Director of Regenerative Biology
Morgridge Institute for Research
Graduate Group: Cell and Molecular Biology
Thesis Topic: Understanding genetic imprinting in early mammalian development
Dr. Thomson directed the group that reported the first isolation of embryonic stem cell lines from a non-human primate in 1995, work that led his group to the first successful isolation of human embryonic stem cell lines in 1998. In November 2007 Dr. Thomson's team succeeded in isolating similar pluripotent stem cells from human somatic cells. The current focus of his laboratory is on understanding how ES cells can form any cell in the body (pluripotency); how an ES cells chooses between self-renewal and the initial decision to differentiate; and how a differentiated cell with limited developmental potential can be reprogrammed to a pluripotent cell.
Dr. Thomson is the receipient of the 2011 King Faisal International Prize, and the recepient of the 2011 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research.