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BRUCE STILLMAN, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Dr. Bruce Stillman is President of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on the north shore of Long Island in New York. A native of Australia, he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree with honors at Sydney University and a Ph. D. at the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University. He then moved to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory as a Postdoctoral Fellow in 1979 and has been at the Laboratory ever since, being promoted to the scientific staff in 1981. Dr. Stillman has been Director of the Cancer Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory since 1992, a position he still holds. In 1994, he succeeded Dr. James D. Watson as Director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and was appointed President in 2003.

Dr. Stillman's research focuses on the mechanism and regulation of duplication of DNA and chromatin in cells, a process that ensures accurate inheritance of genetic information from one cell generation to the next.

For these research accomplishments, Dr. Stillman has received a number of honors including election as a Fellow of The Royal Society in 1993. In 1994, Dr. Stillman was awarded the Julian Wells Medal (Australia) and in 1999, Dr. Stillman was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for service to scientific research. Dr. Stillman was elected in 2000 to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. In 2004, Dr. Stillman was awarded the Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. Prize from the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation with Dr. Thomas Kelly. In 2006 he received the American Cancer Society Basic Science Award from the Society of Surgical Oncology. He has also received three honorary doctorates.

The president of CSHL discusses the 73rd Symposium on Control and Regulation of Stem Cells from historical and organizational points of view. Interviewed by Catherine Cormier, Harvard Institute of Proteomics
ARTURO ALVAREZ-BUYLLA, University of California, San Francisco

Arturo Alvarez-Buylla is the Heather and Melanie Muss Endowed Chair in the Department of Neurological Surgery and Professor of the Institute for Regeneration Medicine, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He received his undergraduate degree from National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). In 1988 he obtained his PhD from Rockefeller University and after a brief postdoctoral fellowship, becomes Assistant Professor and then Associate Processor-Head of Laboratory at this same Institution. Since 2000, he is at UCSF. His early PhD and postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Dr. Fernando Nottebohm demonstrated the migration of young neurons in adult song birds; showed that long projection neurons continue to form in the high vocal center of adult songbirds, and that radial glial cells in adult birds not only serve as guides for neuronal migration, but are also the precursors of the new neurons.

He and colleagues then identifies in the adult mammalian brain subventricular zone (SVZ) a large population of neuronal precursors; demonstrates long range migration of young neurons from the SVZ to the olfactory bulb; Identified the mechanism of cell translocation as chain migration and uncovered an extensive network of pathways for chain migration in the adult mammalian brain. In a surprising observation, his group has recently shown that the polarization of ependymal cells helps guide neuronal migration in the adult brain. The Alvarez-Buylla laboratory identified the neural stem cells in the adult mammalian brain SVZ and hippocampus. Unexpectedly, these cells correspond to a subpopulation of astrocytes. His laboratory shows that these cells in the SVZ give rise to transit amplifying cells (Type C cells) that generate both neurons and oligodendrocytes during postnatal life. His laboratory revealed the developmental lineage of neural stem cells and identified a subpopulation of astrocytes in the adult human SVZ that can function as neural stem cells in vitro. Work by this group has shown that adult neural stem cells upon stimulation with growth factors (PDGF) give rise to glioma-like masses next to the SVZ. Most recently, the Alvarez-Buylla laboratory discovers that adult neural stem cells are heterogeneous and that different types of neurons in the olfactory bulb are derived from specific locations in the SVZ. The Alvarez-Buylla laboratory has also contributed to our understanding of the origin of cortical interneurons and has shown that cells derived from blood fuse with Purkinje neurons and other cells in the brain, heart and liver.

Work in Dr. Alvarez-Buylla’s laboratory is helping understand the origin of new neurons in adult brain and how these new neurons can be recruited into adult brain circuits. The work also suggests possible culprits in brain cancer initiation.


BRIGID HOGAN, Duke University Medical Center

Brigid Hogan, PhD, FRS is the George Barth Geller Professor and Chair of the Department of Cell Biology, Duke University Medical Center. She is also Director of the Duke Stem Cell Program. Prior to joining Duke, Dr Hogan was an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Hortense B. Ingram Professor in the Department of Cell Biology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. Hogan earned her PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge. After completing her PhD, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biology at MIT. Before moving to the United States in 1988 Dr Hogan was head of the Molecular Embryology Laboratory at the National Institute for Medical Research in London. Her research currently focuses on the genetic control of embryonic development and morphogenesis, using the mouse as a model system. She currently has a particular interest in stem cells of adult endodermal organs, including the lung and esophagus, and their role in organ turnover and repair. She was President of the American Society for Developmental Biology and is President-elect of the American Society of Cell Biology. Her service to the scientific community has included being a member of the National Advisory Council of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Co-Chair for Science of the 1994 NIH Human Embryo Research Panel and a member of the 2001/2002 National Academies Panel on Scientific and Medical Aspects of Human Cloning. Dr. Hogan is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, USA.
KONRAD HOCHEDLINGER, Massachusetts General Hospital

Konrad Hochedlinger
is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, a Principal Faculty at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and an Investigator at the Cancer Center and Center for Regenerative Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He received his B.Sc. in biology and his Ph.D. in genetics from the University of Vienna. From 1998-1999, he worked with Erwin Wagner at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna and from 2000-2003 as a Visiting Graduate Student and Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds-Fellow with Rudolf Jaenisch at the Whitehead Institute/MIT. He spent another three years as a post-doctoral fellow in the Jaenisch lab. During his stay at the Whitehead Institute, he worked on nuclear transfer in mice to show that terminally differentiated lymphocytes and malignant melanoma cells remain amenable to reprogramming into a pluripotent state. Moreover, in collaboration with others, he has established the first proof-of-principle model for “therapeutic cloning” in mice. After becoming an Assistant Professor at Harvard, Dr. Hochedlinger continued work on nuclear reprogramming by focusing on a novel method that had been previously developed by Dr. Yamanaka and involves introducing defined transcription factors into somatic cells. Dr. Hochedlinger’s lab has reproduced and improved this technology and has contributed to an understanding of its mechanism. He is currently using the mouse and human system to further elucidate the mechanism of in vitro reprogramming. Dr. Hochedlinger is a Kimmel and V Scholar and has been awarded the NIH Director’s Innovator Award in 2007.


RUDOLF JAENISCH, Whitehead Institute/MIT

Rudolf Jaenisch
received his M.D. in Munich in 1967. After postdoctoral work at Princeton and five years as a Research Professor at the Salk Institute, he became Head of the Department of Tumor Virology at the Heinrich Pette Institute for Experimental Virology and Immunology. Since 1984 he has been a Founding Member of the Whitehead Institute and Professor of Biology at M.I.T. and in 2005 he established the Human Stem Cell Facility at the Whitehead.

Dr. Jaenisch is a pioneer in making transgenic mice, leading to some important advances in understanding cancer, neurological and connective tissue diseases, and developmental abnormalities. These mice have been used to explore basic questions such as the role of DNA modification, genomic imprinting, X chromosome inactivation, nuclear cloning, and, most recently, the nature of stem cells. The Jaenisch laboratory has used therapeutic cloning and gene therapy to rescue mice having a genetic defect and more recently, using a technique for turning skin cells into stem cells, they have cured mice of sickle cell anemia -- the first direct proof that the easily obtained cells can reverse an inherited disease.



CARLA KIM , Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School

Carla Kim
received her PhD in Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed postdoctoral training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She currently serves as an Assistant Professor in the Stem Cell Program at Children's Hospital in Boston and the Genetics Department at Harvard Medical School. She is a member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and the Dana-Farber Harvard Cancer Center. Dr. Kim developed a method to isolate the first stem cell population from the adult murine lung, termed bronchioalveolar stem cells (BASCs). She also showed that BASCs are critically affected by an oncogenic K-ras mutation and may be the cell-of-origin of lung adenocarcinomas. Her current research focuses on the characterization of non-small cell lung cancer stem cells and normal lung stem cells. Dr. Kim is a member of the International Society for Stem Cell Research and the American Society for Cell Biology. Her research is currently funded through grants from the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society, and the V Foundation for Cancer Research.

RUTH LEHMANN, Skirball Institute

Born in Cologne, Germany, Ruth Lehmann studied Drosophila embryology and genetics with Gerold Schubiger’s at the University of Washington, Seattle and with the late Jose Campos-Ortega at the University of Freiburg, Germany, where she described the neurogenic genes in Drosophila. During her doctoral thesis in the laboratory of Christiane Nuesslein-Volhard at the Max Planck Institute in Tuebingen, Germany, she characterized maternal effect genes that organize the embryonic axes in Drosophila. After postdoctoral training in Tuebingen and at the Medical Research Council in Cambridge, UK in the laboratory of the late Mike Wilcox, she joined the Whitehead Institute and the faculty of MIT in 1988. Molecular characterization of nanos, pumilio and oskar in her lab showed that RNA localization within a cell is tightly linked to translational regulation.

In 1996, Dr. Lehmann moved to the Skirball Institute at NYU School of Medicine where she is an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Chair of Developmental Genetics. Here her work has focused on the mechanisms that regulate germ cell specification, migration and survival in the embryo and germ line stem cell maintenance in the adult. In recent studies, her lab demonstrated the role of lipid signaling in germ cell migration and identified the genetic basis of transcriptional silencing in primordial germ cells and the mechanisms that control homeostasis of germ cell proliferation.

Dr. Lehmann is also the director of the Helen and Martin Kimmel Stem Cell Center and the Director of the Skirball Institute at NYU School of Medicine. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts Sciences and a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences.



IHOR LEMISCHKA, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine

Dr. Ihor R. Lemischka is currently the Director of the Black Family Stem Cell Institute, and Lillian and Henry M. Stratton Professor of Gene and Cell Medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. Dr. Lemischka relocated to Mount Sinai in July of 2007 after twenty-one years as Professor of Molecular Biology at Princeton University. Dr. Lemischka received his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1982 under the mentorship of Dr. Philip A. Sharp. He did his post-doctoral training with Dr. Richard C. Mulligan at the Whitehead Institute at MIT. In 1986 Dr. Lemischka assumed a faculty position at Princeton University. Dr. Lemischka is broadly interested in the biological properties of both adult and embryonic stem cells; specifically the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for controlling cell-fate decisions. His laboratory performed pioneering studies to elucidate the in vivo functions of blood-forming hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) following transplantation. Dr. Lemischka’s laboratory was the first to identify novel receptor tyrosine kinases in HSC. His subsequent efforts have defined genome-wide molecular “signatures” of HSC, and other stem cell populations. Currently, Dr. Lemischka’s research is focused on functional genomic, epigenetic, and proteomic analyses of stem cell biology. In addition, he is developing systems biology approaches to understand stem cell function. After relocating to a major medical center, Dr. Lemischka is also expanding his efforts to promote translational research in the field of stem cell biology in order to reap the clinical promise of this exciting area.

RONALD MCKAY, National Institutes of Health

Ron McKay received a B.Sc. in 1971 and a Ph.D. in 1974 from University of Edinburgh, where he studied under the tutelage of Edwin Southern examining DNA organization and chromosome structure. He received postdoctoral training at University of Oxford working with Walter Bodmer examining restriction-fragment-length polymorphism (RFLPs). In 1978, he became a senior staff investigator at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory concentrating on two areas: the interaction of SV40 T antigen with the specific binding site at the viral origin of replication and the molecular organization of the nervous system. Joining the MIT faculty in 1984, Dr. McKay examined neural development identifying neural stem cells. In 1993 he joined the NIH as chief of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology at NINDS. His laboratory studies pluripotent and somatic stem cells with a particular focus on the nervous system.
SEAN MORRISON, University of Michigan

Sean Morrison’s laboratory studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate stem cell function in the nervous and hematopoietic systems. Dr. Morrison obtained his B.Sc. in biology and chemistry from Dalhousie University (1991), then completed a Ph.D. in immunology at Stanford University (1996), and a postdoctoral fellowship in neurobiology at Caltech (1999). Since 1999, Dr. Morrison has been at the University of Michigan, where his laboratory studies the mechanisms that regulate stem cell self-renewal and stem cell aging, as well as the link between stem cell function and cancer. Dr. Morrison was a Searle Scholar (2000-2003), was named to Technology Review Magazine’s list of 100 young innovators (2002), received the Wired Magazine Rave Award for Science (2003), the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (2003), the International Society for Hematology and Stem Cell’s McCulloch and Till Award (2007) and the American Association of Anatomists Harland Mossman Award (2008). The Morrison laboratory’s work on stem cells is funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Defense. Dr. Morrison has also been active in public policy issues surrounding stem cells as a Director of the International Society for Stem Cell Research. In recognition of his public policy work in Michigan, the Detroit News named Dr. Morrison one of it’s Michiganians of the Year (2006).

LUIS PARADA, UT Southwestern Medical Center

Luis F. Parada grew up in Bogota, Colombia. He obtained a BS from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. in Biology from MIT in 1985 identifying oncogenes in human cancer. He was a Damon Runyon and later Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellow at the Pasteur Institute. From 1988 to 1994, he headed the Molecular Embryology Section at the NCI in Frederick, Maryland. His work there centered on the identification and characterization of Trk receptor tyrosine kinases as physiological neurotrophin receptors. In 1994 Dr. Parada moved to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas as inaugurating Director of the Center for Developmental Biology. During his time in Dallas, Dr. Parada has continued his studies of nerve cell survival and regeneration and has renewed his attention on cancer with emphasis on the nervous system. His laboratory uses mouse models to study Neurofibromatosis, cancers of the nervous system, neural development and spinal cord injury. Dr. Parada is Chairman of the Department of Developmental Biology and holds the Diana and Richard C. Strauss Distinguished Chair in Developmental Biology, is Director of the Kent Waldrep Foundation Center for Basic Neuroscience Research, and is an American Cancer Society Professor. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Institute of Medicine – National Academy of Sciences.

STEVEN REINER, University of Pennsylvania

Steve Reiner received a B.A. in philosophy from Haverford College in 1982. He received an M.D. degree from Duke University in 1985. He is clinically trained in internal medicine and infectious diseases. He performed postdoctoral research at the University of California, San Francisco in the laboratory of Richard Locksley from 1990 to1994. In 1994, he took his first faculty appointment, in the Gwen Knapp Center for Lupus and Immunology Research at The University of Chicago. In 1999, he became one of the founding members of the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute of the University of Pennsylvania. His research has focused on understanding the signaling and transcriptional mechanisms involved in heritable changes in gene expression of T lymphocytes during the mammalian immune response. His laboratory’s study on asymmetric cell division of T lymphocytes was named one of the top 10 scientific breakthroughs of 2007 by Science magazine.
ALEJANDRO SANCHEZ ALVARADO, University of Utah

Born in Caracas Venezuela, February 24, 1964, Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado received his Bachelor’s Degree in Molecular Biology and Chemistry from Vanderbilt University in 1986. In 1992, he received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Cell Biophysics at the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine, where he studied mouse ES cells and their in vitro differentiation under the tutelage of Dr. Jeffrey Robbins and Thomas Doetschman. In 1994, he joined the laboratory of Dr. Donald D. Brown at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, Department of Embryology as a postdoctoral fellow and in 1995 was appointed Staff Associate. It was during this period that Dr. Sánchez Alvarado began to explore systems in which to molecularly dissect the problem of regeneration. In 2002 he became an Associate Professor at the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the University of Utah School of Medicine, and in 2005 he was promoted to Professor and was appointed a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. His current efforts are aimed at elucidating the molecular basis of regeneration using the free-living flatworm Schmidtea mediterranea.
GUY SAUVAGEAU, IRIC University of Montreal, Canada

Guy Sauvageau is the Founding Scientific Director of the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC). He also holds the Canada Research Chair in the Molecular Genetics of Stem Cells and is Full Professor with the Université de Montréal Department of Medicine. Dr. Sauvageau is a researcher and clinical practitioner, specializing in the transplantation of bone marrow-derived stem cells, called hematopoietic stem cells, and in the study of the molecular mechanism involved in their self-renewal.

Over the last ten years, Dr. Sauvageau’s work has led to ground-breaking discoveries in understanding the production of hematopoietic stem cells. With his research team, he identified the potential of the HOXB4 and Bmi1 genes which are instrumental in regulating the self-renewal of these cells. He went on to develop the recombinant HOXB4 protein that leads to the expansion of the hematopoietic stem cells. Clinical phases I and II of this work will soon begin, with umbilical cord blood as a source of essential stem cells for patients requiring a transplant when there is no compatible donor. These discoveries are a significant advance in the field of blood stem cell transplantation. Dr. Sauvageau’s research on the Bmi1 gene may lead to new ways to specifically eliminate tumor stem cells.
Before joining IRIC in 2002, Dr. Sauvageau worked as principal investigator at the Clinical Research Institute of Montreal for seven years. Dr. Sauvageau holds numerous patents on applications that are under development for industrial and clinical use.

BEN SCHERES, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Ben Scheres investigates Arabidopsis development at Utrecht University since 1990. His group exploits the root tip as a tractable model for stem cells. Initially, the group focused on mechanisms of pattern formation. More recently, cell division and cell polarity in plants have become separate research topics –the ultimate aim is to connect these intertwined processes and provide an explanation for maintenance and specialization of stem cell groups in plant growth regions.

DAVOR SOLTER, Max-Planck-Institut Fur Immunbiologie, Germany

Davor Solter, M.D. (1965), Ph.D. (1971) both from the University of Zagreb, Croatia. Assistant and associate Professor in the Departments of Anatomy and Biology, University Zagreb Medical School 1966-1973. In 1973 moved to the Wistar Institute, Philadelphia and became Member and Professor in 1981 as well as Wistar Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1991 he was appointed Member of the Max-Planck Society and Director of the Max-Planck Institute of Immunobiology in Freiburg. He is also Adjunct Professor at the Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor. In 2008 he was appointed SeniorPrincipal investigator, Institute of Medical Biology, Biomedical Science Institutes, A*STAR, Singapore and Professor, Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School. He was and is member of numerous editorial and advisory boards. He is member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences, EMBO and Academia Europea. In 1998 he received March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology for pioneering the concept of imprinting and in 2007 Rosenstiel Award (shared with Azim Surani and Mary Lyon) for discovery of imprinting.

Davor Solter contributed significantly to many areas of mammalian developmental biology, namely: differentiation of germ layers; role of cell surface molecules in regulating early development; biology and genetics of teratocarcinoma; biology of embryonic stem cells; imprinting and cloning. His current research interest focuses on genetic and molecular control of genome reprogramming and of activation of embryonic genome.

ALLAN SPRADLING, Carnegie Institute of Washington

Allan Spradling
has contributed extensively to the technology of genetic manipulation in Drosophila melanogaster and applied these methods to fundamental problems of germ cell and stem cell development. With Gerry Rubin, he showed that transposable elements can function as transformation vectors, and used this approach to carry out the first successful gene therapy in a multicelluar organism. Using a novel method of insertional mutagenesis, which he and Rubin also incorporated into the Drosophila genome project, Spradling’s lab has advanced our understanding of several fundamental processes of oocyte development. His group has pioneered the use of Drosophila adult stem cells as models for mammalian stem cell biology, culminating in the first cellular and molecular characterization of a stem cell niche. Spradling is currently Director of the Department of Embryology of the Carnegie Institution in Baltimore, and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. A member of the National Academy of Sciences since 1989, he served in 2007 as President of the Genetics Society of America.

AZIM SURANI, Wellcome/CRC Institute, United Kingdom

Azim Surani
obtained his PhD in Mammalian Development at the University of Cambridge. He is the Marshall-Walton Professor at the Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, since 1991, and a Professorial Fellow of King's College, Cambridge. He is an Associate Fellow of the Third World Academy of Sciences (1992), Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (2001), a Member of EMBO (1993), and of Academia Europea (1994). He was appointed the Sir Dorabji Tata Distinguished Visiting Professor at the NCBS Institute, and as the Distinguished Fellow of the Nehru Institute in Bangalore (2005). His awards include the Gabor medal by the Royal Society in 2001 and the Rosenstiel award for biomedical research in 2007. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1990.

ELLY TANAKA, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology & Genetics

Elly Tanaka performed her doctoral work with Marc Kirschner in the Department of Biochemistry, UCSF until 1994. From there she went on to do post-doctoral research with Jeremy Brockes at the Ludwig Institute and University College London. In 1999 she started a junior research group at the Max-Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Boiology and Genetics, Dresden where she was promoted to associate level in 2004. In 2008 she was appointed Chair, Animal Models of Regeneration in the newly established Center for Regenerative Therapies, Dresden at the University of Technology, Dresden.

AMY WAGERS, Joslin Diabetes Center

Dr. Amy Wagers is an Investigator in the Section on Developmental and Stem Cell Biology at Joslin Diabetes Center as well as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University and a Principal Faculty member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. She received her doctoral degree in Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis from Northwestern University, and completed postdoctoral fellowship training in the laboratory of Dr. Irving Weissman, M.D., at Stanford University School of Medicine. She is a recipient of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award in Biomedical Sciences, the Beckman Foundation Young Investigator Award, and the W.M. Keck Foundation Distinguished Young Scholars Award. Dr. Wagers’ current research focuses on defining the factors and mechanisms that regulate the migration, expansion, and regenerative potential of adult blood-forming and muscle-forming stem cells.

FIONA WATT, CR UK Cambridge Research Institute, United Kingdom

Fiona Watt obtained her undergraduate degree from Cambridge University and her DPhil from the University of Oxford. She was a postdoctoral fellow with Howard Green at MIT and it was there that she first studied mammalian epidermis. After running a lab in London for many years, she moved to Cambridge in 2007. She is deputy director of the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Research Institute and the Wellcome Trust Centre for Stem Cell Research.

Fiona Watt’s long standing research interest is in how the differentiated state of adult tissues is maintained. She studies this using mammalian epidermis as a model system. Current projects in her laboratory are concerned with self-renewal and lineage selection by human and mouse epidermal stem cells, the role of stem cells in epidermal tumour formation, and the assembly and function of the epidermal cornified envelope.

IRVING WEISSMAN, Stanford University School of Medicine

Irving L. Weissman, M.D., is the Director of the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Director of the Stanford Cancer Center and Director of the Stanford Ludwig Center for Stem Cell Research. Dr. Weissman was a member of the founding Scientific Advisory Boards of Amgen (1981-1989), DNAX (1981-1992), and T-Cell Sciences (1988-1992). He co-founded SyStemix in 1988, StemCells in 1996, and Celtrans (now Cellerant), the successor to SyStemix, in 2001. He is a Director and Chair of their Scientific Advisory Boards.

His research encompasses the biology and evolution of stem cells and progenitor cells, mainly blood-forming and brain-forming. He is also engaged in isolating and characterizing the rare cancer and leukemia stem cells as the only dangerous cells in these malignancies, especially with human cancers. Finally, he has a long-term research interest in the phylogeny and developmental biology of the cells that make up the blood-forming and immune systems. His laboratory was first to identify and isolate the blood-forming stem cell from mice, and has purified each progenitor in the stages of development between the stem cells and mature progeny (granulocytes, macrophages, etc.). At SyStemix he co-discovered the human hematopoietic stem cell and at StemCells, he co-discovered a human central nervous system stem cell. In addition, the Weissman laboratory has pioneered the study of the genes and proteins involved in cell adhesion events required for lymphocyte homing to lymphoid organs in vivo, either as a normal function or as events involved in malignant leukemic metastases.

Professor Weissman is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (1989-present), the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy (2002-present), and the American Association of Arts and Sciences (1990-present) and the American Academy of Microbiology (1997-present). He served as President of the American Association of Immunologists in 1994. He has received the Outstanding Investigator Award from the National Institutes of Health (1986), the Kaiser Award for Excellence in Preclinical Teaching (1987), the Pasarow Award in Cancer Research (1989), the Harvey Lecture Award (1989), the De Villiers International Achievement Award of the Leukemia Society of America (1999), and the E. Donnall Thomas Prize from the American Society of Hematology (1999). He received an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree from Montana State University (1992), was Selected Top 100 Alumni of Montana State University (1993), the Montana Conservationist of the Year Award (1994). Professor Weissman also received the Ellen Brown Scripps Society Medal (2001), the Irvington Institute Immunologist of the Year Award (2001), the Van Bekkum Stem Cell Award (2002), the California Scientist of the Year Award (2002), the Association of American Cancer Institutes 2002 Distinguished Scientist Award, the Basic Cell Research Award by the American Society of Cytopathology (2002), The Society of Neurological Surgeons Bass Award (2003), the J. Allyn Taylor International Prize in Medicine (2003), the American Diabetes Association Elliott Proctor Joslin Medal (2003), and the Rabbi Shai Shacknai Memorial Prize in Immunology and Cancer Research from the Lautenberg Center for General and Tumor Immunology (2004). In 2004 Dr. Weissman was awarded the New York Academy of Medicine Award for Distinguished Contributions to Biomedical Research, the Jessie Stevenson Kovalenko Medal from the National Academy of Sciences Council, and was the Alan Cranston Awardee from the Alliance for Aging Research. He received The Linus Pauling Medal for Outstanding Contributions in Science from Stanford University and the “Dare to Dream” award from the Jeffrey Modell Foundation in 2005. In 2006 Professor Weissman was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Columbia University, the John Scott Award from the City of Philadelphia, and the American Italian Cancer Foundation Prize for Scientific Excellence in Medicine, and The Commonwealth Club of California 18th Annual Distinguished Citizen Award. In 2007 he has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City, New York.



MAX WICHA, University of Michigan

Dr. Max S. Wicha is the founding Director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center and distinguished professor of oncology. His lab was part of the team that first discovered stem cells in breast cancer, the first described in any human solid tumor. He is a leading expert in normal and malignant breast stem cells. Dr. Wicha is also active as a clinician, specializing in the treatment of breast cancer.

RICHARD YOUNG, Whitehead Institute and MIT

Richard Young’s research combines novel high-throughput biological methods with new computational techniques to investigate the mechanisms that control genes in living cells. Recent results from his group include the discovery of the core regulatory circuitry of human embryonic stem cells and insights into the mechanisms that control human development. Dr. Young believes that knowledge of regulatory circuitry will provide the foundation for future therapeutic strategies against major human diseases.

Dr. Young is a Member of the Whitehead Institute and a Professor of Biology at MIT. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University and his B.S. degree in Biological Sciences at Indiana University. Dr. Young’s awards include a Burroughs Wellcome Scholarship, the Chiron Corporation Biotechnology Research Award, Yale’s Wilbur Cross Medal, and Scientific American recognized him as one of the top 50 leaders in science, technology and business in 2006. He has served as an advisor to Science magazine, the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization.

LEONARD ZON, Children's Hospital

Dr. Leonard Zon is internationally recognized for his pioneering work in the fields of stem cell biology and cancer genetics. He received his MD from Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia. He is founder and former president of the International Society for Stem Cell Research and chair of the Executive Committee of the newly formed Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI). In 2005, Dr. Zon was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. He recently completed a term as President of the American Society for Clinical Investigation.

As Director of the Trans-NIH Zebrafish Genome Initiative, he has established the world’s leading research facility utilizing zebrafish as an animal model that can mimic human disease. Dr. Zon has found that the zebrafish is a powerful model system that contributes to our basic understanding of blood stem cells and cancer biology. His current research focuses on two critical avenues of investigation. One path aims to identify the genes that direct stem cells develop into more specialized blood or organ cells. The second path is developing chemical or genetic suppressors to cure cancers and many other devastating diseases.



 

Genome Chats (2008) Meetings & Courses Home

 

 

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