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Stem cells may hold the key to helping patients with cleft palate

Every time we drink or breathe, the soft palate is hard at work. It acts like a trap door, allowing air to squeeze through or shutting so liquids can pass by. And when congenital problems arise there, like a cleft in the palate, they can cause problems with speech, swallowing, breathing and hearing. Ostrow Professor …

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, …

Countdown to Commencement: Nelson Poliran Jr.—failure driven success

“Focus on one goal, be open minded and be persistent.” These are wise words from Nelson Poliran Jr., a standout scientist-in-training at USC. Poliran’s academic success hasn’t always come easily, though.

USC researchers close to identifying crucial gene for human cleft lip and palate

A group of researchers has found that three siblings born with cleft lip and palate share a common gene mutation associated with the birth defect. The gene intraflagellar transport 88 (IFT88) ensures transportation antennae (cilia) on embryonic cells travel to the right place, enabling the development of cartilage, bone and smooth muscle in the face …

Research group awarded $12 million to establish tissue regeneration center

A research team called C-DOCTOR (Center for Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Tissue and Organ Regeneration), initiated by the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC, is one step closer to developing products that facilitate tissue regeneration, thanks to a $12-million award from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR).

USC researchers awarded $3.3 million NIDCR grant to find more effective treatment for common birth defect

It might surprise you to learn that your cranium is not one continuous smooth bone encasing your brain. It’s actually comprised of eight bones, separated by fibrous joints, to give your skull flexibility. That’s the reason babies have “soft spots” and your brain was able to continue growing unabated throughout childhood. With craniosynostosis—a birth defect …

USC Stem Cell researcher Yang Chai receives $2.1 million from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

Yang Chai, associate dean of Research at the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC, has just received $2.1 million to continue research that could one day allow scientists to use stem cells to regrow living tissue. The five-year grant, funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, will give Ostrow researchers the opportunity …

Ostrow awarded NIDCR grant to establish tissue regeneration center

Tissue regeneration is about to become more fact than fiction, thanks to a $2 million grant that’s being divided among 10 research centers and universities, including the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC. In a September 2014 request for applications, the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) challenged the research community to organize …

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 nearly 300 scientists from USC, UCLA and UCSF gathered in Santa Barbara for a Tri-institutional Stem Cell Retreat. Hosted by USC at the …

USC researchers move one step closer to natural tooth restorations

A rodent’s incisors never stop growing. It’s one of the reasons mice gnaw through cupboards, hamsters chomp mindlessly on metal cage bars and rats will chew through, well, just about anything. They need to wear down those ever-growing incisors, which, if left unchecked, could grow so long that the animal might starve. As unappealing as …

Discovery could lead to biological treatment for common birth defect

Throughout every human and animal’s body, stem cell populations are responsible for the growth, regeneration and repair of tissues. While the power of some types of stem cells is already being used in cutting-edge medicine, there is still much to discover before we truly unlock their potential. Researchers at the Ostrow School of Dentistry of …

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 have maximum impact.” The January 16 symposium brought together precisely such a community, with speakers hailing from USC’s schools of medicine, dentistry, gerontology …

Halloween retreat showcases USC’s “scary smart” stem cell researchers

It was no tricks and all treats at the seventh annual retreat for the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC, held at the university’s Davidson Conference Center on Halloween. Center Director Andy McMahon welcomed nearly 100 researchers and encouraged them to mingle and get to “know at …

USC, UCLA and UCSF put their heads together to find stem cell-based cures for craniofacial defects

One in every 2,000 babies is born with a skull that can’t grow normally. Various sections of these babies’ skulls are fused together at joints called sutures, constricting the developing brain and disrupting vision, sleep, eating and IQ. For these young patients, risky skull-expanding surgeries become an almost annual event. Now, three leading universities for …

Dental study provides wealth of stem cell details

An Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC study has uncovered new details on how bundles of nerves and arteries interact with stem cells and also showcases revolutionary techniques for following the cells as they function in living animals. Principal investigator Yang Chai, director of the Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology at the Ostrow School and …

Winner of the December 2013 USC Stem Cell Image of the Month Contest

Dr. Andy McMahon and the judges of the USC Stem Cell Image of the Month contest would like to congratulate our December 2013 winner, Dr. Hu Zhao, DDS, PhD, a research associate in Dr. Yang Chai’s Lab in the Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology at the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC. His winning image …

A Retreat from everything but stem cells

It wasn’t the pristine 27-hole course that drew more than 120 stem cell researchers from USC and beyond to the Desert Princess Golf Resort near Palm Springs. It was the sixth annual retreat for the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC, which took place on October 20­ …

Ostrow School study links growth factor glitch to tongue defects

New findings about how cell signaling directs tongue development may have big clinical applications for healing tongue defects, according to an Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC study published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry. According to Professor Yang Chai, the study’s principal investigator and director of the Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology at the …

Yang Chai, DDS, PhD

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