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Graduate Research News

USC Dornsife's Charles McKenna and Myron Goodman research crystal structures for the repair enzyme, DNA polymerase beta (seen here). The enzyme contains an inhibitor molecule (shown in yellow) which forms a complex with DNA. It is designed to selectively block polymerase beta DNA synthesis to kill cancer cells, while ensuring survival of normal cells. Image courtesy of Boris Kashemirov.

Killing Cancer

October 16, 2013

Chemotherapy offers cancer patients hope of a cure, or at least of remission. The problem with the treatment is that all too often a hard-won remission is only temporary. “A typical pattern is that people take the drug,…

Chi Mak, professor and chair of chemistry (left) and Myron Goodman, professor of biological sciences and chemistry, have collaborated on research published Oct. 11 in <em>The Journal of Biological Chemistry</em> selected by the journal as "paper of the week." Mak photo by Taylor Foust. Goodman photo by Philip Channing.

Unlocking Biology With Math

October 10, 2013

USC Dornsife scientists have created a mathematical model that explains and predicts the biological process that creates antibody diversity — the phenomenon that keeps us healthy by generating robust immune systems…

USC Dornsife doctoral student Amy Garrison presents her research at a Sept. 28 regional conference hosted at USC and focused on the study of hearing and vocal communication. Photos by Erica Christianson.

Sounds of Science

October 2, 2013

Working in Sarah Bottjer’s laboratory, USC Dornsife doctoral student Amy Garrison researches the inter-hemispheric connections between vocal-control regions and the amygdala in the brains of songbirds. As with humans,…

Ellen Leggett, an expert in the psychology of decision-making, joined USC Dornsife in Fall 2013 as director of the Master of Science in Applied Psychology program. Photo by Letty Avila.

Mastering Human Behavior

October 1, 2013

With nearly a decade of experience in marketing, Daniela Kerfin Canto was savvy enough to know that a deeper understanding of human behavior would help her garner clients. She knew the marketing campaigns she oversaw for a…

During the recent USC Dornsife 2020 retreat at the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island, doctoral students presented their research and had an opportunity to enjoy the brilliant night sky. Photo by Corey Arnold.

Brainwaves by the Sea

September 17, 2013

Every student knows how vitally important it is to remember information for a final exam. However, trying to memorize your class notes in the library can be challenging. Distractions — the person next to you whispering…

HSBC fellow Melvin Earl Villaver Jr., a junior majoring in sociology, was accompanied to the event by one of his faculty mentors, Shana Redmond, assistant professor of American studies and ethnicity. Villaver researched the history of Filipino hip-hop. Photos by Pamela J. Johnson.

Limitless Potential

September 13, 2013

Feeling her notes, her fingertips following lines of raised dots, Karen Arcos eloquently spoke about her research on schizophrenia before an audience at USC’s University Club. The psychology junior shared her work…

Jennifer Achiro, a neuroscience doctoral student in Bottjer’s laboratory, is first author in the study examining the activity of neurons in songbirds’ brains using electrodes to record the activity of individual neurons. Photo by Amy Garrison.

Worth Crowing About

September 6, 2013

USC Dornsife scientists have discovered a population of neurons in the brains of juvenile songbirds that are necessary for allowing the birds to recognize the vocal sounds they are learning to imitate. These neurons encode a…

World renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma (left) and University Professor Antonio Damasio engage in a spontaneous discussion about music's role in reducing personal pain and increasing joy. Photo by Steve Cohn.

Edge Effect

September 3, 2013

Strumming the cello strings with his thumb, American cellist and virtuoso Yo-Yo Ma played a simple, ascending chromatic scale. “What emotion is this?” he asked the audience at Cammilleri…

About 30 million Twitter users share data about their location. They choose whether to release their city and state, their address or their precise latitude and longitude. Their tweet text may also reveal a user’s location as illustrated here, in which a young woman says she is at home. Image courtesy of Chris Weidemann.

Mapping the Twitterverse

August 27, 2013

You start your day at your favorite breakfast spot. When your order of strawberry waffles with extra whipped cream arrives, it’s too delectable not to share with your Twitter followers. You snap a photo with your…

Ivan Krylov and Melissa Williams, chemistry researchers at USC Dornsife, were honored by the International Society for Antiviral Research (ISAR) for excellence in scientific poster presentations. Photo by Erica Christianson.

Fourfold Excellence

August 22, 2013

Postdoctoral research associate Ivan Krylov and Ph.D. chemistry students Melissa Williams, Candy Hwang and Elena Ferri have more than one thing in common. They all work in the laboratory of Charles McKenna, vice dean for…