Leigh Hopper is a media relations specialist with USC University Communications. She previously worked in communications for UCLA, in state government at the Texas Medical Board and as a medical reporter at the Houston Chronicle.
Stories by Leigh Hopper:
Healthy blood vessels may be the answer to Alzheimer’s prevention
USC research into Alzheimer’s — which will be on display at the upcoming Alzheimer’s Association International Conference — has uncovered much about the disease, including establishing a link between cardiovascular health and a fully functioning brain.
Teens who abuse opioids are more likely to later use heroin, USC study shows
The association between prescription opioids abuse and later heroin use reinforces that adolescents need to be considered in the opioid epidemic discussion.
Certain cells secrete a substance that may head off Alzheimer’s, USC study finds
The cells — known as pericytes — preserve neurons in the brain, which can keep dementia and other cognitive disorders at bay.
Native Hawaiians have a 60% greater risk than whites for pancreatic cancer
A new USC study highlights uninvestigated disparities between certain ethnic groups as to their risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
Improved air quality leads to fewer L.A.-area kids developing asthma
USC scientists have linked nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter reductions to a decrease in new asthma cases, reinforcing the health detriments of air pollution.
Lead contamination found in baby teeth of children living near Exide battery plant
A new USC study revealed high amounts of lead in the teeth of children in five Los Angeles communities and reinforced the need to test for lead exposure before and during pregnancy.
USC-led advance in groundbreaking cancer treatment eliminates severe side effects
Though the study was designed to assess safety, six out of 11 lymphoma patients who received a commonly used dose of the improved CAR T-cell therapy went into complete remission.
Study finds disadvantages in life add up to increased smoking risk, difficulty quitting
With each additional disadvantage — unemployment, poverty, low education, disability, serious psychological distress and heavy drinking — smoking rates climbed.
This gene could play a major role in reducing brain swelling after stroke
A new USC study suggests a dose of the TRIM9 gene could decrease the extensive — and detrimental — brain swelling that follows a stroke.
Diet reverses Alzheimer’s-like symptoms in lab model
The findings — focused on components contained in green tea and carrots — lend credence to the idea that certain readily available, plant-based supplements might offer protection against dementia in people.
E-cigarette users show cancer-linked genetic changes
E-cigarettes may not be risk-free: A USC study shows users develop some of the same molecular changes as cigarette smokers.
Does air pollution make teens eat fattening foods?
A new USC study suggests that early exposure to traffic pollution may be linked to unhealthy diet in adolescence.
USC Alzheimer’s researchers find new culprit and potential treatment target for disease
Brain changes associated with leaky capillaries suggest new, potential drug targets as well as a way to diagnose the disease sooner.
USC researchers race against tick-borne illness before it spreads in U.S.
The Asian longhorned tick, new to North America, can transmit a disease that causes nausea, diarrhea and muscle pain — and, often, death.
E-scooter companies should consider safety on social media, USC study finds
Research suggests that the vehicles aren’t promoted with protective gear in mind.
Vaccine breakthrough brings researchers closer to eliminating polio worldwide
USC scientists create a temperature-stable vaccine for use in developing countries where refrigeration may be unavailable.
New e-cig study shows vaping is no deterrent to teen smoking
The USC study is likely to add heft to a growing chorus seeking changes in regulation or industry practice for the nicotine delivery devices.
Zika biomarkers in blood could lead to prenatal screening for birth defects
The highest risk of birth defects is from Zika virus infection during the first and second trimester, USC researcher says.
Pituitary tumors that invade bone, brain to be focus of USC research
National Institutes of Health will back USC’s research of little-studied tumors — the results could provide potential targets for precise treatment.
To diversify research, USC teams with Florida universities on cancer disparities
Federal grant will address disease in Latinos and African-Americans, and help train the next generation of cancer researchers.
Young adults’ cancer survival rates jump in surprising new study
USC analysis shows that 15- to 39-year-olds had the best survival of any age group for many years after HIV/AIDS-related cancers are taken into account.
Most teens who tried marijuana used it in various forms, research finds
A USC study raises concerns about adolescent health amid a booming cannabis market that touts sleekly packaged products claiming an array of health benefits.