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Developmental Biology & Regenerative Medicine Research Program

The Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine Research Program seeks to discover the basic mechanisms of human organ development, repair and regeneration. Recent advances in developmental biology hold great promise in many areas of human adult and child health, where organ regeneration, stem cell based therapy or tissue engineering could be life saving.

Pediatric developmentAt our hospital, therapeutic targets for eventual translation to the bedside include lung hypoplasia or injury caused by prematurity, cleft palate, abnormal skin wounds, short gut and diabetes. The program looks forward to exploiting the new scientific opportunities arising from analysis of the function of the completed human genome in child development and disease, as well as beginning new initiatives in tissue engineering of the genitourinary system.

The Developmental Biology program brings clinical surgery together with basic research and is organized into organ-based sections that carry out scientific inquiries within the overall program focus of organogenesis, injury repair, tissue regeneration and engineering.

Research Focus

The Developmental Biology Program is organized into organ-based sections that carry out scientific inquiries within the overall program focus of Organogenesis, Injury, Repair, Tissue Regeneration and Engineering. Organs of current focus are the lungs, the palate, the pancreas, the skin, the gut, and the mammary glands.  Scientific inquiries related to these organs include:

Understanding the molecular and genetic basis of organogenesis of selected organ systems, currently including the breast, gut, lung, palate, pancreas and skin.

Understanding the impact of adverse events such as premature delivery, infection, inflammation, hyperoxia or hypoxia on successful organogenesis.

Understanding the role of inflammatory peptides and cytokines in initiating and maintaining lung inflammation.

Understanding the molecular and genetic basis of normal and abnormal organ repair, including such processes as organ based stem cell activation, fetal wound healing, scarring and fibrosis.

Exploring the molecular and genetic basis for stem cell based organ regeneration as a rational basis for eventual novel approaches to cell based organ regeneration therapy.

Tissue Engineering
To discover novel methods of tissue reconstruction, based upon scientific principles derived from understanding of organ development.

Malignant Transformation
To understand certain forms of cancer as developmental aberrations and to devise low toxicity therapies for lung and breast cancer based on understanding normal organ development.

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USC Pediatric Surgery
1520 San Pablo St.
Suite 4300
Los Angeles, CA 90033-4612

Phone: (323) 361-2322

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