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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, …

Ebony Flowers

Ebony Flowers receives fellowship from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Postdoctoral Enrichment Program

Ebony Flowers has already received three fellowships during her year-and-a-half as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at USC. First, she was awarded the Choi Family Postdoctoral Fellowship, which helped recruit her to Min Yu’s laboratory. Then she earned a fellowship from the A.P. Giannini Foundation, which provided …

Min Yu (Photo by Chris Shinn)

USC Stem Cell scientist Min Yu awarded Era of Hope Scholar Award from the U.S. Department of Defense for breast cancer research

Most breast cancer cells won’t kill you. It is the rare cell that can survive the perilous journey through the bloodstream and seed the metastatic lesions responsible for the vast majority of breast cancer-related deaths. And although these rare cancer cells are difficult to find and even harder to study in the lab, they have …

Ebony Flowers

USC Stem Cell scientist Ebony Flowers earns fellowship from the A.P. Giannini Foundation

From goji berries to green tea, antioxidant rich superfoods are celebrated for protecting against cancer-causing free radicals. But what is the role of free radicals—and the process of cell metabolism that produces free radicals—in patients who have already been diagnosed with breast cancer? USC Stem Cell postdoctoral fellow Ebony Flowers will address this question with …

Development of brain metastasis is a complex process in which metastatic cells (green) overcome the protective effect of immune cells (red). (Image/Yu Lab, USC Stem Cell)

Research reveals why breast cancer spreads to the brain

USC researchers have determined how cancer cells target certain organs, which could help develop treatments to slow or stop the disease from spreading. Most cancers kill because tumor cells spread beyond the primary site to invade other organs. Now, a USC study of brain-invading breast cancer cells circulating in the blood reveals they have a …

Photo of Ebony Flowers

Ebony Flowers named Choi Family Postdoctoral Fellow at USC Stem Cell

For Ebony Flowers, a postdoctoral fellow in the USC Stem Cell laboratory of Min Yu, doing science is ultimately about helping patients. “The fact that Min Yu’s Lab is looking at actual human samples from breast cancer patients, and I’m looking to see how this process of metastasis occurs in humans is appealing. You can …

Min Yu (Photo by Chris Shinn)

USC Stem Cell scientist Min Yu brings curiosity and compassion to cancer research

In her new lab, Min Yu observed the eerie predictability of a line of human breast cancer cells. First in one mouse, then in many, the cells metastasized again and again to the same vital organ: the brain. Alarmed, Yu telephoned the oncologist who had collected the cells from a patient. Yu learned that the …

USC Stem Cell junior faculty balance babies with biomedical research

Growing stem cells isn’t just something junior faculty do in the lab. Eight of the junior faculty in the Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine recently welcomed new babies into their families—more than half of them within the past year. Here, our junior faculty parents share their joy and wisdom about balancing career …

Broad Fellow Oihana Iriondo follows her curiosity as a cancer researcher

Oihana Iriondo, the newest Broad Postdoctoral Fellow, has always been curious about how things work.

USC researchers converge at the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Symposium

“The field of stem cell biology is one of our great convergence opportunities,” said USC Provost Michael Quick, addressing an audience of biologists, chemists, physicists, engineers, clinicians and many others. This diverse group came together for the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Symposium, hosted by USC Stem Cell and the USC Medicine, Engineering, Science and Humanities (MESH) …

USC Stem Cell and BCRegMed Virtual Symposium brings Canada to California

It didn’t require plane tickets to bring together scientists from USC Stem Cell in Los Angeles and BCRegMed in Vancouver. During October’s Virtual Symposium, videoconferencing technology enabled these scientists to share ideas as if they were sitting in the same conference room—even though they were more than 1,200 miles apart.

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.

Particle shows promise for treating the most deadly type of breast cancer

USC Stem Cell researchers from the laboratory of Min Yu have positive news for patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), the most deadly type of breast cancer. By inhibiting a protein called TAK1, postdoc Oihana Iriondo and her colleagues reduced lung metastases in mice with TNBC, as described in a new study in Nature Communications.

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 …

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 …

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, …

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 …

The Broad Foundation gives a tenth birthday gift to the USC, UCLA and UCSF stem cell centers

Last Friday, scientists from USC, UCLA and UCSF gathered at a symposium to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their three stem cell research centers, established with support from Eli and Edythe Broad and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). As the guests of honor, the Broads marked the milestone by surprising the centers with …

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

In a recent issue of Cell, William Greenleaf, Monte Winslow and colleagues have characterized differences within primary and metastatic tumors in an engineered mouse model of small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Many patients with SCLC have inoperable metastases at diagnosis making treatment very challenging.

USC Stem Cell researcher Min Yu receives the NIH’s New Innovator Award

As a winner of the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, USC Stem Cell principal investigator Min Yu will strive to develop individualized medicine targeting rare and deadly breast cancer stem cells. The five-year, $2.475 million award is part of the High-Risk, High-Reward Research program supported by the NIH Common Fund. This year’s New Innovator Awards …

USC Stem Cell selects inaugural Broad Clinical Research Fellows

This year, the Broad Clinical Research Fellowships are enabling physician-investigators to explore stem cell-based approaches related to four very different medical conditions: breast cancer, kidney disease, deafness and short bowel syndrome. Each one-year fellowship provides $65,000 of salary support, $7,500 of supplies and a $1,500 meeting allowance to support full-time research related to stem cell …

Min Yu, MD, PhD

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