencement: Nicole Koutsodendris aims to succeed where neurological medications fail

“Anti-psychotic medications can numb you to the point where you no longer have your own thoughts,” said Nicole Koutsodendris, who is graduating from the master’s program in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine program at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Her strong opinions about the current state of medicine are not unfounded. When …

Current research on inner ear hair cell regeneration

Article courtesy of the February 2017 issue of KeckZine Otolaryngology Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) is the most common sensory disability in humans and is most often caused by the death of so-called “sensory hair cells” of the inner ear. Unfortunately, these highly-specialized cells don’t naturally regenerate, so hearing loss is permanent. Research on inner ear …

USC Stem Cell’s Kate Galloway and Haoze (Vincent) Yu answer a new ALS challenge

Although it’s not the type of challenge that involves an ice bucket, this year’s Doerr Stem Cell Challenge Grant has brought together two young scientists from different USC labs to tackle ALS. “These $10,000 grants make it possible for our students and postdocs to connect and collaborate on one-year interdisciplinary projects spanning different labs,” said …

USC researchers use gelatin instead of the gym to grow stronger muscles

USC researcher Megan L. McCain and colleagues have devised a way to develop bigger, stronger muscle fibers. But instead of popping up on the bicep of a bodybuilder, these muscles grow on a tiny scaffold or “chip” molded from a type of water-logged gel made from gelatin. First authors Archana Bettadapur and Gio C. Suh …

USC Stem Cell researchers receive the inaugural Broad Innovation Awards

Two teams of scientists have won the inaugural Eli and Edythe Broad Innovation Awards in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at USC. This year’s competition provides $120,000 each to the teams for developing new ways to engineer and study what are known as “organs in a dish” or “organs on a chip.” Since the …

The Choi Family’s gift inspires USC Stem Cell scientists to “Return to the Beginning”

Twenty-five years ago, philanthropists Kin-Chung and Amy Choi marked the occasion of their 25th wedding anniversary by purchasing the sculpture “Return to the Beginning,” by renowned Taiwanese artist Yuyu Yang. Now in honor of their 50th wedding anniversary, they have donated the sculpture to grace the lobby of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for …

Sidgmore Family Foundation gift to help hearing loss research

There has always been one insurmountable problem related to hearing loss: When the sensory hair cells in the inner ear die, they don’t regenerate. These microscopic cells signal to the brain that it is hearing a noise and the fact that they do not regenerate is the reason that hearing loss is irreversible. But Neil …

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.

Outside the lab: Justin Ichida, a stem cell scientist with the spirit of aloha and rock ’n roll

As a third-generation Hawaiian, USC Stem Cell researcher Justin Ichida is equally comfortable with lu’aus and lead guitars as with laboratories. As an assistant professor of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine at USC, he dedicates his days to finding new ways to study and treat ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. As an undergraduate at …

USC Stem Cell scientist Justin Ichida named New York Stem Cell Foundation – Robertson Investigator

Some people see an award as remuneration for work well done. Upon being named a New York Stem Cell Foundation – Robertson Investigator, ALS researcher Justin Ichida sees his award as motivation for work still left to do. “If you just look at the people who have won this award before, these are people — …

PhD student Kimberley Babos featured in ISSCR Member Spotlight

Kimberley Nicole Babos, a PhD candidate and Ichida Lab member at USC, recently gave an interview to the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) for a Member Spotlight.

USC stem cell researcher Gabriel R. Linares receives Broad Fellowship

For this year’s Broad Fellow, Gabriel R. Linares, science is personal. “I have to say the turning point that spiked my interest in science was when I was in high school, and my grandfather suffered a stroke,” he said. “I remember going to the hospital, and he was just incapacitated. There was not really any …

USC announces winners of the Audrey E. Streedain Regenerative Medicine Initiative Awards

Two collaborative teams within USC Stem Cell are developing new approaches that could eventually help patients with heart disease, frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The teams are the winners of the Audrey E. Streedain Regenerative Medicine Initiative Awards, supported by a generous bequest by the Audrey E. Streedain Trust to the Department of …

Chang Stem Cell Engineering Facility brings gene editing to USC and beyond

Once the stuff of science fiction, genetic engineering is now offered on a fee-for-service basis at USC. On September 19, USC Stem Cell faculty and staff welcomed their supporters, the Chang and Choi families, and nearly 100 of their friends to celebrate the grand opening of the Chang Stem Cell Engineering Facility, located on the second …

Justin Ichida, PhD

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