Dr. Ichida’s research focuses on how genetic and environmental factors contribute to human neurodegenerative disease. His laboratory uses cellular reprogramming and stem cell technology to build patient-specific in vitro models of neurodegenerative disease, enabling the screening of drug-like compounds in search of potential therapeutics.


From right, Nicole Koutsodendris and Ila Dwivedi (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

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 …

Immunohistochemical staining of sensory hair cell-like cells. The cells were induced from fibroblasts by the over-expression of selected transcription factors. (Image courtesy of Suhasni Gopalakrishnan, Louise Menendez, Juan Llamas, Justin Ichida and Neil Segil)

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 …

Haoze (Vincent) Yu and Kate Galloway (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

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. …

Skeletal myotubes grown for three weeks on gelatin hydrogel (Image by Archana Bettadapur, Gio Suh, Evelyn Wang, Holly Huber, Alyssa Viscio and Megan McCain)

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 …

From top: Dion Dickman (left), Megan McCain and Justin Ichida; Rong Lu (left) and Keyue Shen (Photos by Cristy Lytal)

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 …

From left, philanthropists Kin-Chung and Amy Choi with Andy McMahon, director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC (Photo by Steve Cohn)

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 …

Graduate student Vincent Haoze Yu; Broad Clinical Fellow Rodrigo Martínez Monedero, MD; Michael Sidgmore; principal investigator Neil Segil, PhD; and graduate student Louise Menendez in the Choi Family Therapeutic Screening Facility at the Eli and Edythe Broad CIRM Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC. Segil's team is collaborating with USC Stem Cell researchers Justin Ichida, PhD, Takahiro Ohyama, PhD, and Radha Kalluri, PhD, to reprogram skin cells into sensory cells of the inner ear. (Photo courtesy of HSC News)

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 …

Ophir Klein, professor at the University of California, San Francisco, delivered the keynote address. (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

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 …

Justin Ichida as an undergraduate at UCLA (Photo courtesy of Justin Ichida)

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 …

Justin Ichida (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

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 …

Kimberley Babos (Photo courtesy of ISSCR)

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.

Broad Fellow Gabriel R. Linares (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

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 …

Motor neurons derived from an ALS patient (Image courtesy of the Ichida Lab)

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 …

From right, Qi-Long Ying, director of the Chang Stem Cell Engineering Facility; Daniel Chang; Andy McMahon, director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC; and Cai Li Chang (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

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 …

Motor neurons derived from an ALS patient (Image courtesy of the Ichida Lab)

USC Stem Cell researcher Justin Ichida receives $300,000 Muscular Dystrophy Association grant

Ten percent of all patients with two neurodegenerative diseases — frontotemperal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease — possess a mutation in the same gene. …

From left, Jon-Paul Pepper, Min Yu and Kevin S. King

The Baxter Foundation awards grants to USC researchers Min Yu, Jon-Paul Pepper and Kevin S. King

It takes a very special doctor to push beyond existing patient treatments and engage in the quest for new ones. That’s why the Donald E. and Delia B. Baxter Foundation has selected …

Snapshot of a neurovascular unit, consisting of neurons (pink), astrocytes (blue), resident microglia (green), a penetrating arteriole and capillaries (white) (Photo courtesy of the Zlokovic Lab)

Researchers clarify role of genetic risk factor in Alzheimer’s

Scientists at the Keck School of Medicine of USC have discovered that a protein known as PICALM regulates removal of toxic plaques from the brain, which could be a potential therapeutic target …

USC graduate student Du Jiang (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

Tri-institutional Stem Cell Retreat brings together Broad centers from USC, UCLA and UCSF

Working alone, a scientist or university can only make so much progress in finding answers to basic questions or new treatments for diseases ranging from HIV to cancer to diabetes. That’s why …

Justin Ichida, PhD (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

USC Stem Cell’s Justin Ichida, Sanofi and DRVision team up to fight ALS

USC Stem Cell researcher Justin Ichida has marshaled the expertise of pharmaceutical company Sanofi and start up DRVision Technologies along with $1.5 million in federal funding to find new drugs to fight …

Fred H. Gage delivered a brainy keynote address. (Photo by Cristy Lytal)

USC Stem Cell Symposium creates scientific synergy

Provost Michael Quick convened the inaugural USC Stem Cell Symposium with a straightforward truth about the future of regenerative medicine: “it will take a dedicated community of scholars across the disciplines to …

Justin Ichida, PhD