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Dr. Li and his team aim to bridge basic studies of kidney organogenesis and translational applications of stem/progenitor cell-based kidney regeneration and disease modeling, with the long-term goal of rebuilding the kidney. They achieve this by combining state-of-the-art stem cell technologies and engineering methodologies.

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Lab grown human nephron progenitor cells (Image by Biao Huang/Li Lab); featured image for USC-led study introduces a new and improved way to grow the cells that give rise to the kidney’s filtration system

USC-led study introduces a new and improved way to grow the cells that give rise to the kidney’s filtration system

In a new study published in Cell Stem Cell, USC scientists report significant progress in cultivating nephron progenitor cells (NPCs), the cells destined to form the kidney’s filtration system, the nephrons. NPCs …

Building an Incubator for Medicine of the 21st Century; featured image for Building an Incubator for Medicine of the 21st Century

Building an Incubator for Medicine of the 21st Century

USC Stem Cell is pleased to introduce our new publication. We hope you’ll enjoy reflecting back on our history, while looking ahead to the transformative times to come. Read now at https://stemcell.keck.usc.edu/wp-content/themes/stemcell/incubator.

Kuo-Chang (Ted) Tseng from the Crump Lab and Michelle Hung from the Ichida Lab enjoy a beachside brainstorm.; featured image for Scientists feel the sand between their toes at the retreat for USC’s stem cell department

Scientists feel the sand between their toes at the retreat for USC’s stem cell department

A pair of young scientists picked up a piece of driftwood and thoughtfully traced a series of letters in the wet sand of Ventura Beach. The word “microglia”—referring to the immune cells …

Justin Ichida (left) and Zhongwei Li (Photos by Chris Shinn and courtesy of Zhongwei Li); featured image for USC Stem Cell scientists Justin Ichida and Zhongwei Li receive NIH Director’s Awards

USC Stem Cell scientists Justin Ichida and Zhongwei Li receive NIH Director’s Awards

It’s hard to obtain research funding for safe ideas, and it’s even harder to find funding for risky ones. But thanks to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s Awards, USC Stem …

kidney organoid; featured image for USC Stem Cell scientists make big progress in building mini-kidneys

USC Stem Cell scientists make big progress in building mini-kidneys

A team of scientists at the Keck School of Medicine of USC has created what could be a key building block for assembling a synthetic kidney. In a new study in Nature …

Junior faculty (Photo by Sergio Bianco); featured image for USC Stem Cell junior faculty balance babies with biomedical research

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 …

Note to self (Photo by Sergio Bianco); featured image for At the retreat for USC’s stem cell department, the students become the masters

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 …

Kidney (Image by Lori O'Brien/Andy McMahon Lab, illustration by Mira Nameth)

Growing hope: New organs? Not yet, but stem cell research is getting closer

If you lose a limb, it’s lost for life. If you damage a kidney, you won’t grow a new one. And if you have a heart attack, the scars are there to …

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 (Photo by Cristy Lytal); featured image for Scientists get into detail at the retreat for USC’s stem cell department

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 …

Zhongwei Li (Photo by Cameron Quon); featured image for USC Stem Cell scientist Zhongwei Li is writing a recipe for a kidney

USC Stem Cell scientist Zhongwei Li is writing a recipe for a kidney

USC Stem Cell scientist Zhongwei Li could have gone into the family restaurant business. Instead, he’s dedicated his career to experimenting with a very different set of ingredients: kidney stem cells. “The …