Skip to main content

Stem Cell Information

Speaker Biosketches

NIH Symposium: Challenges & Promise of Cell-Based Therapies
May 6, 2008
Natcher Conference Center
NIH Main Campus, Bethesda, Maryland

  • James F. Battey, Jr., M.D., Ph.D.

    James Battey received his Bachelor of Science degree in physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1974. He received an M.D. and Ph.D. in biophysics from the Stanford University School of Medicine in 1980. After receiving training in pediatrics, Dr. Battey pursued a postdoctoral fellowship in genetics at Harvard Medical School under the mentorship of Dr. Philip Leder. Since completing his postdoctoral fellowship in 1983, he has held a variety of positions at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), serving in the National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). Currently, Dr. Battey is the Director of NIDCD and also serves as the Co-Chair of the NIH Stem Cell Task Force.

  • Paolo Bianco, M.D.

    Paolo Bianco is a Professor of Pathology, the Director of Anatomic Pathology at Sapienza—Universita’ di Roma in Rome, Italy, and the Chief of the Stem Cell Laboratory at the San Raffaele Biomedical Science Park of Rome. He is an internationally recognized scholar in the study of skeletal diseases and nonhematopoietic stem cells found in the bone marrow stroma. Dr. Bianco’s earlier work focused on the crucial role of stem cells for modeling genetic diseases of the skeleton, in particular, fibrous dysplasia (FD, OMIM#174800), in vitro and in vivo. These studies provided significant advances in the understanding of the disease pathogenesis. His more recent work is directed at the identification and characterization of postnatal progenitors in the human bone marrow and skeletal muscle as subendothelial cells (see Sacchetti et al., Cell, 2007; Dellavalle et al., Nature Cell Biology, 2007; and Bianco et al., Cell Stem Cell 2008) and on their subsequent use in (1) genomic studies of the phenotype-genotype correlation in FD, (2) the preclinical models of cell therapy and gene therapy both in vitro and in ad hoc-generated murine models of disease, and (3) the models of cell therapy in bone and skeletal muscle diseases. Dr. Bianco has published more than 130 peer-reviewed articles and lectures worldwide on the topic.

  • George Q. Daley, M.D., Ph.D.

    George Daley is an Associate Professor of Hematology/Oncology at Children’s Hospital Boston and of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and is an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is currently the President of the International Society for Stem Cell Research, Associate Director of the Stem Cell Program at Children’s Hospital, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. Dr. Daley received his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Harvard University, a Ph.D. in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his M.D. summa cum laude from HMS. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and has received the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s Pioneer Award, the Judson Daland Prize from the American Philosophical Society, and research awards from HMS, NIH, the New England Cancer Society, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the Edward Mallinckrodt, Jr., Foundation, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America.

  • Mark S. Freedman, M.D., M.Sc., F.A.A.N., F.R.C.P.C.

    Mark Freedman is a Professor of Medicine in the field of neurology at the University of Ottawa as well as the Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Research Unit at the Ottawa Hospital—General Campus. A graduate of the University of Toronto, he holds a master’s degree in molecular neurochemistry and undertook his postgraduate work specializing in neurology and neuroimmunology after medical school. Dr. Freedman’s specialized training took him to the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel; National Hospital, Queen Square, in London; and Montreal Neurological Institute. He holds his specialist certification in Quebec (C.S.P.Q.) and all of Canada (F.R.C.P.C.) and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology (F.A.A.N.).

    Dr. Freedman has published more than 200 pieces, including articles, books, book chapters, and abstracts and has been invited to give hundreds of lectures and presentations nationally and internationally. His extensive research includes the areas of molecular neurochemistry, cellular immunology, and clinical studies in multiple sclerosis (MS). Dr. Freedman currently holds peer-reviewed and industry-related funding for translational research investigating the immune mechanisms of damage in MS, with a particular interest in the role of γ-δ T cells. He is also the lead investigator in the Canadian Bone Marrow Transplant Study in MS.

    Dr. Freedman has more than 25 years experience in the management of patients with MS and has been the Principal Investigator on numerous clinical trials of new therapeutic agents for MS. He has experience serving on several research study steering committees and on data and safety monitoring boards. Dr. Freedman is also active on several national and international committees, including the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada; National MS Society (United States); Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in MS; and Consortium of MS Centres (CMSC), where he currently holds the position of CMSC Secretary. He is also currently the President of the Canadian Network of MS Clinics.

  • Linda G. Griffith, Ph.D.

    Linda G. Griffith is the School of Engineering Teaching Innovation Professor of Mechanical and Biological Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She is also Director of the Biotech/Pharma Engineering Center. 

    Dr. Griffith received a B.S. degree from Georgia Tech in 1982 and a Ph.D. degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1988, both in chemical engineering. Following a postdoc with Robert Langer and Joseph Vacanti at MIT and Children's Hospital, she joined the faculty at MIT in January 1991, teaching at MIT and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Griffith conducts research in the field of biomaterials and devices for tissue and organ regeneration. Her research combines molecular design and synthesis of biomaterials as well as design and synthesis of macroscopic 3–D devices for therapeutic and in vitro use. Several of her patents are in commercial development. More than 50 master’s students, doctoral students, and postdoctoral associates have completed training under her supervision or co-supervision.

    Dr. Griffith is a co-founder of Therics, Inc. and has served as a consultant or scientific advisory board member for Advanced Tissue Sciences, AstraZeneca, Biohybrid Technologies, Corning, Cytotherapeutics (Stem Cells, Inc.), DuPont, Schroeder Ventures, Therics, The Whitaker Foundation, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, and the Illinois Institute of Technology Pritzker Institute of Medical Engineering. Her work has been featured on several television documentary shows including “Scientific American Frontiers” hosted by Alan Alda. Her awards include the MacArthur Foundation Fellow, Popular Science Brilliant 10, National Science Foundation (NSF) Presidential Young Investigator, MIT Class of ’60 Teaching Innovation Award, along with named lectures at academic institutions and societies. She is a Fellow in the Cambridge-MIT Institute. She has served as Co-Chair of the Materials Research Society Annual Spring Meeting, the American Society for Cell Biology “Engineering Cell Biology” Conference, the Keystone Tissue Engineering Meeting, and the joint NSF-NIH Workshop on Bioengineering and Bioinformatics Training and Education; she has served as a member of the Advisory Council for the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research at NIH. She has chaired the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee for Biological Engineering and led development of the new Biological Engineering degree program, which was approved in 2005 as MIT’s first new undergraduate major in 39 years.

  • Markus Grompe, M.D.

    Markus Grompe received his medical degree (Dr.Med.) in 1983 at the University of Ulm Medical School in Germany. His interest in human genetics started with a 1-year research project abroad during medical school. From 1984 to 1987 Dr. Grompe was trained in pediatrics at Oregon Health & Sciences University (OHSU) in Portland, Oregon, and then moved to Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. At Baylor he was a Fellow sponsored by the Pediatric Scientist Training Program in the Institute for Molecular Genetics from 1987 to 1991 and worked on gene therapy for inherited diseases, particularly metabolic liver disorders. In 1991 Dr. Grompe joined the faculty at OHSU, and he is currently a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Grompe is a recipient of the E. Mead Johnson Award for Pediatric Research and the Merit Award of the Fanconi Anemia Research Foundation. He is involved with the clinical care of patients with genetic diseases as well as scientific investigation. In 2004 Dr. Grompe became the first Director of the newly founded Oregon Stem Cell Center, and in April 2008 he became the Director of the Pape Family Pediatric Research Institute and the holder of the Ray Hickey Chair.

    Dr. Grompe's research has focused on the use of in vivo selection to enhance gene and cell therapy, particularly stem cell therapy. The two model diseases being studied are hereditary tyrosinemia type 1, a childhood liver disease, and Fanconi anemia (FA), a blood disorder. In 1996 his laboratory showed that gene therapy, in combination with in vivo selection, could be used to replace >90 percent of cells in a diseased mouse liver. Since then, Dr. Grompe’s work has focused on the biology of intrahepatic and extrahepatic liver stem cells and their use in therapeutic liver repopulation. Recently, his group developed a method to replace the cells of mouse livers with human hepatocytes.

    The FA pathway is involved with the maintenance of genomic stability and stem cell integrity in mammals. The Grompe Laboratory cloned a novel FA gene, FANCD2, which has been shown to link the FA pathway to BRCA1 and BRCA2, genes involved with familial breast cancer. Preclinical gene therapy experiments in murine models of FA have been used to demonstrate in vivo selection at the level of hematopoietic stem cells. Recently, the Grompe Laboratory has discovered small molecules to prevent solid tumors in this disease.

    Dr. Grompe is affiliated with Yecuris, Inc., and The DNA Repair Company.

  • Douglas Kerr, M.D., Ph.D.

    Douglas Kerr is an Associate Professor of Neurology with a joint appointment in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology. He specializes in transverse myelitis and multiple sclerosis. Dr. Kerr has established the Johns Hopkins Transverse Myelitis Center, which is the only such center in the entire world. The center utilizes the expertise of physicians and therapists from a variety of disciplines, including neurology, neurosurgery, neuroradiology, rheumatology, rehabilitation medicine, and urology, for a comprehensive evaluation of transverse myelitis.

    Dr. Kerr also has research interest in determining the cause(s) of transverse myelitis, evaluating novel markers to help prognosticate outcomes in the acute phase, and developing novel treatments. He also investigates neural stem cells as a potential tool for functional recovery in patients with transverse myelitis and motor neuron disease. Dr. Kerr has made significant discoveries concerning the basic molecular biology of neuronal apoptosis, especially in the motor neurons of the spinal cord.

    Dr. Kerr received both his M.D. and Ph.D. from Jefferson Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He then completed an internship in medicine at the Graduate Hospital, also in Philadelphia. Dr. Kerr went on to complete his residency in neurology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.

    Dr. Kerr currently sees patients at the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center, which is located in Baltimore, and is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

  • Michael A. Laflamme, M.D., Ph.D.

    Michael Laflamme is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of Washington. He completed the Medical Scientist (M.D./Ph.D.) Training Program at Emory University, where he examined the regulation of calcium homeostasis by b-adrenergic signaling in adult ventricular cardiomyocytes. Dr. Laflamme then completed his residency in anatomic pathology at the University of Washington Medical Center, where he also received subspecialty diagnostic training in cardiovascular pathology. During Dr. Laflamme’s postdoctoral fellowship, also completed at the University of Washington, he conducted research on the role of exogenous and endogenous stem cells in myocardial repair. His current research focus is on exploring the regenerative potential of intracardiac implants of human myocardium that are derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Dr. Laflamme is also interested in the electrophysiological properties of hESC-derived cardiomyocytes as well as in efforts to use these cells to derive and better characterize the specialized cells of the early cardiac pacemaker and conduction system. In addition to his scientific research, Dr. Laflamme teaches diagnostic cardiovascular and autopsy pathology.

  • Story C. Landis, Ph.D.

    Story Landis has been the Director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) since September 1, 2003. As the Director, she oversees an annual budget of $1.5 billion and a staff of more than 900 scientists, physician-scientists, and administrators.

    NINDS supports research by investigators in public and private institutions across the country as well as by scientists working in its intramural laboratories and branches in Bethesda, Maryland. Since 1950, NINDS has been at the forefront of U.S. efforts in brain research. 

    Dr. Landis joined NINDS in 1995 as the Scientific Director and worked with then-Institute Director Zach W. Hall, Ph.D., to coordinate and reengineer NINDS’s intramural research programs. Between 1999 and 2000, under the leadership of the NINDS Director, Gerald D. Fischbach, M.D., she led the movement, together with the National Institute of Mental Health Scientific Director, Robert Desimone, Ph.D., to bring a sense of unity and common purpose to 200 laboratories from 11 different Institutes within the National Institutes of Health, all of which conduct leading-edge clinical and basic neuroscience research.

    A native of New England, Dr. Landis received her undergraduate degree in biology from Wellesley College in 1967 and her master’s degree (1970) and Ph.D. (1973) from Harvard University, where she conducted research on cerebellar development in mice. After postdoctoral work at Harvard University studying transmitter plasticity in sympathetic neurons, she served on the faculty of the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School.

    In 1985 Dr. Landis joined the faculty of the Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, where she held many academic positions, including Associate Professor of Pharmacology; Professor and Director of the Center on Neurosciences; and Chairman of the Department of Neurosciences, a department she was instrumental in establishing. Under Dr. Landis’ leadership, CWRU’s Department of Neurosciences achieved worldwide acclaim and a reputation for excellence.

    Throughout her research career, Dr. Landis has made many fundamental contributions to the understanding of the developmental interactions required for synapse formation. She has garnered many honors and awards and is an elected Fellow of the Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and American Neurological Association. In 2002 Dr. Landis was named the President-Elect of the Society for Neuroscience.

  • Annarosa Leri, M.D.

    Annarosa Leri received her M.D. at the University of Parma in Italy. She is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Anesthesia and Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Leri has focused her work on the role of cardiac stem cells in myocardial homeostasis and growth. She has documented that the adult heart possesses structures with the architectural organization of stem cell niches, which regulate myocyte and coronary vessel turnover. Over the years, Dr. Leri has promoted the critical function that the telomere-telomerase axis has in myocardial aging and heart failure.

  • Douglas W. Losordo, M.D.

    Douglas Losordo received both a B.S. and an M.D. from the University of Vermont. He completed fellowships in molecular biology, interventional cardiology, and cardiology at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Boston. Dr. Losordo joined the faculty at the Tufts University School of Medicine in 1983 and was appointed a Professor of Medicine in 2004. In 2001 he became the Chief of Cardiovascular Research at St. Elizabeth’s and in 2003 was appointed the Acting Chief of Cardiology. Dr. Losordo joined the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, in late 2006 as the Director of the Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute.

    Dr. Losordo’s committee memberships include the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Ad Hoc Study Section in Molecular Medicine and Atherosclerosis, NIH Special Emphasis Panel in Tissue Engineering and the Atherogenic Microenvironment, and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Special Emphasis Panel. From 2006 to 2007 he served as the Chair of the American Society of Gene Therapy’s Cardiovascular Gene Therapy Committee. Dr. Losordo is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

    Dr. Losordo has served on the editorial boards of Circulation, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Cardiovascular Radiation Medicine (Including Molecular Interventions), Circulation Research, Stem Cells, and Vascular Medicine. He is currently an Associate Editor for Cardiovascular Revascularization Medicine and Circulation Research.

    Dr. Losordo’s research interests focus on angiogenesis/vasculogenesis, progenitor/adult stem cells, tissue repair/regeneration, vascular biology, and the effects of estradiol on vascular tissue. He is the author or coauthor of more than 100 articles published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

    Committed to collaborative research, Dr. Losordo encourages and supports close communication among Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute’s faculty members, both those within the Institute and external researchers.

    Dr. Losordo is affiliated with Baxter Healthcare Corp., Curis, Cordis, AnoMed, Acelerx, and Biocardia.

  • Ronald D.G. McKay, Ph.D.

    Ronald McKay received a B.Sc. in 1971 and a Ph.D. in 1974 from the University of Edinburgh, where he studied under the tutelage of Professor Edwin Southern examining DNA organization and chromosome structure. He received postdoctoral training at the University of Oxford working with Sir Walter Bodner examining restriction fragment length polymorphisms. In 1978 Dr. McKay became a Senior Staff Investigator at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, concentrating on two areas: (1) the interaction of SV40 T-antigen with the specific binding site at the viral origin of replication and (2) the molecular organization of the nervous system. Joining the Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty in 1984, he continued to examine different aspects of neuronal organization in the nervous system. In 1993 Dr. McKay came to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) as the Chief of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology. His laboratory studies stem cell differentiation.

    As the clinical potential for stem cell technology is increasingly recognized, Dr. McKay and his researchers have focused on the clinical models of neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and demyelinating disease. Work from their laboratory within NINDS may also have important consequences in other areas of medicine, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

  • Stuart H. Orkin, M.D.

    Stuart Orkin is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator at Children’s Hospital Boston, the David G. Nathan Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and the Chairman of the Department of Pediatric Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He received his B.S. in life sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School. Dr. Orkin’s postdoctoral research was performed in Dr. Philip Leder’s laboratory at the National Institutes of Health. Upon completion of clinical training in pediatrics and hematology-oncology at Children’s Hospital Boston, he joined the Harvard faculty. Dr. Orkin’s honors include the Mead-Johnson Award, Dameshek and E. Donnall Thomas Awards of the American Society of Hematology, Helmut Horten Prize (with Dr. Yuet Wai Kan and Sir David Weatherall), and 2005 Award for Distinguished Research in the Biomedical Sciences from the Association of American Medical Colleges. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, and American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

    Dr. Orkin’s research focuses on stem cell biology, particularly the development and function of the blood system, relationship between cancer and stem cells, and mechanisms responsible for the self-renewal of stem cells.

  • Terence Partridge Ph.D., F.Med.Sci.

    Terence Partridge is a Principal Research Scientist in the Research Center for Genetic Medicine at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and an Emeritus Professor of Experimental Pathology at the Imperial College School of Medicine in London. He was previously the Head of the Muscle Cell Biology Group at the Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Centre at the Hammersmith Hospital in London and has been involved, for the past 38 years, with experimental research into the mechanisms of repair and regeneration of skeletal muscle. Dr. Partridge's research team members conducted the first experiments to demonstrate the potential for the transplantation of muscle precursor cells as a therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and also identified the major barriers to this mode of therapy. More recently, they provided the first definitive evidence of the stem cell properties of the muscle satellite cell and the first evidence in vivo for the efficacy of exon-skipping as a means of restoring the expression of functional dystrophin protein from the mutant dystrophin gene. Dr. Partridge is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for several Duchenne patients groups.

  • Darwin J. Prockop, M.D., Ph.D.

    Darwin Prockop has been the Director of the Center for Gene Therapy of the Tulane University Health Sciences Center. He will shortly become the Director of the newly created Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Scott & White and a Professor at the College of Medicine in the Texas A&M Health Science Center in Temple, Texas. He began his research studying the metabolic turnover and biosynthesis of collagen, with the aim of identifying drug targets for improving tissue repair by limiting the deposit of collagen fibers in scars. He and his colleagues isolated the first genes for human collagens and used them to identify mutations in the genes that caused osteogenesis imperfecta and related skeletal defects. More recently, his laboratory has focused on developing therapies for osteogenesis imperfecta and for a variety of common diseases with the adult stem/progenitor cells from bone marrow referred to as mesenchymal stem cells or multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells. He is the recipient of three honorary degrees and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine.

  • Sonia Skarlatos, Ph.D.

    Sonia Skarlatos joined the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in 1985 as a Fellow in the Experimental Atherosclerosis Laboratory, where she studied cholesterol metabolism. In 1992 Dr. Skarlatos moved to the Extramural Program of NHLBI as a Health Scientist Administrator in the Lipid Metabolism Branch overseeing programs in atherosclerosis. In 2002 she was appointed the Deputy Director of the Division of Heart and Vascular Diseases (now known as the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases). Currently, Dr. Skarlatos is the Acting Director of the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases. In her current position, she is responsible for the overall planning, development, and implementation of national and international innovative research activities pertaining to heart and vascular diseases and participates in the development of policies and procedures related to the everyday management of the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases. Dr. Skarlatos is also the NHLBI Gene Therapy Coordinator to ensure the proper monitoring and evaluation of the ongoing NHLBI gene therapy clinical studies. She is the Project Officer of the following new major programs:

    • NHLBI Cardiovascular Cell-Based Research Therapies Network: The objective of this network is to accelerate research in the use of cell-based therapies for the management of cardiovascular diseases, improve outcomes through the development and application of cell-based therapies, and evaluate these novel therapies.
    • Gene Therapy Resource Program: The objective of this program is to provide resources to NHLBI investigators for gene therapy studies in heart, lung, and blood diseases. The program consists of three vector production cores, a pharmacology/toxicology testing core, and a clinical coordinating center.

    Dr. Skarlatos received her Ph.D. in physiology from Pennsylvania State University after receiving B.S. and M.S. degrees in biology from Shippensburg State University. As the author or co-author of more than 30 articles published in peer-reviewed journals, Dr. Skarlatos has made presentations at several national and international meetings. She is a Fellow of the American Heart Association and a member of the American Gene Therapy Society and American Physiological Society.

  • Clive N. Svendsen, Ph.D.

    Clive Svendsen is a Professor of Neurology and Anatomy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Director of the National Institutes of Health-funded Stem Cell Training Program, and the Co-Director of the University of Wisconsin Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center. His research goals are to develop novel ways to treat neurological illness using stem cells. One approach is the transplantation of stem cells that have been genetically modified to release drugs that can slow disease progression. Another approach is to isolate stem cells from patients and to use them to understand more about some of the mechanisms that lead to neurons dying.

    Dr. Svendsen’s lifelong aim is to do something that will help the suffering of patients with serious illnesses.

  • Kenneth S. Zaret, Ph.D.

    Kenneth Zaret is a Senior Member and Leader of the new Epigenetics and Progenitor Cell Program at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is recognized for his research on liver and pancreas cell differentiation, the mechanisms of gene regulation, and chromatin structure. Dr. Zaret’s laboratory has identified signaling molecules and gene regulatory proteins that promote the cell type choice for liver and pancreas progenitors. His group also demonstrated a role for endothelial cell signaling in promoting organogenesis. From 1986 to 1999 Dr. Zaret rose to the rank of Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry at the Brown University Medical School. He has been at Fox Chase since 1999, where he holds the W.W. Smith Chair in Cancer Research. In 1999 Dr. Zaret was a Fulbright Award Co-Investigator; in 2000 he was an awardee of the Human Frontiers Science Program; in 2002 Dr. Zaret received the Hans Popper Basic Science Award from the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the American Liver Foundation; in 2006 he was an awardee of the International Union Against Cancer and received a MERIT award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS); and in 2007 he became a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Zaret is an editor of the journal Development and has served as an editor of Molecular and Cellular Biology. He has served on the MBY, CDF1, and MGB Study Sections; Council for NIGMS; and Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, including being its Chair. He recently published a review on programming liver and pancreas cells (Nature Reviews Genetics, 2008 [e-pub]), part of which will be discussed in his talk.