Monday, December 5, 2016

USC Stem Cell Distinguished Speakers Series: Hesham Sadek, MD, Ph.D.

USC Stem Cell Distinguished Speakers Series

Tuesday, December 6th 

This week's guest will be Hesham Sadek. 

A webcast will be available at

The Saban Research Institute Floyd H. Gilles Lecture in Neuroscience Research presents...

“Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Neuronal Migration”

Pasko Rakic, MD, PhD
Dorys McConnell Duberg Professor of Neuroscience and
Professor of Neurology
Yale School of Medicine

Date: Tuesday, December 6, 2016*
Time: 12 - 1 p.m.*
Location: The Saban Research Building, First Floor Auditorium, 4661 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027

Lunch will be provided to seminar guests, first come, first served.

About the Speaker:
Pasko Rakic, MD, PhD, received his medical and graduate degree from Belgrade University (former Yugoslavia). He immigrated to the US in 1969, and he was on Harvard faculty until 1978 when he moved to Yale, where he created Department of Neurobiology and Kavli Institute for Neuroscience. He presently holds the Duberg Chair in Neuroscience at Yale University.

Rakic’s research interests are in developmental neurobiology, particularly cellular and molecular mechanisms of neuronal proliferation, migration and synaptogenesis during development of the brain. His studies in human, non-human primates and rodents lead to the postulate of the “radial unit” and “protomap” hypotheses of cortical development and evolution that provide the framework for understanding genetic mechanisms of normal and pathological brain development. By manipulating the rate and pattern of neuronal migration using genetic tools and environmental factors, he, with his colleagues, discovered the hidden abnormalities of neuronal positioning that could not be discerned by routine postmortem examination. Rakic also provided the direct evidence for the competitive interactions among neuronal connections before birth, and showed that axons, synapses and neurotransmitter receptors are overproduced before attaining the adult levels by the process of activity-dependent stabilization and selective elimination. The major goal is to help understand pathogenesis of a variety of congenital brain malformations as well as to gain insight into possible developmental origins of disorders of higher brain functions.

Pasko Rakic is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Medicine, and foreign member of the Royal Society (London), Norwegian, Serbian and Croatian Academies. He has also been President of the Society for Neuroscience and recipient of many awards including the inaugural Kavli Neuroscience Prize.

Hosted by Marvin D. Nelson J.R., MD, MBA, FACR
Chairman, John L. Gwinn Professor of Radiology
Department of Pediatric Radiology
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Professor of Radiology
Keck School of Medicine
University of Southern California

Please click here to view event flyer and here to view Dr. Rakic’s CV.

Brought to you by the Office of Training, Education, Career Planning and Development (TECPAD).

For questions please contact

Monday, November 28, 2016

Bioinformatics Specialist Event - 12/7/16

Norris Medical Library Bioinformatics Service is recruiting a new bioinformatics specialist.  We cordially invite you to attend the second candidate presentation “ChIP-seq Data Analysis”.  This one-hour presentation will introduce the basic principles of analyzing ChIP-seq data.  Attendees will learn the fundamentals of ChIP-seq experimental design, data processing and downstream analysis with popular open-source tools on the Galaxy platform (

Topics will include:

  • Introduction to ChIP-seq
  • Quality control on sequencing reads
  • Reads alignment to a reference genome
  • Data normalization
  • ChIP-seq peak calling
  • Data visualization with the Integrated Genome Browser
  • Functional annotation of ChIP-seq peaks
  • Analyzing peaks for transcription factor binding sites

Time: Noon – 1pm, Wednesday, December 7th.
Location: HSC—West Conference Room (basement level), Norris Medical Library
UPC—Live broadcast, Learning Center, Wilson Dental Library

The presentation can also be viewed on your own computer via live broadcast

Lunch will be provided at both in-person locations, seats are limited.

Registration is mandatory:

Monday, November 21, 2016

Bioinformatics Specialist Candidate Presentation #1

Norris Medical Library Bioinformatics Service is recruiting a new bioinformatics specialist.  We cordially invite you to attend the first candidate presentation “Identifying Quality Variation in High-Throughput Sequencing Datasets”.  This one-hour workshop will focus on identifying sets of variants that can be used for evolutionary and population genetic inference.  Attendees will learn the key concepts and steps to call and filter variants from sequencing reads.  

The workshop will 
  •  Be applicable to both model and non-model systems
  •  Cover the data structures of each of the major file formats in high-throughput data analysis (FASTQ, SAM, and VCF)
  • Introduce a number of standard analysis tools, including BWA and the Genome Analysis Toolkit (GATK)
  • Include suggestions on how to appropriately filter variants
  • Illustrate how to perform analyses using the Unix command line and Galaxy

Time: 11 AM – noon, Wednesday, Nov. 30th.
Location: HSC—West Conference Room (basement level), Norris Medical Library
UPC—Live broadcast, Learning Center, Wilson Dental Library

The presentation can also be viewed on your own computer via live broadcast

Lunch will be provided at both in-person locations, seats are limited.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

USC Mentoring Awards



The USC Mentoring Awards honor individual faculty members for helping to build a supportive academic environment through faculty-to-student mentoring and faculty-to-faculty mentoring.


• Faculty Mentoring Faculty, Postdoctoral Scholars, Medical Residents, and Fellows

• Faculty Mentoring Students


Distinguished mentoring for academic and professional success occurs at USC through formal and informal channels, and may vary in style and substance from discipline to discipline. The main criterion for mentoring awards is demonstration of a continued commitment to, and effectiveness in, mentoring.

Individual awards will be given to faculty members who consistently perform one or more of the following:

1. Offer valuable information, insight, and counsel that helps advance and develop a mentee’s own path to success, both academic and professional.

2. Generously share time and expertise critiquing a mentee’s work and progress.

3. Involve peers and students in publications, grants, and conference presentations, as well as readily sharing knowledge of such opportunities.

4. Serve as a role model by maintaining high standards for excellence within their own discipline and in the University community more widely.


All faculty members—part-time and full-time—currently employed by USC are eligible for nomination. A nominee may not win two years in a row.


Submit a complete nomination form and maximum of TWO letters supporting the nomination in addition to the letter from the primary nominator. Letters can be solicited from past or present mentees of the nominee, the nominee’s department chair, the nominee’s dean, or other appropriate individuals. Letters should not exceed two pages each.

Letters of support can be submitted at the same time as the nomination form or separately here.

All nomination forms and letters of support must be submitted electronically by 5:00pm on Friday, January 29, 2016.

Paper nominations will not be accepted and nominations cannot be supplemented after the deadline.


Nominations submitted by 5:00 p.m., January 27, 2017
Selection announced by March 28, 2017
Awards Ceremony: April 6, 2017

For questions, please contact Dana Coyle, Program Manager at USC Center for Excellence in Teaching, at

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Internship Opportunity In Fitness/Dietary Products

Background & Summary

A Los Angeles-based start-up company that's in the very early stages of developing fitness/dietary products seeks a Genomics/Bioinformatics Intern.  
Summary: Work with a personalized genomics fitness start-up company to act as liaison between our fitness professionals and our DNA sequencing lab. Further, the position will develop web applications for visualizing the genetic data.

Minimum Education: Presently pursuing a Masters of Science or higher in Genomics, Bioinformatics, Computational Biology or a technical field that requires extensive genomic analysis and computational programming.

Minimum Experience: In-depth understanding of genomics, genetic variation, SNP arrays and the ability to work with our fitness professionals to translate the data into easily understandable analysis for our fitness clients.

Other Requirements: Programming skills also required to convert the sequencing data into web-based reports in an automated and high volume basis. Experience with Perl, R, Java, SQL and/or Python.

Start Date: December 2016. 

Next Steps
Interested students can reach out to Douglass Burleson at

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Ph.D. Defense | Comparative Ecology and Physiology of Critically Endangered Madagascar Tortoises

Andrea Currylow
Ph.D. Candidate
Integrative & Evolutionary Biology Graduate Program

Tuesday, November 29
1-2 PM
RRI 321

Abstract: For ectotherms, physiology and behavior are critically tied to environmental conditions. Feeding, metabolism, reproduction, and even movement are strongly influenced by temperature, cover availability, and resource quality.  The underlying mechanisms of these interactions are, however, poorly understood.  The use of seasonal baseline hormone concentrations and data on ranging behavior can be used to determining the potential reproductive output in both wild and captive populations.  Using three closely related, critically endangered Malagasy tortoise species as models, I assessed the tempo and mode of reproductive potential, activity, and health (stress and body condition) by measuring circulating stress and sex steroid hormones in conjunction with environmental, physical, activity, and behavioral data.