International hESC Research Task Force

International Human Embryonic Research Guidelines Task Force


George Q. Daley, M.D., Ph.D., chair, is associate professor of pediatrics in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the Children's Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute and associate professor of biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology at Harvard Medical School. He received a bachelor's degree magna cum laude from Harvard University (1982), a Ph.D. in biology from MIT (1989), and the M.D. degree summa cum laude from Harvard Medical School (1991).

Dr. Daley's laboratory studies stem cell development and differentiation, emphasizing derivation of functional hematopoietic and germ cell elements from ES cells, and the genetic mechanisms that predispose to malignancy. Dr. Daley is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hematology, and is currently a staff physician in Hematology/Oncology at the Children's Hospital, the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

He has been elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and has received research awards from Harvard Medical School, the National Institutes of Health, the New England Cancer Society, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the Edward Mallinckrodt, Jr. Foundation, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America. He received the inaugural NIH Director's Pioneer Award, a five-year unrestricted grant to pursue highly innovative research.

Lars Ährlund-Richter, Ph.D., is professor of molecular embryology at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. He is presently heading the Unit for Embryology and Genetics, Clinical Research Center, Karolinska Institute.

Dr. Ährlund-Richter graduated with an MSci in biology at Stockholm University 1975 and was awarded a PhD from the Department of Tumor Biology, Karolinska Institute in 1983. Following a period as post doctoral fellow at the Laboratory for Eucaryotic Molecular Genetics, National Institute of Medical Research, London, he returned and became associate professor in Tumor Immunology at the Karolinska Institute 1990. He became a Reader of Molecular Embryology 2000 and Professor 2001.

Dr. Ährlund-Richter is presently a member of the Board of Directors of the European mouse mutant archive (EMMA), Monterotondo, Italy; member of Ethical Committee on Animal Experimentation, District Court of Huddinge, Sweden, member of the ISSCR Stem Cell Standards Committee, and member of the Committee on ES cells in the Federation of International Mouse Resources (FIMRE). He was scientific consultant at the laboratory of the IVF unit, Sophia Hemmet Hospital, Stockholm (1993-1994); and of the IVF unit, Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Huddinge University Hospital, Stockholm (1994-1998), and coordinator of Karolinska Institute Network on 'Derivation, characterization and banking of human embryonic stem cells' 2003-2005. This network has derived and characterized a series of HESC lines.

His present main interest is the stability of HESC and possible links to tumor progression. Recent studies include HESC with normal and abnormal karyotypes following transplantation in vivo and his research has recently moved on to collaborative projects on the epigenetic status of HESC and involving nuclear transfer for the generation of HESC.

Jonathan M. Auerbach, Ph.D., is the founder and president of GlobalStem, Inc., a small biotechnology company dedicated to developing tools for the advancement of hESC research. Before starting GlobalStem, he was the director of the Stem Cell Center at the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC). He received his Ph.D. from the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel, using electrophysiological recordings to study the effects of acetylcholine on synaptic plasticity.

Later, working in the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, NINDS, NIH, he studied the functional integration of stem cell-derived neurons into the developing brain. In addition to leading GlobalStem to becoming a resource for the stem cell research community, his laboratory is engaged in extensive characterization and standardization of stem cell lines. Jonathan is also the chair of the recently organized ISSCR Standards Committee.


Nissim Benvenisty M.D., Ph.D., is the Herbert Cohn Chair in Cancer Research and the director of the Stem Cell Unit at the Hebrew University. He earned his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Hebrew University. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University, he joined the science faculty of the Hebrew University.

Dr. Benvenisty's research projects focus on stem cell biology, tissue engineering, molecular genetics in humans, developmental biology and cancer research. He published numerous original and review papers on human embryonic stem cells, and serves on the editorial board of various stem cell related journals. He is also in the steering committee of the International Stem Cell Initiative.

Dr. Benvenisty presents the issue of human embryonic stem cells in many international conferences, and gave testimonies before the U.S. Senate and the European Union. He was awarded several prizes, among them the Foulkes Prize (London), the Hestrin Prize, and the Teva Prize.

R. Alta Charo, J.D., is the Warren P. Knowles Professor of Law and Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where she is on the faculty of the Law School and the Medical School's Department of Medical History and Bioethics. She also serves on the faculty of the UW Masters in Biotechnology Studies program and lectures in the MPH program of the Department of Population Health Sciences. She offers courses on health law, bioethics and biotechnology law, food and drug law, medical ethics, reproductive rights, torts, and legislative drafting. In addition, she has served on the UW Hospital clinical ethics committee, the University's Institutional Review Board for the protection of human subjects in medical research, and the University's Bioethics Advisory Committee. She has been a visiting professor at law and medical schools in Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Cuba, France, Germany and New Zealand. In 2005, she was elected as a fellow of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters.


Grace Chen is counsel in the Beijing office of WilmerHale.  She has worked as a lawyer in China for more than six years, and has advised a number of pharmaceutical companies and research institutions on their technology transfer and the development, protection and enforcement of intellectual property portfolios in relation to their China operations. She has also counseled a number of high-tech companies with respect to their participation in the quasi-official groups charged with the task of developing China's technical standards, focusing particularly on technology transfer issues.  

Chen represents several non-Chinese educational institutions, providing advice on their cooperative projects with Chinese institutions and has also assisted a major American research institution in conducting an independent investigation to address government inquiries regarding compliance with ethical and privacy guidelines in conducting medical studies involving human participants in China. 

Chen has published a number of articles and spoken on the technology licensing regime, intellectual property protection and doing business in China.  She holds a J.D. from U.C. Berkeley (Boalt Hall) and two M.S. degrees from MIT.  Chen was admitted to the California bar and is registered as a patent attorney in the United States.

Hongkui Deng, Ph.D., is a professor of cell biology at the College of Life Sciences of Peking University since 2001. He is also a Cheung Kong scholar. He is an expert in human ES technology and is the first investigator in China to receive a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant.

He was also awarded a Grand Challenges in Global Health grant to develop improved techniques for creating mouse models for testing potential vaccines for HIV and Hepatitis C. The work focuses focus on using stem cells to aid in the creation of mouse models with immune systems and livers that more closely resemble those of humans.

He is a well known and respected cell biologist being highlighted in articles in Nature Scienceand Time Magazine and authored or co-authored seven published articles in 2005. Prior to Peking University, Hongkui was the director of molecular biology at ViaCell Inc. Prior to 1998 he was director of immunology at Antigen Express, Inc. From 1995 to 1997 he was an Aaron Diamond postdoctoral fellow at NYU Medical School. He received his master's in immunology from Shanghai Second Medical University in 1987. Deng earned a Ph.D. in immunology from UCLA in 1995. Hongkui received a B.S. in cell biology from Wuhan University in China in 1984.

Lawrence S.B. Goldstein, Ph.D., is professor of cellular and molecular medicine at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), School of Medicine. He is also an Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He receives grant funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Johns Hopkins ALS Center, and the High Q Foundation.

Dr. Goldstein received his B.A. degree in biology and genetics from UCSD in 1976 and his Ph.D. degree in genetics from the University of Washington, Seattle in 1980.

He did postdoctoral research at the University of Colorado at Boulder from 1980-1983 and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983-1984. He was assistant, associate and full professor at Harvard University in the Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology from 1984-1993 and moved to UCSD and HHMI in 1993. His awards include a Senior Scholar Award from the Ellison Medical Foundation, an American Cancer Society Faculty Research Award, and the Loeb Chair in Natural Sciences when he was at Harvard University.

His research is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms of intracellular movement in neurons and the role of transport dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases. His lab provided the first molecular descriptions of kinesin structure and organization, and has recently discovered important links between transport processes and diseases such as Alzheimer's Disease and Huntington's Disease.

Dr. Goldstein has also had an active role in national science policy. He has served on many public science advisory committees, has written about, spoken about, and been interviewed on numerous occasions on science issues by print and broadcast media, and has testified on a number of occasions in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate about NIH funding and stem cell research. As a cofounder and consultant of the biotechnology company Cytokinetics he has also had an active role in private industry.

Kathy Hudson, Ph.D., is director of the Genetics and Public Policy Center and associate professor in the Berman Bioethics Institute, Institute of Genetic Medicine, and the Department of Pediatrics at The Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Hudson founded the Center in 2002 with support from The Pew Charitable Trusts to fill an important niche in the science policy landscape by focusing exclusively on issues raised by advances in human genetics.

Dr. Hudson leads the center's efforts to monitor and improve the quality of genetic testing, evaluate the legal and regulatory landscape, educate and engage the public and policymakers, and assess the public's attitudes. Hudson and her colleagues recently conducted a survey of public attitudes about stem cell research.

Dr. Hudson serves on board of the Guttmacher Institute, the Personalized Medicine Coalition, and other non-profit organizations. She is chair of the Social Issues Committee for the American Society of Human Genetics.

Before founding the Center, she was the assistant director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) where she directed policy and public affairs for the Human Genome Project. Previously, Dr. Hudson served in the Department of Health and Human Services and on Capitol Hill. She received her Ph.D. in molecular biology at the University of California at Berkeley.

Insoo Hyun, Ph.D., received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Brown University and his B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy from Stanford. His scholarly interests include stem cell research ethics, cross-cultural issues in informed consent, multiculturalism and personal autonomy, health resource allocation, and international public health ethics.

In 2005, he was awarded a Fulbright Research Award by the U.S. Department of State to spend the summer studying the ethical, legal, and cultural dimensions of human research cloning in South Korea. His work focused on improving the informed consent procedures for oocyte and somatic cell donation for stem cell research to be used by researchers at the World Stem Cell Hub in Seoul.

He also examined emerging political and philosophical issues concerning the moral status of cloned human embryos created solely for the purposes of biomedical research. His bioethics publications have appeared in The Hastings Center Report, The American Journal of Bioethics, The Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, and The Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics.

Sung Chull Junn, J.D., was born in Daegu, Korea, in 1949. He earned a B.A. from Seoul National University and an MBA and J.D. from the University of Minnesota. He started his professional career with the New York-based law firm of Reid & Priest where he worked eight years, the last four as a partner, until he returned to reside in Korea permanently in 1991. In Korea, Dr. Junn worked for the law firm Kim & Chang in the area of international trade and investment and later joined the administration of President Kim Young-Sam as Secretary to the President for Policy Development.

After leaving the Blue House, Dr. Junn entered the academic arena, serving as dean of the School of Business and subsequently as Vice Chancellor of Sejong University. From 2001 to 2002, he served as the chair of the International Trade Commission of the Korean government.

During his career, he has been active in the political arena, including an unsuccessful run for the National Assembly and participation in presidential campaigns. He has also written more than 100 op-ed page columns and has served as an editorial writer for the Chosun Ilbo Daily and as a regular TV commentator for KBS, MBC and MBN.

Eng Hin Lee M.D., FRCS(C), FRCS(Edin), FRCS(Glas), is currently professor of orthopaedic surgery and director of the Division of Graduate Medical Studies, National University of Singapore. He is a senior consultant in orthopedic surgery in the National University Hospital and head of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in KK Women's and Children's Hospital. He was a past head of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and past dean of the faculty of medicine, National University of Singapore. Dr. Lee received his medical and postgraduate medical training in Canada and specializes in pediatric orthopedics.

He sits on the Bioethics Advisory Committee and the Subcommittee on Human Stem Cell Research. He is the co-chairman of the Singapore Stem Cell Consortium. His research interest is in stem cells and musculoskeletal tissue engineering and he currently leads the NUS Tissue Engineering Program. His research has won him the Best Scientific Paper Award by the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America twice. He delivered a talk on "The Potential of Stem Cells in Orthopaedic Research" as the Presidential Guest Speaker at the British Orthopedic Association Meeting in September 2004.

He is a member of the editorial boards of several international refereed journals in orthopaedic surgery and basic research. He has more than 120 publications in refereed journals and more than 240 conference papers. He recently co-authored a book titled Stem Cells: from Bench to Bedside with Ariff Bongso.

William F. Lee is co-managing partner of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP. In addition to his firm responsibilities, he continues to concentrate his practice on intellectual property and commercial litigation and has extensive trial experience.

He has acted as lead trial counsel in patent litigation concerning a genetically engineered tomato product; a trial involving the right to manufacture and sell recombinant erythropoietin; a trial before the International Trade Commission involving $2 billion of commerce; and in trials in federal court involving laser optics, video conferencing, dye chemistry, high-speed chromatography, pharmaceutical products, internet security and medical devices.

He is the former chair of Hale and Dorr's Litigation Department and has served as a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, where he taught intellectual property litigation. He previously served as vice chairman of the board of the Boston University Medical Center University Hospital, a trustee of the Boston Medical Center and an overseer of the Museum of Science.

He serves on the Board of Overseers of Harvard University and is a member of the Visiting Committee at Cornell Law School. He earned his J.D. degree, magna cum laude, from Cornell Law School, where he was named to the Order of the Coif, in 1976. In the same year, he earned his M.B.A. degree with distinction from the Cornell Business School.

M. William Lensch, Ph.D. is an instructor at the Harvard Medical School (appointment in progress), an affiliate of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and a staff scientist in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Children's Hospital Boston. Lensch's research revolves around the use of human embryonic stem cells (hESC) as platforms for discovery in blood cell development and congenital diseases of the blood. He currently serves as a governor's appointee to the Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee as well as the Ad Hoc Public Umbilical Cord Bank Committee for the state of Connecticut. Lensch is also a member of the Public Education Committee of the International Society for Stem Cell Research and a Technical Correspondent for the Stem Cell Research Foundation.



Anne McLaren, DBE, FRS, Ph.D., deceased, completed undergraduate and graduate studies at Oxford University. She was the director of the Medical Research Council's Mammalian Development Unit in London for 18 years until 1992. For the 15 years previous, she worked for the Agriculture Research Council, in C. H. Waddington's Institute of Animal Genetics in Edinburgh.

Her research has ranged widely over developmental biology, reproductive biology, and genetics including molecular genetics, using the laboratory mouse as a model. In 1992 she moved to The Wellcome Trust/CR UK Institute of Cancer and Developmental Biology in Cambridge, now the Gurdon Institute. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1975, and from 1991-1996 she served as foreign secretary and vice president of the Royal Society. In 2002 she was awarded (jointly with A.K. Tarkowski) the Japan Prize for Developmental Biology.

She was a member of the UK Government's Warnock Committee on Human Fertilisation and Embryology, and until the end of 2001 was a member of the UK Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority that regulates IVF and human embryo research in the UK. She was a member of the European Group on Ethics that advises the European Commission on social and ethical implications of new technologies.

Christine Mummery, Ph.D., is ICIN Professor of Developmental Biology at the University Medical Centre in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and group leader at the Hubrecht Laboratory in Utrecht. She studied physics at the University of Nottingham, UK, followed by a Ph.D. in biophysics at Guy's Hospital Medical School, London.

She moved to the Hubrecht Laboratory in the Netherlands as a postdoc in 1978. Most of her early work focussed on TGF ß superfamily function in mouse development, particularly of the vasculature and germ cells, and on mouse embryonic stem cells for the study of differentiation. In 2001 she started a collaboration with Dr. Martin Pera and Dr. Alan Trounson in Melbourne to study human embryonic stem cells and their differentiation to cardiomyocytes.

She was among the advisors on formulation of the law in the Netherlands to derive new lines from human embryos (the "Embryowet"), which was implemented in September 2002, and was the first to receive ethical approval to derive new lines under this law in December 2003. She has since derived 3 lines, one included in the International Stem Cell Initiative in which the Netherlands participates.

Dr. Mummery is currently on the National Ethical Committee for Research on Humans (CCMO), is among the evaluators of EU projects that include research on human ES cells and serves on the editorial board of multiple stem cell and developmental biology journals.

Norio Nakatsuji, D.Sc., is a graduate of Kyoto University (biology) and obtained his doctor of science in developmental biology from Kyoto University in 1977. He then spent several years of postdoctoral training abroad at Umea University in Sweden, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and George Washington University in United States, and MRC Mammalian Development Unit in London. He returned to Japan to join Meiji Institute of Health Science in 1984 and became a professor at National Institute of Genetics in 1991.

In 1999, Dr. Nakatsuji moved to the newly reorganized Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences at Kyoto University, which focuses on both basic and application research for regenerative medicine and becoming a center of stem cell biology and medicine. His research interests have been developmental biology of mammals focusing on the germ cell lineage, nervous system and pluripotent stem cells.

His laboratory has established ES cell lines from monkey blastocysts in 2000 and working on manipulation and utilization of primate ES cells. So far, his group is the only one to have succeeded in 2003 to establish human ES cell lines in Japan. They are now distributing three hES cell lines to other scientists throughout Japan.

Catherine Racowsky, Ph.D., HCLD, is director of the ART Laboratory at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, and an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Harvard Medical School. She previously directed the ART Laboratory at University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona.

Having graduated with a bachelor of arts in zoology at the University of Oxford, she received her Ph.D. in reproductive physiology from the University of Cambridge in England and did postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard Medical School, first with Dr. Koji Yoshinaga, and then with Dr. John Biggers. She is a peer-reviewer for numerous journals in reproductive medicine and has served on a number of editorial boards.

She has been a member of several professional committees including her current membership on the SART Executive Council and the ASRM Practice Committee. She is also the 2006-2007 President of the New England Fertility Society. Dr. Racowsky's research interests include environmental factors affecting egg quality, the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying oocyte maturation in vivo and in vitro, and methodologies for assessing human embryo developmental competency.

She has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed papers on various aspects of mammalian oocyte and embryo physiology and has published several news releases and book chapters. Dr. Racowsky has participated in contributing to the establishment of guidelines for human embryonic stem cell research through the 2005 National Academy of Sciences workshop to develop these guidelines, and currently sits on the Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee of Partners' Healthcare in Boston.

Janet Rossant, Ph.D., is chief of research at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto. She is also a university professor, University of Toronto, and professor in the Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics and the Department of Obstetrics/Gynaecology, University of Toronto.

Her research interests center on understanding the genetic control of normal and abnormal development in the early mouse embryo using both cellular and genetic manipulation techniques. She is also involved in stem cell research, having discovered a novel placental stem cell type, the trophoblast stem cell. She is deputy director of the Canadian Stem Cell Network. She also directs the Centre for Modelling Human Disease in Toronto, which is undertaking genome-wide mutagenesis in mice to develop new mouse models of human disease.

Dr. Rossant trained at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, United Kingdom, and has been in Canada since 1977, first at Brock University and then in Toronto. She is a Fellow of both the Royal Societies of London and Canada and a Distinguished Investigator of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Dr. Rossant is actively involved in the international developmental biology community. She was an editor of the journal Development for many years and she was president of the Society for Developmental Biology in 1996/97. She has also been involved in public issues related to developmental biology, most recently serving as chair of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research working group on stem cell research and as a member of the National Academies Stem Cell Guidelines Panel.

Hans R. Schöler, Ph.D., is the appointed director of the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, in Münster, Germany, and holds a full professorship at the Westfälische Wilhelms University in the same city. As a member of the Cluster of Excellence "From Regenerative Biology to Reconstructive Therapy" that was awarded in October 2006, he also heads a laboratory at the Hanover Medical School (MHH).

Schöler received his doctorate degree in molecular biology from the University of Heidelberg, Germany, in 1985. From 1986 to 1988, he served as head of a research and development group at Boehringer Mannheim (currently Roche) in Germany. From 1988 to 1991, he was staff scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany, and then spearheaded a research group at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, the most prestigious and renowned molecular biology facility in Europe. In 1999, Schöler was appointed Marion Dilley and David George Jones Chair in Reproduction Medicine and head of the Center for Animal Transgenesis and Germ Cell Research of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

In 2004, Schöler was assigned as director at the Max Planck Institute in Münster, where he currently continues his state-of-the-art research with the renowned Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science, one of the world's premier scientific research organizations. In addition, Hans Schöler's international scientific efforts subsume his appointment as Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry at University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine.

Schöler holds the Chair of the Management Board of the Stem Cell Network North Rhine Westphalia and since July 2005, he is a member of the ZES (central ethics committee for stem cell research) in Berlin. He is a member of the prestigious German Academy of Natural Sciences Leopoldina (founded in 1652) and the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

The main research interests of Schöler are the mammalian germline and pluripotent stem cells. He is a member of several editorial boards including Stem Cells and Cell Stem Cell.

Jan Helge Solbakk, M.D., cand. theol, Dr. philos, is trained as a physician and a theologian and holds a Ph.D in ancient philosophy. Until 1995 he served as director of the National Committee of Medical Research Ethics in Norway.

He is currently professor of medical ethics and head of Section for Medical Ethics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo. He is also adjunct professor of philosophy of medicine and medical ethics at the Centre for International Health, University of Bergen. His fields of research are medical ethics, research ethics, philosophy of medicine and ancient philosophy, literature and medicine. Currently, he is coordinator and or partner in several international research projects on the ethics of research biobanking and stem cell research.

Throughout the years Dr. Solbakk has served as member of various national, regional and international committees and working parties with the mandate of drafting policy documents and ethical guidelines within different fields of research and development in human biotechnology, medical genetics, gene-epidemiology and stem cell research.

Patrick L. Taylor, J.D., co-investigator, Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital Boston, is deputy general counsel and chief counsel, research affairs at Children's Hospital Boston, and a lecturer at Harvard Medical School, where his work involves legal, ethical and policy issues in biomedical research (including human subject protection and stem cell research), biotechnology (including intellectual property, start-ups and licensing), and legal compliance.

He has represented and counseled not-for-profit, for-profit, and government clients involved in health, biotechnology, medical research, and human services for more than 20 years. His background includes working on Wall Street law for major academic and pharmaceutical clients; in government; and as general counsel of a complex academic health science center including both a medical school and two hospitals. He has been counsel to institutional review boards and compliance committees, and is currently counsel to the Children's Hospital Boston ESCRO and IRB.

He has designed and implemented corporate and academic policies and procedures for addressing organizational ethics, institutional legal compliance, and institutional and investigator conflicts of interest in research and other settings. His professional associations include leadership positions with the Health Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, including as chair of the In-house Counsel Committee and Member of the Executive Committee.

He is a site visitor for AAHRPP, the organization that accredits institutional review boards. He speaks nationally on legal and ethical issues in health care and biomedical research, to legal, scientific and IRB-related audiences. His articles have appeared in national and international publications.

Alan O. Trounson, Ph.D., is professor of stem cell sciences and director, Monash Immunology and Stem Cell Laboratories at Monash University, and the founder and executive vice chair of the National Biotechnology Centre of Excellence – "Australian Stem Cell Centre," as well as Global Scientific Strategy Advisor.

Dr. Trounson graduated from the University of New South Wales in 1971 with an M.Sc. in wool and pastoral sciences. In 1974 he was awarded a Ph.D. in animal embryology by Sydney University. From 1974-1976 he was awarded the Dalgety Research Fellow at the ARC Institute of Animal Physiology and Biochemistry at Cambridge University. In 1977 he was appointed Senior Research Fellow at Monash University, and by 1984 was a reader in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

He was appointed director of the Centre for Early Human Development in 1985, was awarded a Personal Chair in Obstetrics and Gynaecology/Pediatrics in 1991 at Monash University, and in 2003 was awarded a Personal Chair as Professor of Stem Cell Sciences, also at Monash University. The Faculties of Medical Sciences and Physical Education and Physiotherapy, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium, awarded Professor Trounson a Doctor Honoris Causa in 2003.

His scientific accomplishments include; the pioneering of human in vitro fertilization (IVF) and associated reproductive technologies; the diagnosis of inherited genetic disease in preimplantation embryos; the discovery and production of human embryonic stem cells and their ability to be directed into neurones, prostate tissue and respiratory tissue. He is on the Victorian government's Innovation Economy Advisory Board, and is a Director of the Victorian Endowment for Science, Knowledge and Innovation (VESKI). His present research interests are focused on human embryonic stem cells and their suitability for transplantation for the treatment of inflammatory lung disease and cystic fibrosis.

Irving L. Weissman, M.D., Ph.D., is the director of the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine and Director of the Stanford Comprehensive Cancer Center. 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, macro-phages, etc.).

At SyStemix he co-discovered the human hematopoetic 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.

Dr. Weissman is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy, and the American Association of Arts and Sciences. He has received the Kaiser Award for Excellence in Preclinical Teaching, the Pasarow Award in Cancer Research, the Outstanding Investigator Award from the National Institutes of Health, the De Villiers International Achievement Award of the Leukemia Society of America, the Van Bekkum Stem Cell Award, the Rabbi Shai Shacknai Memorial Prize in Immunology and Cancer Research from the Lautenberg Center for General and Tumor Immunology.

Sir Ian Wilmut, Ph.D., D.Sc., is the chair of reproductive science at the Centre for Reproductive Biology in the new Queen's Medical Research Institute. He was previously head of the Department of Gene Function and Development at the Roslin Institute where his group produced Dolly the sheep, the first clone from an adult animal, and went on to use the new methods to introduce precise genetic change into livestock.  He obtained a B.Sc. in agricultural science at the University of Nottingham before studying at the University of Cambridge. He is an Honorary Professor in Division of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh.



John Yu, M.D., Ph.D., obtained his M.D. degree from National Taiwan University in 1968 and Ph.D. in biophysics from University of Chicago in 1974. After serving as a research fellow at the Biological Laboratories at Harvard University, he joined the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla in 1977. He is the pioneer in identifying red cell membrane proteins, especially Band 3, and demonstrating their interactions with cytoskeletons.

He received an Established Investigatorship Award from American Heart Association, 1978-1983. From 1998-2002, he served as the director of experimental hematology in Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, while working on positive and negative regulators of hematopoietic stem cells. He also served in many NIH grant review committees.

In August 2002, he was invited to return to Taiwan and has since been appointed as Distinguished Research Fellow, director of stem cell biology/regenerative medicine in the Genomics Research Center, and director of the Institute of Cellular and Organismic Biology, Academia Sinica in Taiwan. In addition, he is an adjunct professor at the School of Medicine, National Taiwan University.

Currently he serves in many advisory boards for governmental agencies concerning biomedical research and is also in charge of the task force to consolidate stem cell research in Taiwan and promote international cooperation. Last year, under his leadership Taiwan Society for Stem Cell Research was established and he was elected as the president for this society.

Laurie S. Zoloth, Ph.D., is director the Center for Bioethics at Northwestern University, a professor of medical humanities and bioethics, and professor of religion, at Northwestern. From 1995-2003, she was professor of ethics and director of the Program in Jewish Studies at San Francisco State University. In 2001, she was the president of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, and in 2002 was vice president of the Society for Jewish Ethics. 

She is a member of the both the NASA National Advisory Council, NASA's Planetary Protection Advisory Committee, and the Boards of the International Society for Stem Cell Research, and the Society of Women's Health Research. She is the chair of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Bioethics Advisory Board, as well as being on the founding boards of four national academic societies.

She has published extensively in the areas of ethics, family, feminist theory, religion and science, Jewish studies, and social policy.  Her books are Health Care and the Ethics of Encounter, Notes From a Narrow Ridge: Religion and Bioethics, Margin of Error: The Ethics of Mistakes in the Practice of Medicine and The Human Embryonic Stem Cell Debate: Ethics, Religion and Public Policy, and her 29 book chapters include work on the emerging issues in basic research and in the problems of social justice in health care. She has testified about science and ethics for the U.S. Senate, the states of Illinois, Texas, and California, and the European Union Commission on Bioethics and Humanities.

Ex Officio Members  

Richard Hynes, Ph.D., joined the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1975. He has served as head of MIT's Biology Department and as director of the Center for Cancer Research. Currently, he is the Daniel K. Ludwig Professor for Cancer Research and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.

Dr. Hynes is interested in understanding the molecular basis of cell adhesion and its involvement in cell behavior including contributions to development and to various human diseases, especially cancer progression, including invasion, metastasis and angiogenesis. Around 5-10 percent of the genes in a mammalian genome are involved in cell adhesion.

The Hynes lab uses genetically engineered mice and cells derived from them, combined with molecular and cell biological methods, to investigate the roles of adhesion molecules in both normal physiology and in mouse models of human diseases. This strategy offers promise for the design of drugs to block adhesion in the intact organism. In that way, one can hope to combat pathological processes involving adhesion such as thrombosis, inflammation, angiogenesis, and cancer.

Dr. Hynes is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Academy for the Advancement of Science. He is a member of the National Academies of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, a past president of the American Society for Cell Biology, and a recipient of the Gairdner Foundation International Award. Dr. Hynes served as co-chair of the National Academy of Sciences Committee to develop Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research.

Gordon M. Keller, Ph.D., is the professor of gene therapy and molecular medicine, Carl C. Icahn Institute of Gene Therapy and Molecular Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York. He is a well-recognized leader in the field of hematopoietic development with more than 47 peer-reviewed publications relating to blood development and embryonic stem (ES) cells.

Dr. Keller has served on several NIH study sections, and is invited throughout the world to talk about his research on ES cells and blood development. He was a pioneer in developing and exploiting the ES cell system for understanding hematopoietic development and lineage development. He served as president of ISSCR from 2005-2006.


Leonard I. Zon, M.D., is the Grousbeck Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School; investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; and director, Stem Cell Program, Children's Hospital Boston. In 2005, Dr. Zon was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.

He served as a founding member and as president of the International Society for Stem Cell Research as well as president of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. 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.



Heather Rooke, Ph.D., is the science editor for the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR). She is responsible for the ISSCR Web site and monthly newsletter, and works on other ISSCR endeavors to exchange and disseminate information and ideas relating to stem cell research.

Dr. Rooke completed her Ph.D. in molecular medicine at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and received scholarships from the Cancer Society of New Zealand and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of New Zealand.

She received her postdoctoral training as a research fellow in the division of Hematology/Oncology at Children's Hospital Boston, where her research interests included transcription factor control of normal and aberrant hematopoiesis. During this time, Dr. Rooke participated in work that identified a component critical for hematopoietic stem cell renewal. An interest in the development of scientific forums for professional and public communication and education and a fascination with stem cell research drew her in 2005 to her current position.

Nancy Witty has been Executive Director of the International Association of Stem Cell Research since May 2005.