Keck School of Medicine of USC

 Stem Cell

Community biotech summit opens new world for eager youths

October 7th, 2016|

Shelsy Aragon was nervous.

The 14-year-old was standing in front of hundreds of people in a packed room at East Los Angeles College, a microphone hot in her hand.

She had a question for former NASA astronaut Carlos Noriega and OBGYN Diana Ramos: how, as a female and a Latina, could she avoid stereotyping as she pursues a career in STEM

What I’m Reading: Top Picks from Stem Cell Faculty

October 6th, 2016|

Qi-Long Ying: In a recent study published in Cell Stem Cell, Joshua Black and colleagues demonstrated that skin cells are converted into neurons using a powerful tool called CRISPR/Cas9 to concurrently modify and activate three specific target genes. Here, the key advance is that these three genes are naturally present within all skin cells. Previous approaches

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

September 28th, 2016|

Wange Lu: Our genetic material is packed into the nucleus of the cell, but is the packing process random or organized in some way? In a recent study published in Cell Stem Cell, Krijger et al. showed predictable 3D arrangements of chromosomal regions in the nucleus. These structures were effectively erased when more mature cells were reprogrammed to undifferentiated

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

September 20th, 2016|

Min Yu: 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.

Examining the primary tumor and tumor cells that spread to the liver, the

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

September 16th, 2016|

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 estimated to

USC and Amgen launch the dialogues that drive discovery

September 13th, 2016|

Without collaboration between universities and pharmaceutical companies, scientists might never have developed essential medicines ranging from the antibiotic streptomycin in the 1950s to HIV medications in the 1990s. In recognition of the ever increasing importance of these academia-industry partnerships, USC and Amgen are jointly offering two new opportunities: a 10-week biotechnology lecture series for students

Experimental stem cell therapy helps paralyzed man regain use of arms and hands

September 9th, 2016|

On March 6, just shy of his 21st birthday, Kristopher (Kris) Boesen of Bakersfield suffered a traumatic injury to his cervical spine when his car fishtailed on a wet road, hit a tree and slammed into a telephone pole.

His parents were warned there was a good chance their son would be permanently paralyzed from the

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

September 6th, 2016|

Francesca Mariani: In a recent study in the journal Cell, Kyle Loh and colleagues in Irving Weissman’s group established a rapid protocol for converting human pluripotent stem cells into mesoderm—the progenitors for heart, skeleton, muscles and a variety of other critical tissue types in our bodies. The strategy effectively recapitulates signaling events at play in normal embryonic development, allowing

Functional human tissue-engineered liver generated from stem and progenitor cells

August 30th, 2016|

A research team led by investigators at The Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has generated functional human and mouse tissue-engineered liver from adult stem and progenitor cells. Tissue-engineered Liver (TELi) was found to contain normal structural components such as hepatocytes, bile ducts and blood vessels. The study has been published online in the journal Stem Cells

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

August 23rd, 2016|

Rong Lu: In a recent issue of Nature, Fan Zhou, Bing Liu and colleagues present their work on tracing the developmental origin of blood stem cells, also known as hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), in mice. Interestingly, grafts of single HSC precursor cells from 11-day-old mouse embryos showed quite different capacities to repopulate the blood. Analysis of gene activity enabled