July 7, 2017

Whittier Foundation backs new group of research projects

By Hope Hamashige

The L.K. Whittier Foundation has been a critical source of funding for cancer research at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, supporting clinicians and basic scientists who are advancing tailored therapies and nanobiotechnology.

Recently, the L.K. Whittier Foundation has started to fund research outside of the cancer field and extended support to 10 research projects in a variety of medical fields.

The following faculty members recently received funding for their research from the L.K. Whittier Foundation:

  • Michael Bonaguidi, PhD, assistant professor of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, on new single cell tools in data science for precision medicine.
  • Hyungjin Eoh, DVM, PhD, assistant professor of molecular microbiology and immunology, for research on anti-tuberculosis drug discovery platforms.
  • Denis Evseenko, MD, PhD, associate professor of orthopaedic surgery, and Gage Crump, PhD, associate professor of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, for research on stimulating endogenous chondrocyte progenitors to repair arthritic joints.
  • Chengyu Liang, MD, PhD, associate professor of molecular microbiology and immunology, for research on targeting the host NDP kinase to abrogate viral dissemination.
  • Qi-Long Ying, PhD, associate professor of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, and Rong Lu, PhD, assistant professor of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, for research on expansion and characterization of human granulocyte-macrophage progenitors.
  • Austin Mircheff, PhD, professor of physiology and biophysics, and J. Martin Heur, MD, PhD, associate professor of clinical ophthalmology, for research on quantitative characterization of dry eye disease phenotypes.
  • Larissa Rodriguez, MD, professor of urology, for research on tissue regeneration of the urethra with adipose-derived stem cells and heparin-binding peptide amphiphile hydrogels being conducted with Eun Ji Chung, PhD, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.
  • Thomas Vangsness, MD, professor of orthopaedic surgery, for research on adipose tissue injections for the treatment of mild to moderate osteoarthritis.
  • Weiming Yuan, PhD, associate professor of molecular microbiology and immunology, for research on a novel approach to mobilize human iNKT cells for anti-HBV immunotherapies.
  • Zhen Zhao, PhD, assistant professor of physiology and biophysics, for research on combination therapy with human neural stem cells and 3K3A-APC for ischemic stroke.