Keck School of Medicine News and Notes
For faculty and staff of the Keck School of Medicine of USC

June 29, 2016


Study: Dose of transplanted blood-forming stem cells affects their behavior
Unlike aspirin, bone marrow doesn’t come with a neatly printed label with dosage instructions. However, a new study published in Cell Reports provides clues about how the dose of transplanted bone marrow might affect patients undergoing this risky procedure, frequently used to treat cancer and blood diseases. In the study, USC Stem Cell researcher Casey Brewer, PhD, and colleagues in the laboratory of Keck School of Medicine assistant professor Rong Lu, PhD, found that transplantation dose affects the behavior of blood-forming stem cells in bone marrow — called hematopoietic stem cells, or HSCs. Read more

USC Norris represented at ASCO meeting
Physicians and researchers from the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center presented multiple abstracts at the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, held June 3-7 in Chicago. USC Norris’ presence at the meeting included 22 poster sessions four poster discussion sessions, one oral presentation and an educational symposium. USC Norris also was involved in numerous other studies completed in collaboration with other institutions, including academic medical centers, pharmaceutical companies and private-sector research organizations. Read more

New brain map could lead to novel therapies for autism and Huntington’s disease
Keck School of Medicine of USC scientists have mapped an uncharted portion of the mouse brain to explain which circuit disruptions might occur in disorders such as Huntington’s disease and autism. Hong-Wei Dong, an associate professor of neurology at the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging (LONI) in the USC Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute, and his colleagues have been sketching a road map of the mouse brain for the past decade. Their most recent study, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience on June 20, looked at the connections of a part of the brain that is responsible for motor learning, the dorsal striatum, which is stationed near the front of the brain. Read more


Tuesday, July 5

Noon. Gehr Family Center for Implementation Science Seminar. “The New Science of Implementation,” Steven Asch, MD, MPH, Stanford University. NRT LG 503/504. Info: Rachel Lim, (323) 226-6720,

Media Mentions

On June 15, Rene Sotelo, MD, professor of urology at the USC Institute of Urology, had two bylined columns appear in El Diario La Prensa, the NY-based Spanish-language daily newspaper, and in La Opinion, stating the best father's day gift is preventative prostate cancer screening.

A June 19 story on ATTN: quoted Therese Hammond, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine and director of the USC Sleep Disorders Center, about the best ways to fall asleep without prescription medicine. “In general, any medicine, whether it's over the counter or prescription, is a sort of a short-term solution to poor sleep … We have found repeatedly that the way to improve sleep and address insomnia in adults, is usually some type of behavioral therapy,” Hammond said.

A June 22 story in the The Atlantic quoted Amy Firth, PhD, assistant professor of medicine, about scientists using organoids to see how people with rare diseases respond to new medicines. “Rectal cells … are a readily accessible source, which are readily expandable and efficient in organoid generation,” Firth said.

On June 24, The Jewish Journal featured Gabriel Zada, MD, director of the USC Radiosurgery Center and the USC Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery Program, as an early adopter of Brain Path surgery. “It’s a highly accurate way of finding and accessing deeper brain lesions while protecting all the important superficial layers,” Zada said.

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