Special Seminar: USC Stem Cell Challenge Grant Presentations

Friday, January 21, 2022 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

This is a past event.
Virtual Event

For a Zoom link, please email cortezri@med.usc.edu.

Katelyn Millette (Georgia Lab) & Anna Kamitakahara (Levitt Lab)
Modeling neural development of gut-brain circuits using human iPSCs

The vagus nerve is a major pathway for bidirectional communication of information between the gut and the brain. However, the molecular mechanisms that guide vagal sensory neurons to establish connectivity with specific gastrointestinal targets during neural development are not delineated. Using human intestinal organoids, our results provide novel insight into gut-brain axis development and establish co-culture methods for future translational studies.

1:12 pm
Jiawen Chen (Dickman Lab), Yichen Li (Ichida Lab) & Jeffrey Santoso (McCain Lab)

Engineering a 3D model towards investigating neuromuscular junction degeneration in ALS
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is characterized by motor system impairment and progressive muscular atrophy. The mechanism behind the disease’s hallmark degeneration of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) requires deeper investigation than is currently possible with traditional laboratory models. Our platform combines patient- and mutation-specific iPSC generation with 3D tissue engineering techniques to allow for functional interrogation of the in vitro NMJ, allowing us to work towards modeling neuromyopathies with greater physiological relevance.

1:24 pm
Youngjoo Lee (Evseenko Lab), Arijita Sarkar (Evseenko Lab) & Mathi Thiruppathy (Crump Lab)
Using zebrafish to model human elastic cartilage development

Cartilage is a vertebrate skeletal tissue that exhibits immense phenotypic diversity depending on developmental stage and location. Most studies focus on hyaline cartilage of the developing long bones, face, and adult joints. Little is known about specification and maintenance of the less abundant elastic cartilage subtype, found in mammalian outer ears and epiglottis. For this grant, we are acquiring unique genomic and transcriptomic datasets for human fetal elastic (outer ear) and hyaline (nose) cartilage to compare with a unique cartilage identified in the zebrafish gills that has many hallmarks of elastic cartilage. We aim to determine whether zebrafish gill cartilage is the evolutionary homologue of human elastic cartilage and identify core conserved regulatory principles for elastic cartilage specification across vertebrates.

1:36 pm
John Nguyen (Segil Lab) & Zipeng Zeng (Li Lab)
Investigating the role of de novo heterochromatin in cochlear supporting cell and ureteric bud progenitor cell maturation

Due to the similarities of kidney ureteric bud progenitor cells (UPC) and the cochlear supporting cells (SC), in terms of physiological function and a shared dependency on common TFs during development we performed a comparative analysis of the maturation-related heterochromatin changes in these two cell types. Heterochromatin can act as an epigenetic repressor due to its physical feature of being highly condensed, and thus inaccessible to TFs and transcriptional machinery. We also attempt to perturb the accumulation of repressive  heterochromatin modifications in an attempt to postpone maturation in our respective systems.

1:48 pm
Joycelyn Yip (McCain Lab) & Jean-Paul Urenda (Quadrato Lab)
A next generation human multi-organoids-based platform to model neurodevelopmental disorders following physiological stimulation

We are pioneering a human multi-organoid-on-chip (MOoC) platform that recapitulates the functional connectivity of the three main components of the human visual system: the retina, thalamus, and cortex. Our approach aims to establish long-range synaptic connectivity between distinct brain regions while simultaneously providing physiological stimulus to cortical organoids. We aim to optimize a microfluidic device to promote long-term survival of organoids, and to induce neurite extension from cortical organoids using collagen-based hydrogels.


Event Type

Lecture / Talk / Workshop


Other Location



Stem Cell at USC
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