USC Stem Cell scientists are advancing our understanding of how the body develops, maintains and regenerates the heart, lungs and blood. They are also developing new regenerative treatments for the millions of patients with diseases of the heart, lungs, immune system and blood.


  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. In the US every year, about 610,000 people die of heart disease—the cause of one in four deaths.
  • An estimated 1.29 million people in the US are living with or in remission from blood cancer—leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma.
  • Globally, 36.7 million people are living with the autoimmune disease HIV, and 1.8 million of these are children. An estimated 35 million people have died from HIV-related causes so far.
  • More than 30,000 people in the US and 70,000 worldwide are living with the inherited lung disease cystic fibrosis, which limits the ability to breathe.




USC Stem Cell scientists use “mini-lungs” and lung models to understand COVID-19

USC scientists are testing out experimental COVID-19 treatments on human “mini-lungs” and lung models, grown in the laboratory using stem cells. With names such as organoids and lung-chips, these simplified, lung-like structures are critically useful for studying infection and for screening large numbers of drug-like molecules to identify promising leads. Ya-Wen Chen—a new assistant professor …


What is the USC Ombuds?

Stress levels are running high with a pandemic, global recession, and social injustice threatening livelihoods and lives. While the USC Office of the Ombuds can’t resolve the world’s woes, it can serve as a confidential, impartial, informal, and independent problem-solving resource for students, faculty and staff. The University Ombuds—Thomas Kosakowski at the Health Sciences Campus, …

Alec Fisher

Amid COVID-19 fears, USC Spirit Leader donates stem cells for leukemia patient

When Alec Fisher signed up as a potential bone marrow donor two years ago, he didn’t expect to hear back for a while, if at all — and certainly not in the middle of a pandemic. As someone who has had personal experiences with serious health issues, Fisher felt a calling to donate. When he …

All Heart, Lung and Blood News


USC Stem Cell scientist Megan McCain is using engineering tools and techniques to grow patient-derived heart cells on silicone wafers, mimicking the native structure of this vital organ. Her lab is leveraging this approach to better understand and treat heart disease.
All Heart, Lung and Blood Videos

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