Rudolf Jaenisch Assumes Leadership of the International Society for Stem Cell Research

  • 12 June, 2014



June 12, 2014

Rudolf Jaenisch Assumes Leadership of the International Society for Stem Cell Research

Term Begins Immediately Following the ISSCR 12th Annual Meeting,

June 18-21, 2014, Vancouver, Canada

CHICAGO — The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) is pleased to announce Rudolf Jaenisch, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as incoming president of the ISSCR board of directors, immediately following the ISSCR’s 12th Annual Meeting, June 18-21, 2014. Jaenisch will serve as president for one year and succeeds Janet Rossant. The role of vice president will be filled by Sally Temple, Neural Stem Cell Institute.

“Stem cell research is advancing at a rapid pace, and the prospect for clinical application is becoming more realistic,” Jaenisch said. “However, translating these advances to clinical medicine poses serious challenges. The ISSCR is the most important and trusted forum for an open discourse about the promises and challenges of the field. My goal is to facilitate the worldwide dialogue between scientists, regulators and the public aimed at promoting basic research and establishing solid science-driven criteria for stem-cell-based therapies of diseases. It will be crucial to lay the groundwork for rigorous standards of any clinical application, and to dismantle premature and deceptive claims.”

Jaenisch, a leader in biomedical sciences for three decades, is a founding member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and professor of biology at MIT. He is recognized for his pioneering discoveries in the areas of genetic and epigenetic control of development in mice that directly impact the future potential of embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells for therapeutic utility, and has made many seminal discoveries in the fields of virology, cancer, epigenetics and regenerative medicine.  Jaenisch received his M.D. from the University of Munich in 1967. After postdoctoral research at Princeton and the Fox Chase Cancer Center, he first joined the faculty at the Salk Institute and later became head of the department of tumor virology of the Heinrich-Pette Institute in Hamburg.  In 2012, Jaenisch won the ISSCR’s McEwen Award for Innovation.

Temple is the co-founder and scientific director of the Neural Stem Cell Institute.  She discovered that the embryonic mammalian brain contained a rare stem cell, a study published in Nature in 1989.  Her group has continued to make pioneering contributions to developmental neuroscience, focused on how neural and retinal stem cells generate the numerous, diverse cells of the central nervous system, and is translating these findings to the clinic.  In 2008, Temple was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in recognition of her contributions to neural stem cell research. Temple received her Ph.D. from University College London. She attended Columbia University, then University of Miami as a research instructor, before becoming a professor at Albany Medical College in the Center for Neuroscience in 2003. From 2009 to 2013, Temple served as the ISSCR’s treasurer.

Sean Morrison, UT Southwestern Medical Center becomes the ISSCR president-elect and Timothy Allsopp, Neusentis (a Pfizer research unit), joins the board of directors for a first term. Continuing their terms are Janet Rossant (past president), George Daley (clerk), Haifan Lin (treasurer), Arturo Alvarez-Buylla, Nissim Benvenisty, Hans Clevers, Hongkui Deng, Connie Eaves, Urban Lendahl, Christine Mummery, Hideyuki Okano, Kathrin Plath, David Scadden, Austin Smith, Deepak Srivastava, Elly Tanaka, Amy Wagers and Shinya Yamanaka, and ex officio members Elaine Fuchs, Fred Gage, and Leonard Zon.


About the International Society for Stem Cell Research (
The International Society for Stem Cell Research is an independent, nonprofit membership organization established to promote and foster the exchange and dissemination of information and ideas relating to stem cells, to encourage the general field of research involving stem cells and to promote professional and public education in all areas of stem cell research and application.

Sarah Tegel, Media Manager
International Society for Stem Cell Research

Interviews with Jaenisch and Temple are available upon request