Thursday, December 17, 2015

Help us “Deck Our Halls”!

The USC Graduate School has recently moved to a new office suite in STU 301 and we would like to display the work of graduate students from across USC on the walls. We are especially interested in data visualizations, paintings, photographs, graphics, textiles, or other contributions that reflect the interests and research pursuits of USC graduate students. Other than copyrighted images, all types of submissions are welcome. The work will be featured for up to one year and will be returned to the student no later than December 2016. Within reason, the Graduate School will cover the cost of professionally printing and mounting works selected for display. Featured students will be invited to an open house early next year.

To be considered, please submit a copy (or draft) of the proposed work via email to by January 15, 2016. Proposals will be reviewed the following week and final selections will be made by the end of January.

If you have questions, I am available to assist.


Meredith Drake Reitan, MPL, PhD
Associate Dean for Graduate Fellowships
Graduate School
Office of the Provost
Adjunct Associate Professor
Sol Price School of Public Policy
University of Southern California

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Chateaubriand Fellowship Call for Applications is Open

We would like to remind you that the Chateaubriand Fellowship call for applications for 2016-2017 is now open.

We believe this program may interest you or your colleagues in your graduate school who have or would like to initiate collaborations with French researchers.

Below and attached you will find a description of the Chateaubriand Fellowship. We would appreciate it if you could forward this information to any of your colleagues or other contacts that may be interested.

- Bourses Chateaubriand 2016-2017 EN

We remain at your disposal for any further information, and thank you in advance for your help in disseminating this call for applications.

Sincerely yours,

Minh-Hà Pham
Counselor for Science and Technology
Embassy of France
4101 Reservoir Road, NW
Washington, DC 20007

Rachel MacFarland
Program Associate
Embassy of France
4101 Reservoir Road, NW
Washington, DC 20007

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Fellowship Opportunities at the National Institute of Justice

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is looking for doctoral students with innovative research that aims to solve problems faced by criminal justice practitioners. Apply to be part of one of NIJ’s Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) programs. The deadline is December 15.

For doctoral students in social and behavioral sciences (SBS), NIJ awards up to $32,000 in stipend and research support.

For doctoral students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), students can receive stipends of $35,000 as well as up to $15,000 annually to cover tuition and research expenses. Up to three years of support are possible, with demonstration of continued enrollment and satisfactory progress.

Learn more about the NIJ Graduate Research Fellowship. Deadline: Dec. 15, 2015. 

View a flier for the Graduate Fellowship Opportunity in STEM.

View a flier for the Graduate Fellowship Opportunity in SBS.

Additionally, NIJ’s W.E.B Du Bois Fellowship will be open early next year. The fellowship is for research that emphasizes crime, violence and the administration of justice in diverse cultural contexts. Learn more about that opportunity here.

For up-to-date information about NIJ’s funding opportunities, subscribe to our email list.

William A. Ford
Research Division Director
Office of Science and Technology
National Institute of Justice
US Department of Justice
(Desk) 202-353-9768
(Cell)    202-598-9484

The National Institute of Justice — the research, development and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice — is dedicated to improving knowledge and understanding of crime and justice issues through science. NIJ provides objective and independent knowledge and tools to reduce crime and promote justice.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Funding for Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program Available Now

Connecting You to America's Ocean and Great Lakes Treasures

Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program

Full Funding Announcement is Now Available!
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program provides support for master's and doctoral studies in oceanography, marine biology, maritime archaeology and all other science, engineering, social

science and resource management disciplines involving ocean and coastal areas, particularly by women and members of minority groups.

 • Scholarship covers tuition and a living stipend.

 • Travel funds support a program collaboration at a national marine sanctuary field office or another NOAA office.

  • Training includes science communication, stewardship and how to become a national marine sanctuary ambassador.

To apply, each applicant must:
 • be a U.S. citizen
 • pursue, or intend to pursue, graduate-level studies at a U.S. accredited institution
 • have and maintain a high grade point average; and
 • maintain full-time student status for the duration of the scholarship award.

Deadline for applications is December 10, 2015 at 5:00 pm Eastern Time

NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries | |


Thursday, October 29, 2015

USC Partek Training Nov 4-5--Analyze RNAseq, DNAseq and Microarray Data with ease

Whether you have RNAseq, DNAseq, or microarray data, Partek software offers a complete and powerful solution with user friendly workflows.

On Nov. 4 and 5, join us for a hands-on training on Partek Genomic Suite and Partek Flow at the Aresty Auditorium on the Health Science Campus.

Time: Nov. 4-5, 2015.

Location: Aresty Auditorium, Health Sciences Campus, USC

Training Outline:

Nov. 4, Wednesday 
8:45 am   Breakfast (Provided)
9:00 am-12:00 pm   Partek Flow: RNA-seq workflow (hands-on)
12:00-1:00 pm   Lunch (Provided)
1:15-4:00 pm   Partek Flow: DNA-seq workflow (hands-on)

Nov. 5, Thursday 
8:45 am   Breakfast (Provided)
9:00 am-12:00 pm   Partek Genomic Suite: Microarray data analysis and visualization
1:30 pm-4:00 pm   Q&A and open lab (bring our own data)

Registration is mandatory. Please follow this link to submit the registration

Follow this link for detailed training agenda and other information regarding this training.

Let us know if you have any questions.

Yibu Chen and Meng Li
Bioinformatics Service Program
Norris Medical Library
University of Southern California

Friday, October 23, 2015

DOE CSGF Application Notification

We are pleased to inform you that the 2016 - 2017 application for the Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (DOE CSGF) is now available online.

The application deadline is Tuesday, January 19, 2016, with supporting materials (GRE scores, reference letters, transcripts, etc.) also due that date. Please take a few minutes to review the FAQs and the help sections of the application, and feel free to contact us with any further questions.

- Lindsey Eilts
DOE CSGF Program Coordinator

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Travel Awards for Graduate School Funded Fellows

I am pleased to let you know that as part of USC’s continuing efforts to support our students’ academic professional development, we will again make grants available to Graduate School PhD Fellows for travel to conferences and to research sites. The base travel award is $500. If the fellow’s program matches this amount with $500, the Graduate School will contribute another $500, for a total of up to $1,500 available to the student.

The deadline for fellows to complete the fall online application is Friday, October 23, 2015 at 12 noon. A second application period will be announced in the spring semester.

Eligible students include PhD students funded by Provost’s, Annenberg, Rose Hills Foundation and Global Fellowships who have passed departmental screening or completed 24 units in their USC PhD program. Students funded by the Graduate School’s various advanced fellowships, including the Endowed and Dissertation Completion fellowships are also eligible to apply.

Fellows will complete an on-line application and will be asked to collect signatures from their faculty advisor, department chair, and dean or dean’s designate, affirming that they are making good progress toward the PhD and that the specific travel request will serve their academic goals.  Fellows will complete an on-line application and will be asked to collect signatures from their faculty advisor, department chair, and dean or dean’s designate, affirming that they are making good progress toward the PhD and that the specific travel request will serve their academic goals (signature page is attached).  The online application site will be available starting on Wednesday, October 14th and we will send you the link at that time.

New this year, the Graduate School will administer our portion of the travel award ($500 or $1,000 if matched) directly with students.  Information about the reimbursement process will be sent to students once they receive the travel award.

In addition to these funds, fellows are encouraged to apply to the Graduate Student Government for travel funding (

For further information, please contact Kate Tegmeyer, Fellowship Coordinator at

Monday, October 19, 2015

Domestic Violence Awareness Week

Please join the USC Center for Women and Men / Sexual Assault Resource Center in spreading Domestic Violence Awareness through its weeklong events.

Come to Trousdale on Monday, August 19th to pick up your sunglasses in support of DV Awareness Week and learn about other events!

Please see attached flyers and facebook invites for further information.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Spring 2016 Course Offering | BISC-587

The Department of Biological Sciences will be offering its Communications course again next Spring, which is open to both grad students and undergrads. Please e-mail the instructor, Myrna Jacobson (, if you are interested in registering.

BISC-587 (Flyer & Course Syllabus)

Bioinformatics Lunch Series | Key considerations in RNA-seq experimental design

NML Bioinformatics Service is pleased to present “Key considerations in RNA-seq experimental design”. Covering some of the most important issues in RNA-seq experiment preparation, this one-hour workshop will help you avoid making common and costly mistakes in designing RNA-seq experiments. This workshop is the second installment of the ongoing Bioinformatics Lunch Series, funded by USC Libraries Dean’s Challenge Grant.

Time: 12:00-1:15 PM

Location: Norris Medical Library, West Conference Room (basement level in the library)

Registration is mandatory as the seating for this workshop is limited to 40 attendees per session. See the registration form to select a desired date

Lunch will be provided

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Yibu Chen and Meng Li
Bioinformatics Service
Norris Medical Library
University of Southern California
323-442-3309 (Yibu)
323-442-3447 (Meng)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Thesis and Dissertation Submission Info Sessions

As the thesis and dissertation submission deadline approaches for the Fall 2015 semester, the Graduate School will host information sessions detailing the thesis submission process on two Wednesdays in October. The University Park Campus sessions will take place on October 7th, in THH 301 at 12:00 pm and THH 102 at 5:00 pm.  The Health Sciences Campus session will take place on October 14th, in MCH 156 at 12:00 pm.

Topics will include important information for both students and advisors, such as:
·         Thesis Center navigation
·         submission deadlines
·         required documentation

There will be an opportunity for questions following the presentation. Please mark your calendars. Hope to see you there!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Graduate Student Lunches w/ the Vice Provost for Graduate Programs

Please join the Vice Provost for Graduate Programs, Dr. Sally Pratt, for lunch on Monday October 12, 2015 on the University Park Campus (UPC) or on Friday October 16 on the Health Sciences Campus. All USC graduate students are welcome to attend.

This event is an opportunity to engage with Dr. Pratt on a variety of topics related to graduate and professional students, including your own concerns and discussion items. Dr. Pratt is interested in hearing your news, updates, and questions, and she would like to hear what you think the USC Graduate School does well, what it could improve on, and how.

Each luncheon will be limited to 20 graduate students. Because space is limited, your RSVP does not guarantee you a seat. The location of each event will be communicated in a confirmation email to the first 20 students (per event) who express their interest in participating here:

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

VOICE: Violence Outreach Intervention and Community Empowerment

Do you want to develop your awareness of sexual and gender-based violence, and learn how you can better support those who it affects? Interested in creating a culture of consent and healthy relationships in your student community?

VOICE -- Violence Outreach Intervention and Community Empowerment -- is a new program developed by the USC Center for Women and Men (CWM)/Sexual Assault Resource Center to give Trojans knowledge, tools and resources for preventing and responding to sexual and gender-based violence. CWM is now accepting applications for its first class of VOICE representatives: Apply by September 25.

Monday, August 31, 2015

External Fellowship Info Sessions hosted by Graduate School

The Graduate School will be hosting a number of external fellowship information sessions this Fall.

Thursday, September 3, 10:00am, HNB 100: Fellowships for International Students
Tuesday, September 8, 12:00 noon: Fellowship in Health Fields, Norris Medical Library East Conference Room at HSC
Wednesday, September 9, 10:00am, GFS 329: Fellowships for Students of Color
Thursday, September 10, 10:00am, HNB 100: Fellowships for International Research
Wednesday, September 16, 10:00am, TBD: Fellowships in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Jobs Posting | Part-time Lecturer in Scientific Writing & Oral Communication for Undergraduate Biology & Biological Engineering Students @ CalTech

Bi Lecturer Job Ad FINAL_w-logo 2015

Jobs Posting | Part-Time Instructors needed @ CSU Dominguez Hills

The Biology Department at CSU Dominguez Hills is actively looking for enthusiastic part-time instructors interested in teaching any of the following majors lecture and laboratory courses this coming Fall:

- lower division course in biodiversity
- lower division course in ecology/evolution (lab only)
- lower division course in molecular biology
- upper division course in animal physiology

I would appreciate if you can share this announcement widely, including with senior graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who enjoy a teaching university environment. I encourage those interested in joining our faculty or seeking additional information to contact me directly at or 310-243-3381. Previous teaching experience is desired, but not required.

Jobs Posting | Post-Doc Position @ Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, CA

Post-Doc Position
Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA
Department of Basic Medical Sciences

Position Description 

Post-Doctoral position is available in a Molecular Biology Laboratory of the Department of Basic Medical Sciences of Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California, to investigate the involvement of specific proteins and regulatory RNAs in disease etiology and their significance as therapeutic targets. The project involves the use of microarrays or sequencing platforms to characterize mRNAs and miRNA profiles, western blotting, preparation of expression constructs, tissue culture, and protein-protein interactions to characterize signaling pathways. Candidate must have PhD in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology/Genetics/Cell Biology. Please e-mail curriculum vitae and names and e-mail addresses of three references to Dr. Raj Kandpal, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA (

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The USC Graduate School is now accepting nominations for the CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award for individuals who have completed dissertations representing original work that makes an unusually significant contribution to the discipline. The effective date of the degree, or the completion of doctoral degree requirements and dissertation, must fall in the period of July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2015, inclusive.

Two awards are given annually in two different broad areas. The 2015 fields of competition are:

o    Biological and Life Sciences
o    Humanities and Fine Arts

(The 2016 competition will focus on social sciences and engineering/physical sciences).

Please have students submit the following to by Monday, June 22, 2015:

1.      An abstract of the dissertation (not to exceed 10 pages, typed double-spaced on 8-1/2" x 11" white paper).
2.     A brief CV

If selected for nomination, three letters of reference evaluating the significance and quality of the dissertation will be due to the graduate school by Friday, July 10, 2015.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

NGP Distinguished Speaker Series | "Cortical and perceptual processing of visual form"

Visionary Seminar | “Pan-Cellular Tissue Tomography: Enabling quantitative 3D phenotyping of optically opaque tissues at cell resolution”

Friday, May 1, 2015
2 PM
RRI 101
Host: Provost Professor Scott Fraser
Tel: 213-740-2233    

Keith Cheng, M.D., Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor of Pathology
Director of Experimental Pathology
Penn State College of Medicine

In medicine, multiple organ systems are commonly affected, necessitating a complete “review of systems” approach to obtaining data for the diagnosis and treatment of disease.  Similarly, “complete” assessments of phenotype in model organisms ideally detect change in any cell type or organ system caused by disruption in gene function or by environmental (e.g. chemical) exposures. In mm-scale samples, changes in every cell can be considered in context of the whole, facilitating elucidation of cellular mechanisms. Neither affected cell types and tissues nor affected life stages can be predicted ahead of time, requiring phenotyping methods with pan-cellular capabilities even into older life stages. Since many differentiated tissues are optically opaque, histology is commonly used to study mutant phenotypes. While pan-cellular in nature, highly sensitive, and of high resolution, histology lacks significant 3D perspective, is subject to sample mal-orientation, lacks ability to view alternative planes, and has low throughput. 

We are working towards higher-throughput, comprehensive, 3D morphological phenotyping of optically opaque organisms. Ideally, every cell type can be studied in the context of the whole organism. Assessing tissue architecture requires 3D images. Detecting cytological change requires voxel resolutions of ~ 1 micron. Any developmental stage may be affected, necessitating imaging at different life stages. Light-based 3D imaging methods including fluorescence microscopy are precluded in opaque, thick, or pigmented tissue samples. We are planning to develop kits for community use of a synchrotron X-ray based tool we call Pan-cellular Tissue Tomography (PANCETTO), which provides ~1 micron voxel resolution in whole, optically opaque, mm-scale organisms and samples. We report progress towards work towards elements of automation of imaging, digital orientation to a coordinate system, and detection and measurement of tissue volumes, and propose to take advantage of cloud-based access to sets of slice and slab visualizations, segmentations, annotations, and phenotyping. High-throughput phenotyping based on PANCETTO is being pursued across model organisms and tissues. The proposed tools will be model system-agnostic, and applicable to the identification of phenotypic signatures of disease, chemical exposures, and genetic deficiencies.  We expect the intersections between disease, chemical, and genetic phenomes to be meaningful and useful.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

2015 Tyler Prize Laureate Lectures

Thursday, April 23, 2015
2:00 PM
University Park Campus
The Forum @ TCC 450

Please join Madhav Gadgil, Ph.D., of Goa University, India, for the lecture “Science in the Service of a Symbiotic Society,” and the Honorable Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., of Oregon State University for the lecture “Seas the Day: a new vision for healthy oceans and vibrant communities," as we welcome this year's recipients of the 2015 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement.

Gadgil’s career has been dedicated to not only infusing environmental science into policymaking in India, but promoting the field of environmental science nationally. Through his public speaking and writing, Gadgil has advanced the field of environmental science and put it on the national radar.

Lubchenco’s career, which has spanned academic appointments and policymaking as the former Administrator of NOAA, has been dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of the ocean and the need to protect it. In December 2014, the U.S. Department of State named Lubchenco the first-ever Science Envoy for the Ocean, to promote this focus on ocean science, marine ecology, climate change and smart policy to a global audience.

BISC Inter-Section Seminar | Speaker: Dr. Barry Honig

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
4:00 PM
University Park Campus
HNB 100

Barry Honig has been a professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons since 1981 and is director of the Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (C2B2). He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator. He is recipient of the Founders Award of the Biophysical Society, the Alexander Hollaender Award in Biophsyics from National Academy of Sciences, Christian B. Anfinsen Award from the Protein Society, and DeLano Award for Computational Biosciences from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the Biophysical Society.

The guiding hypothesis of Dr. Honig’s work is that combining information about protein sequence with biophysical analysis can reveal how biological specificity is encoded on protein structures. His laboratory uses methods from biophysics and bioinformatics to study the structure and function of proteins, nucleic acids, and membranes. His work includes fundamental theoretical research, the development of software tools, and applications to problems of biological importance.

Hearing & Communications Neuroscience Seminar | “Development of the mammalian cochlea: regulation of cell fate and patterning”

Matthew Kelley, Ph.D.
Chief Section on Development Neuroscience and
Chief Laboratory of Cochlear Development
National Institute of Health

Monday, April 27, 2015
4:00 PM

Broad CIRM Center, BCC 101
Health Science Campus
1425 San Pablo, Los Angeles, CA 90033
Tel. 213-740-6091
Host: HCN Graduate Student, Amjad Askary

Friday, April 17, 2015

Molecular Biology Seminar | "Landscape and ecological genomics of a California endemic oak, Quercus lobata"

Victoria Sork
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
College of Letters and Sciences
Dean of the Division of Life Sciences
Professor for the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology & the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability

Friday, April 17, 2015
12:00 PM
RRI 101
Host: Peter Ralph

Abstract: The evolution of local adaptation is a long-standing question in evolutionary biology.  The ability to survive and thrive in a given environment is particularly important for long lived non-mobile trees experiencing rapid climate change.  The study species is Quercus lobata, an endemic widespread oak in California now in serious jeopardy due to habitat loss and threat of global warming. This talk will explore the evidence of local adaption using genomic tools available for nonmodel systems.  We have analyzed samples from throughout the species range using reduced library sequencing, epigenetic markers, and transcriptomes.  We have also conducted gene expression studies of oak seedlings in a drought experiment. Overall, these findings show that the geographic structure of genes and genomes are shaped by climate and provide the opportunity for evolution of local adaptation.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Are scientists nearing a cure for baldness?

From USC News

By pulling 200 hairs in a precise pattern and density, researchers can induce up to 1,200 replacement follicles in a mouse

By Cristy Lytal - April 9, 2015

The team's regenerative process relies on the principle of "quorum sensing." (Photo/Randi Scott)

If there’s a cure for male pattern baldness, it might hurt a little.

A team led by USC Stem Cell Principal Investigator Cheng-Ming Chuong has demonstrated that by plucking 200 hairs in a specific pattern and density, they can induce up to 1,200 replacement hairs to grow in a mouse. The results are published in the April 9 edition of the journal Cell... Continue to article

Neurobiology Seminar | "Mechanisms of Experience-Dependent Synaptic Remodeling in Thalamus"

Chinfei Chen, MD, Ph.D.
Harvard University

Monday, April 20, 2015
12:00 PM 
HNB 100
Host: Dion Dickman & Judith Hirsch

Live webcast only!

Refreshments will be served at 11:50 AM in HNB 100 before the seminar.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Celebrating 20 Years of the USC Wrigley Institute

This event features Tony Michaels, inaugural director of the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, and current director Roberta Marinelli talking about how the institute has grown from a fledgling regional marine laboratory into a dynamic, cross-disciplinary research institute with global reach.

Thursday, April 16, 2015
6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
The Los Angeles Yacht Club (off campus)
$15.00 per person

A conversation with Inaugural Director Dr. Tony Michaels and Current Director Dr. Roberta Marinelli In the twenty years since its establishment, the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies has grown from a fledgling, regional marine laboratory into a dynamic, cross-disciplinary research institute with global reach, poised for its next phase of trailblazing environmental solutions.

In an interactive discussion, Dr. Tony Michaels, who served for twelve years as the inaugural director, will reminisce upon the founding vision and formative years of the Institute. Building upon this success, current director Dr. Roberta Marinelli will highlight the remarkable accomplishments achieved in recent years and present her vision for the Institute’s future. Together, they will celebrate and share how the Wrigley Institute has become a world-class program in environmental research and education at USC over the last two decades, and is driving change with decision-makers in society, business and government.

To RSVP, click here.

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

Don’t miss the annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, where you can meet your favorite authors, hear live music, see original works of art and photography, listen to poetry, and even taste culinary creations that reflect the diversity of the city of Los Angeles.

Date: Saturday-Sunday, April 18-19
Time: All Day
Location: USC's University Park Campus

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books began in 1996 with a simple goal: to bring together the people who create books with the people who love to read them. The festival was an immediate success and has evolved to include live bands, poetry readings, chef demos, cultural entertainment and artists creating their work on-site. There’s also a photography exhibit, film screenings followed by Q&A’s and discussion panels on some of today’s hottest topics.

General festival admission and all outdoor activities are free and do not require a ticket. Indoor Conversations require free tickets (service charge $1.00 per ticket). Additional festival special presentations within the festival weekend may require a paid ticket.

There are three ways to get tickets for indoor Conversations:

1. Festival Pass. The Festival Pass is the Festival of Books pre-sale program, allowing fans access to festival indoor events before the general on-sale. Check back soon for details on the 2015 Festival Pass program.

2. Advance Conversation Ticket. General advance reservations of Conversation tickets will open on Sunday, April 12 at 9 a.m. A link to the festival ticketing page will be available on the home page of this website at that time. $1.00 service fee applies to each ticket reserved.

3. On-site Conversation Tickets. A limited amount of tickets for each Conversation, while supplies last, will also be distributed on-site at the Festival of Books ticketing booth on the same day of the Conversation. No service charge will apply for tickets claimed on site at the festival. The festival ticketing booth will open at 9 a.m. on each day of the festival.

For more information, please click here.

*TODAY* Earth Day Fair | Sponsored by USC Staff Assembly

Staff Assembly is hosting two Earth Day events again this year, one at HSC and one at UPC.  The one for UPC is later this month, but the one for HSC is tomorrow, Tuesday, April 13, in Pappas Quad from 10:30am-1:30pm.  Please plan to stop by and visit vendors with earth-friendly products, samples, giveaways, and more.  We hope to see you out there!

David Donovan
President, USC Staff Assembly

Computational Biology Colloquium | “Detecting early-warning signals of complex diseases by dynamical network biomarkers”

Luonan Chen
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences
Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Tuesday April 14, 2015
2:00 pm
RRI 101
Host:  Jasmine Zhou

Abstract: Considerable evidence suggests that during the progression of complex diseases, the deteriorations are not necessarily smooth but are abrupt, and may cause a critical transition from one state to another at a tipping point. Here, we develop a model-free method to detect early-warning signals of such critical transitions, even with only a small number of samples. Specifically, we theoretically derive an index based on a dynamical network biomarker (DNB) that serves as a general early-warning signal indicating an imminent bifurcation or sudden deterioration before the critical transition of a disease occurs. Based on theoretical analyses, we show that predicting a sudden transition from small samples is achievable provided that there are a large number of measurements for each sample, e.g., high-throughput data. We employ microarray data of three diseases to demonstrate the effectiveness of our method. The relevance of DNBs with the diseases was also validated by related experimental data and functional analysis.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Engineering & Neuroscience Health Seminar | "Decoding motor imagery from posterior parietal cortex in tetraplegic humans"

Dr. Richard Andersen
California Institute of Technology

Monday,  April 13th 2015
3:50 p.m.
Host: Prof. Francisco Valero-Cuevas

Seminar is simultaneously presented
UPC: RTH 217 - Live ** Note new location**
UPC Campus Map/Directions:

HSC: CHP 147 - Video Conference 
Center for the Health Professional
HSC Campus Map/Directions:

About the speaker: Professor Andersen studies the neurobiological underpinnings of brain processes including the senses of sight, hearing, balance and touch, the neural mechanisms of action, and the development of neural prosthetics. He has trained 60 postdoctoral and doctoral students who now work in academia and industry; 35 currently hold tenure or tenure track faculty positions at major research universities throughout the world. He has published approximately 140 technical articles and edited two books.

Education. Andersen obtained a Ph.D. in Physiology from the University of California, San Francisco with thesis advisor Michael Merzenich, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow with Vernon Mountcastle at the Johns Hopkins Medical School. He was Assistant and Associate Professor at the Salk Institute, Associate and Full Professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT and is currently the James G. Boswell Professor of Neuroscience in the Biology Division at Caltech.

Societies and Awards. Andersen is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, Member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Associate of the Neuroscience Research Program, and Member of the International Neuropsychological Symposium. He is the recipient of a McKnight Foundation Scholars Award, a Sloan Foundation Fellowship, the Spencer Award from Columbia University, a McKnight Technical Innovation in Neuroscience Award, and a McKnight Neuroscience Brain Disorders Award.

Service. Andersen has served as a member of the International Neural Network Board of Directors, Director of the McDonnell/Pew Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at MIT, Director of the Sloan-Swartz Center for Theoretical Neurobiology, regular member of the Vision B and COG Study Sections at NIH, Chair of the COG Study Section, Chair of Section 3 (Anatomy, Neurobiology, Physiological and Pharmacological Sciences) of the Institute of Medicine, and Visiting Professor at the College de France.

2nd Annual "Bench to Bedside” Research Lecture

For more information, visit

Dr. Edgerton’s laboratory focuses on two main research questions: How do neural networks in the lumbar spinal cord of mammals, including humans, regain control of standing, stepping and voluntary control of fine movements after paralysis, and how can these motor functions be modified by chronically imposing activity-dependent interventions after spinal cord injury? Largely using animal models of complete paralysis Edgerton and colleagues are aggressively developing and testing these interventions in humans, in an attempt to determine the mechanisms of recovery potential formulated from the perspective of how spinal networks can be “fine-tuned” to facilitate the performance of a wide range of complex motor tasks. Each of these interventions is used to modulate the excitability of spinal networks associated with posture and locomotion to a physiological state that approaches a motor threshold. This is a physiological state that enables motor control by engaging task specific proprioception as well as newly acquired voluntary input to the spinal circuitry. Dr. Edgerton will discuss the impact this work may have in the treatment of SCI.

*TODAY* MCB Seminar | "Logic and Evolution of Cell Growth Regulation"

David Gresham
New York University,
Department of Biology

Friday, April 10, 2015
12:00 pm
RRI 101
Host: Ian Ehrenreich

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Computational Biology Colloquium | "How meiosis drives the sequence evolution at recombination hotspots"

University of Southern California

Ray R. Irani Hall
Molecular and Computational Biology

Computational Biology Colloquium

Irene Tiemann-Boege
Johannes Kepler University,
Institute of Biophysics

"How meiosis drives the sequence evolution 
at recombination hotspots"

Abstract:  Meiosis is a potentially important source of germline mutations, as sites of meiotic recombination experience recurrent double-strand breaks (DSBs). However, evidence for a local mutagenic effect of recombination in population sequence data has been equivocal. By sequencing a large number of single crossovers obtained from human sperm, we find that recombination is mutagenic. Crossovers harbor more de novo mutations than non-recombinants, primarily CG to TA transitions enriched at CpG sites. Such striking asymmetry of mutational patterns is not seen genome wide, but could be predominant in mechanisms involving single stranded DNA processing. Our large data set also provides new evidence that the transmission of GC-alleles is favored during crossing-over and shows that GC biased gene conversion (gBGC) is a strong driver of hotspot sequence evolution opposing mutation. This is consistent with the idea that gBGC could be an adaptation to counteract the mutational load of recombination.

Thursday April 9, 2015
2:00 pm
RRI 101
Host:  Norm Arnheim and Peter Calabrese

2nd Annual Zilkha Symposium on Alzheimer Disease & Related Disorders

You can ESVP to the event utilizing the following link – (code: zilkha). Please note that the ESVP does not guarantee a seat. All seating will be first come, first served. 
Contact Julie Carl at 323-442-3219 or at if you have any questions.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

2015 Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship

The FULBRIGHT-HAYS provides grants to colleges and universities to fund doctoral students to conduct research in other countries for periods of six to 12 months. Projects deepen research knowledge on and help the nation develop capability in areas of the world not generally included in U.S. curricula including Africa, East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, South Asia, the Near East, Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia, and the Western Hemisphere (excluding the United States and its territories). Projects focusing on Western Europe are not supported.

A student is eligible to receive a fellowship if he or she:
•         Is a citizen or national of the United States or is a permanent resident of the United States;
•         Is a graduate student in good standing at an institution of higher education in the United States who, when the fellowship begins, is admitted to candidacy in a doctoral program
•         Is planning a teaching career in the United States upon graduation; and
•         Possesses adequate skills in the language(s) necessary to carry out the dissertation project.

Projects in the field of economics, engineering, international development, global education, mathematics, political science, public health, science, or technology proposed by an applicant who will use one of 78 less commonly taught languages in his or her research are particularly competitive.

For details, including more information about priority areas and the list of less commonly taught languages, see:

USC applicants for the Fulbright-Hays must submit through the Graduate School. Dr. Meredith Drake Reitan, Associate Dean for Graduate Fellowships serves as USC’s Program Director.

Key Dates:
March 11, 2015 from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Washington, DC time
Pre-application webinar sponsored by the Department of Education. Register by Monday, March 9th at:

Thursday, March 12, 10:00am-11:00am GFS 329
Fulbright-Hays Info Session sponsored by the USC Graduate School

Tuesday, March 24, 2:00pm – 3:00pm GFS 329
Fulbright-Hays Info Session sponsored by the USC Graduate School

Wednesday, April 8
Fulbright-Hays Proposal Narrative due to Graduate School

Monday, April 13 – Tuesday, April 14
Proposal Narrative Review by Graduate School and USC faculty

Monday, April 20
Final Fulbright-Hays Proposal & all Letters of Recommendation and/or Affiliation submitted to DOE G5 application portal

Friday, April 24
USC Graduate School submits all student proposals.