Cellular Dynamics International Appoints Leroy Hood, M.D., Ph.D., and George Church, Ph.D., to its Scientific Advisory Board
News Aug 12, 2009
Cellular Dynamics International (CDI) announced today the appointment of Leroy Hood, M.D., Ph.D., and George Church, Ph.D., two of the world’s leading scientists in molecular biotechnology and genomics, to the company’s scientific advisory board. Hood and Church join stem cell pioneer James Thomson, V.M.D., Ph.D., to advise the company on strategic plans for developing induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells into drug discovery tools and, eventually, personalized therapeutics.
“Stem cells have the potential to transform 21st century medicine—perhaps in a manner similar to antibiotics in the 20th century,” commented Dr. Hood. “I am excited about the pioneering work of Cellular Dynamics in the production of iPS cells from individual human patients and the expansion of these stems cells into tissues relevant to the study of the individual's disease.”
“The commercial opportunity associated with human iPS cells is rapidly becoming complementary and/or competitive with existing markets for small molecule drugs, cord blood banking, embryonic cell research, regulatory genomic predictions, personalized toxicity and efficacy testing, and so on,” said Dr. Church. “Significant demand for these cells already exists, and I am impressed with the scale, quality assurance and level of industrialization CDI has achieved and their plans to meet future demand.”
“George Church and Lee Hood are thought leaders with broad experience in bringing discoveries out of their academic labs into the world where those discoveries can make a real impact on people's lives. Both have been key players in the genomic revolution, and we will look to them for creative insights into the impact of iPS cells in personalized medicine. It is an honor that they have chosen to work with us, and I am looking forward to interacting with them at our SAB meetings,” said Dr. James Thomson, CDI Chief Scientific Officer. Thomson also serves as director of Regenerative Biology at the Morgridge Institute for Research and professor of anatomy at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
The spatial and temporal dynamics of proteins or organelles plays a crucial role in controlling various cellular processes and in development of diseases. However, acute control of activity at distinct locations within a cell cannot be achieved. A new chemo-optogenetic method enables tunable, reversible, and rapid control of activity at multiple subcellular compartments within a living cell.