$300,000 grant supports multi-institutional approach to ovarian cancer treatment research

By Amy E. Hamaker Michael F. Press, the Harold E. Lee Chair in Cancer Research and professor of pathology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, was recently supported by a grant from the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Medical Research Foundation enabling him to collaborate with researchers from several other institutions on the genetics of ovarian cancer.Courtesy Michael F. Press Ovarian cancer frequently goes undiagnosed until it has spread, making it difficult to treat and often fatal. Research into genetic mechanisms of ovarian cancer at USC recently received a boost thanks to a grant of more than $300,000 from the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Medical Research Foundation. Michael F. Press, the Harold E. Lee Chair in Cancer Research at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and professor of pathology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, received $317,000 for the project “Potential Assays for Patient Selection to Ovarian Cancer Clinical Trials.” Press and his collaborators will continue their work into analyzing genomic alterations and determining how those alterations can be used to map specific treatments for individual patients.  Read More »

May 28th, 2013|Announcements|

New kidney diagnosis center established with $600,000 gift

By Amy E. Hamaker Excellent care and kind treatments prompted Glen Miller and his wife Wendy to help establish the Glen and Wendy Miller/Inderbir Gill Kidney Cancer Research Program.Courtesy Glen Miller Glen Miller could never have guessed that a 15-year-old X-ray from a snowmobile accident would lead him to the USC doctor who would change his life. “Other than a busted ego, I was basically fine after the accident,” said Miller, CEO of Diversified Financial Management Corp. and one of the founders of the Glen and Wendy Miller Family Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation located in Bannockburn, Ill. The X-ray became important again, years later when Miller’s doctor found a growth on his kidney after prostate problems. “You can see the growth on the old X-ray, although the emergency room staff hadn’t been looking at my kidneys at the time,” he said. Read More »

May 28th, 2013|Announcements|

HSC celebrates as graduates step up to make their mark

By Josh Grossberg It somehow all flew by in an instant. But here she was, after four years of medical school, receiving her diploma and officially becoming a doctor. And as if it didn’t go by fast enough, Kaitlin Carroll was the first person called on stage to receive her diploma at the Keck School of Medicine of USC’s commencement ceremony May 18 at the Shrine Auditorium. USC School of Pharmacy graduate Justin Shintani flashes a victory sign at the school’s May 17 commencement ceremony.Photo/Jon Nalick “It’s been eight years since high school,” said Carroll, who also served as the co-president of the student body. “It’s blown by.” With more than 2,000 family members cheering and waving, the Keck School class entered the hall at the start of the ceremony. The class included 154 M.D. graduates, with three of them also receiving a Ph.D., one an M.B.A. and one an M.P.H. It was one of several graduation ceremonies held during the week for students in various fields of study across the Health Sciences campus. The newly minted doctors received a wide range of send-offs that were in turn solemn, poignant and funny. Commencement speaker, and recipient of the Dean’s Humanitarian Award Robert K. Ross, president and CEO of the California Endowment, wove a story about a 2-year-old boy who was rushed to the hospital after being found in the bottom of a swimming pool. Ross was a resident at the time and got to know the family over the course of the boy’s treatment. The initial news was not good, and the family was offered the chance to remove the boy from his respirator. But they refused, deciding instead to hope for the best. Ross lost touch with the family, but seven years later received a telephone call. On the other end was the young boy, who was then 9. “I was talking to a miracle,” Ross told the audience. Read More »

May 23rd, 2013|Announcements|

Nobel Laureate discusses key stem cell work

By Josh Grossberg  Cells can be stubborn things. A skin cell resists changing into a liver cell, and a heart cell wants to remain a heart cell. Nobel Laureate Sir John Gurdon lectures on stem cells on May 16 at Aresty Auditorium.Photo/Steve Cohn But with the right kind of manipulation, they can be changed—a skin cell can turn into a liver cell or even a pulsing heart cell, Nobel Laureate Sir John Gurdon told a crowd of students, faculty and staff at a talk on May 16 in the Aresty Auditorium. “The process of cell differentiation is remarkably stable,” Gurdon said. “Very rarely do cells of one kind switch into another kind. We don’t have skin in our brain or liver in our muscles. Nevertheless, it can happen.” Making it happen is what earned Gurdon the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. In the early 1960s, he was able to replace the immature nucleus in a frog egg cell with the nucleus from a mature intestinal cell. The modified egg developed into a normal frog with the DNA of the mature cells. In his talk, “Nuclear Transplantation to Prospects of Cell Replacement,” Gurdon told about the advances made in the areas of cloning and nuclear transplantation since his discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to develop into different kinds of tissue. Read More »

May 23rd, 2013|Announcements|

Harlyne J. Norris receives Elaine Stevely Hoffman Award

Harlyne J. Norris received the Elaine Stevely Hoffman Award during commencement ceremonies for the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Through the Norris Foundation, the Norris family has donated nearly $200 million to USC.Photo/Steve Cohn By Josh Grossberg For her and her family’s decades-long commitment to health care at USC, Harlyne J. Norris received the Elaine Stevely Hoffman Award during commencement ceremonies for the Keck School of Medicine of USC, held on May 18 at the Shrine Auditorium. Before she accepted the honor, Keck School Dean Carmen A. Puliafito thanked her for her “longstanding contribution and unwavering dedication to the Keck School of Medicine and its people. “She serves as a trusted adviser to the president of the university on health care matters,” he said. The honor comes as the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center celebrates its 40th anniversary. The cancer center is part of the Keck School. “The Norris relationship with the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center goes back to a lead gift that her husband, Kenneth Norris Jr., made to the center,” Puliafito said. A trustee and past chairman of the Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation, Harlyne Norris is a renowned medical benefactor. Through the Norris Foundation, the Norris family has donated nearly $200 million to USC. The family’s legacy can be seen across both the Health Sciences and University Park campuses —from the USC Norris Cancer Hospital and Norris Medical Library to the Norris Cinema Theater and Norris Dental Science Center. Read More »

May 23rd, 2013|Announcements|