Director

Irving
Weissman
Stem cells
Stanford Center
Bio

My research encompasses the phylogeny and developmental biology of the cells that make up the blood-forming and immune systems.
 

My laboratory was first to identify and isolate the blood-forming stem cell [HSC] from mice, and has defined, by lineage analysis, the stages of development between the stem cells and mature progeny. My laboratories have also discovered the human HSC, a human brain-forming stem cell population, mouse skeletal muscle stem cells, and an osteochondral stem cell in mice. I have worked in cancer research since 1977, and more recently have concentrated on cancer stem-cell biology. In recent years, my work has included studying the potential of CD47 as a cancer therapeutic, and identifying cancer stem cells from a variety of blood and solid cancers. My colleagues and I have found that CD47, a “don’t-eat-me” signal, is highly expressed beginning in the latter stages of progression of cancer stem cells from the benign to the highly malignant state, and this counteracts “eat me” signals on preneoplastic and highly malignant cancer cells, presumably as part of the evolution of cancer clones driven by self-renewing subsets of cells in the cancer. This research brings into focus the primary role of phagocytic cells such as macrophages of the innate immune system, in tumor surveillance.

I also have a laboratory at the Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University, where I study the histocompatibility systems in colonial protochordate. I propose that this system evolved to prevent predatory germline stem-cell lineages from passing from one individual to another in multi-individual colonies that share a common extracorporeal blood vascular system. Only histocompatible stem cells can colonize allogeneic natural parabionts.

I direct a research group consisting of graduate students, medical student-scientists and postdoctoral fellows, all of whom study stem-cell biology and regenerative medicine. Over the years I have trained and supervised hundreds of students and fellows, and published more than 750 scientific articles.

Current appointments
Virginia and Daniel K. Ludwig Chair in Clinical Cancer Research

Director, Ludwig Center for Cancer Stem Cell Research at Stanford University

Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University

Education
MD, Stanford University

BS, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana

Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire


Achievements

Selected recent honors:

Max Delbruck Medal of the Max Delbruck Center, Berlin, for research that has a fundamental biomedical impact and a broad interdisciplinary perspective, 2013

Bennett J. Cohen Award, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 2012

National Academy of Sciences Council, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C., 2011

Commencement speaker, PhD graduates, University of Southern California Medical School, 2011

President, International Society for Stem Cell Research, 2010

Simon M. Shubitz Award for Excellence in the Field of Cancer Research, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, 2010

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Host: 

The Ludwig Center is housed within the Stanford University School of Medicine.
 

Stanford Center

Director

Irving
Weissman
Stem cells
Stanford Center
Bio

My research encompasses the phylogeny and developmental biology of the cells that make up the blood-forming and immune systems.
 

My laboratory was first to identify and isolate the blood-forming stem cell [HSC] from mice, and has defined, by lineage analysis, the stages of development between the stem cells and mature progeny. My laboratories have also discovered the human HSC, a human brain-forming stem cell population, mouse skeletal muscle stem cells, and an osteochondral stem cell in mice. I have worked in cancer research since 1977, and more recently have concentrated on cancer stem-cell biology. In recent years, my work has included studying the potential of CD47 as a cancer therapeutic, and identifying cancer stem cells from a variety of blood and solid cancers. My colleagues and I have found that CD47, a “don’t-eat-me” signal, is highly expressed beginning in the latter stages of progression of cancer stem cells from the benign to the highly malignant state, and this counteracts “eat me” signals on preneoplastic and highly malignant cancer cells, presumably as part of the evolution of cancer clones driven by self-renewing subsets of cells in the cancer. This research brings into focus the primary role of phagocytic cells such as macrophages of the innate immune system, in tumor surveillance.

I also have a laboratory at the Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University, where I study the histocompatibility systems in colonial protochordate. I propose that this system evolved to prevent predatory germline stem-cell lineages from passing from one individual to another in multi-individual colonies that share a common extracorporeal blood vascular system. Only histocompatible stem cells can colonize allogeneic natural parabionts.

I direct a research group consisting of graduate students, medical student-scientists and postdoctoral fellows, all of whom study stem-cell biology and regenerative medicine. Over the years I have trained and supervised hundreds of students and fellows, and published more than 750 scientific articles.

Current appointments
Virginia and Daniel K. Ludwig Chair in Clinical Cancer Research

Director, Ludwig Center for Cancer Stem Cell Research at Stanford University

Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University

Education
MD, Stanford University

BS, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana

Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire


Achievements

Selected recent honors:

Max Delbruck Medal of the Max Delbruck Center, Berlin, for research that has a fundamental biomedical impact and a broad interdisciplinary perspective, 2013

Bennett J. Cohen Award, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 2012

National Academy of Sciences Council, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C., 2011

Commencement speaker, PhD graduates, University of Southern California Medical School, 2011

President, International Society for Stem Cell Research, 2010

Simon M. Shubitz Award for Excellence in the Field of Cancer Research, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, 2010

Read More

Host: 

The Ludwig Center is housed within the Stanford University School of Medicine.
 

Ludwig Center at Stanford
Lokey Stem Cell Research Building - 265 Campus Dr, 3rd Floor
Stanford, CA, us, 94305-5323
T 650 234 0675

Our Center is dedicated to investigating cancer and its treatment from the perspective of stem-cell biology and medicine.

Ludwig Center at Stanford
Lokey Stem Cell Research Building - 265 Campus Dr, 3rd Floor
Stanford, CA, us, 94305-5323
T 650 234 0675

Directors

Irving Weissman

My laboratory was first to identify and isolate the blood-forming stem cell [HSC] from mice, and has defined, by lineage analysis, the stages of development between the stem cells and mature progeny. My laboratories have also discovered the human HSC, a human brain-forming stem cell population, mouse skeletal muscle stem cells, and an osteochondral stem cell in mice. I have worked in cancer research since 1977, and more recently have concentrated on cancer stem-cell biology. In recent years, my work has included studying the potential of CD47 as a cancer therapeutic, and identifying cancer stem cells from a variety of blood and solid cancers. My colleagues and I have found that CD47, a “don’t-eat-me” signal, is highly expressed beginning in the latter stages of progression of cancer stem cells from the benign to the highly malignant state, and this counteracts “eat me” signals on preneoplastic and highly malignant cancer cells, presumably as part of the evolution of cancer clones driven by self-renewing subsets of cells in the cancer. This research brings into focus the primary role of phagocytic cells such as macrophages of the innate immune system, in tumor surveillance.

I also have a laboratory at the Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University, where I study the histocompatibility systems in colonial protochordate. I propose that this system evolved to prevent predatory germline stem-cell lineages from passing from one individual to another in multi-individual colonies that share a common extracorporeal blood vascular system. Only histocompatible stem cells can colonize allogeneic natural parabionts.

I direct a research group consisting of graduate students, medical student-scientists and postdoctoral fellows, all of whom study stem-cell biology and regenerative medicine. Over the years I have trained and supervised hundreds of students and fellows, and published more than 750 scientific articles.

Current appointments
Virginia and Daniel K. Ludwig Chair in Clinical Cancer Research

Director, Ludwig Center for Cancer Stem Cell Research at Stanford University

Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University

Education
MD, Stanford University

BS, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana

Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire

TEAM

Ash
Alizadeh
Stanford Center
Bio

My research is focused on attaining a better understanding of the initiation, maintenance and progression of lymphoid tumors, and their response to immunochemotherapy toward improving current treatment strategies. In this effort, I employ tools from functional genomics, computational biology, molecular genetics and mouse models. I hope to apply this knowledge towards the design of clinical trials in the treatment of patients with lymphoma, leukemia, and myeloma.

Education
MD, Stanford university School of Medicine, 2003

PhD, Biophysics/Department of Biochemistry, Stanford university School of Medicine, 2003

Medical Education: Stanford university School of Medicine, 2003

BS, Biochemistry, UCLA1994

Awards
Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Development Award, Stanford University, 2011

Bent & Janet Cardan Oncology Research Fellow, Stanford University, 2010

Josephine Q. Berry Faculty Scholar in Cancer Research, Stanford University, 2010

Clinical Investigator Program: Fellow Award, Stanford University Medical Center, 2004-10

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Special Fellow in Clinical Research, Stanford University, 2010

Franklin G. Ebaugh Jr. Award for Outstanding Research, Department of Medicine, Stanford University, 2004-05

Sandler Fellow Award, UCSF, 2003-04

Medical Scientist Training Program Award, NIH, 1996-2003

Research Scholar Award for Outstanding Research, HHMI, 1998

Intramural Research Award, NIH/NCI, 1997, 1998

Research Scholar Award, HHMI-NIH, 1996, 1998

NIH Research Fellow Award, NIH/NCI, 1995

Magna cum laude, College & Departmental Honors, UCLA, 1993

Samuel Henry
Cheshier
Stanford Center
Bio

My laboratory uses novel combinations of cell-surface molecules to isolate pure populations of normal neural stem cells/progenitors and determines their relationships to purified malignant-brain tumor stem cells/progenitors. This includes the stage of development at which malignant transformation occurs, as well as the genetic and epigenetic events that differentiate cancer progenitors from their normal cellular counterparts. We hope to gain insights into the events that transform normal stem cells into cancer stem cells, which will lead to targeted therapies against these highly malignant cancers.

Education
MD, Stanford University School of Medicine

Maximilian
Diehn
Stanford Center
Bio

My laboratory studies cancer stem cell biology and its implications for therapy. We are interested in developing a deeper molecular understanding of breast and lung cancer stem cells, including identifying pathways and genes important for survival and self-renewal. Additionally, we are developing novel biomarkers for measuring cancer stem cells in biopsy specimens or for detecting minute amounts of circulating tumor DNA. Clinically, I specialize in the treatment of lung cancer with a focus on stereotactic ablative radiation therapy to non-invasively cure early stage disease.

Education
Residency, Radiation Oncology, Stanford Hospital & Clinics, 2009

MD, Stanford University, 2004

PhD, Biophysics, Stanford University, 2004

Ravindra
Majeti
Stanford Center
Bio

The goal of my research is to identify molecular and genetic differences between human acute myeloid leukemia (AML) stem cells and their normal counterparts and to develop therapeutic strategies directed against these targets. We have used bioinformatic analysis to identify genes and pathways preferentially expressed or activated in LSC. From this analysis we identified a number of cell surface protein markers that are more highly expressed on AML LSC compared to their normal counterparts. We then determined that one of these protein markers, CD47, contributes to leukemia development by blocking the ingestion and removal of leukemia cells by cells of the immune system. Most significant, we determined that blocking monoclonal antibodies directed against CD47 targeted LSC and depleted leukemia in mouse pre-clinical models. Our major focus is the development of therapeutic antibodies directed against CD47 and additional protein markers present in much larger amounts on the external surface of the LSC compared to the normal blood-forming stem cells. We hope to develop a clinical-grade therapeutic antibody for the treatment of AML that will be investigated in clinical trials at the Stanford Cancer Center.

Education
MD, PhD, University of California at San Francisco, 2002

Awards
Career Award for Medical Scientists, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, 2008

New York Stem Cell Foundation - Robertson Investigator, 2011

Roeland
Nusse
Stanford Center
Bio

Our laboratory is interested in the growth, development and integrity of animal tissues. We study multiple organs, trying to identify common principles, and we extend these investigations to cancer and injury repair. In most organs, different cell types are generated by stem cells—cells that also make copies of themselves and thereby maintain the tissue. An optimal balance between the number of stem and differentiated cells is essential for the proper function of organs. Locally acting signals are important to maintain this balance in a spatially-organized manner, and these signals are key to understanding the regulation of growth. A common theme linking our work is Wnt signals. Work from many laboratories, including our own, has shown that Wnt proteins are essential to control stem cells. How this is achieved is far from clear and is the subject of studies in the lab, both in vivo and in cell culture. In vivo, a particular question we address is how physiological changes such as those occurring during hormonal stimuli, injury or programmed tissue degeneration have an impact on the self-renewal signals and on stem cell biology.

Education
PhD, Netherlands Cancer Institute at the University of Amsterdam

Awards
Member, US National Academy of Sciences, 2010

Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2001

Member, Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences, 1997

Member, European Molecular Biology Organization, 1988

Judith
Shizuru
Stanford Center
Bio

My research interests are to understand the cellular and molecular basis of resistance to engraftment of transplanted allogeneic bone marrow cells and to understand the way in which bone marrow grafts modify immune responses. This research complements our interest in clinical bone marrow transplantation, and aspects of these studies are aimed at solving some of the major problems of bone marrow transplantation, which include graft-vs-host disease and engraftment failure.

Education
MD, Stanford University School of Medicine, 1992

Philip Arden
Beachy
Stanford Center
Bio

My lab studies the function of Hedgehog proteins and other extracellular signals in morphogenesis (pattern formation) and in injury repair and regeneration (pattern maintenance). We study how the distribution of such signals is regulated in tissues, how cells perceive and respond to distinct concentrations of signals, and how such signaling pathways arose in evolution. We also study the normal roles of such signals in stem-cell physiology and their abnormal roles in the formation and expansion of cancer stem cells.

Education
PhD, Biochemistry, Stanford University, 1986

BS, Natural Sciences, Goshen College, Goshen, Indiana, 1979

Awards
Keio Medical Science Prize, Keio University, Japan, 2011

March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology, March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, 2008

Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2003

Member, National Academy of Sciences, 2002

National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology, National Academy of Sciences, 1998

Outstanding Young Scientist Award, Maryland Academy of Sciences, 1997

Michael F.
Clarke
Stanford Center
Bio

My laboratory is focused on two areas: 1) the control of self-renewal of normal stem cells and their malignant counterparts; and 2) the identification and characterization of cancer stem cells.

Cancers arise as a result of a series of genetic mutations. A better understanding of the consequences of these mutations on the underlying biology of the neoplastic cells will help to focus the development of more effective therapies. Solid tumors such as breast cancers contain heterogeneous populations of neoplastic cells. My group has developed a technique that allows the isolation and characterization of tumorigenic and non-tumorigenic populations of cancer cells present in human breast, colon, and head and neck cancer tumors. Only a small minority of cancer cells had the capacity to form new tumors in a xenograft model. This tumorigenic cell population could be identified prospectively, and consistently had definable and identical phenotype. The tumorigenic cells displayed stem cell-like properties in that they were capable of generating new tumors containing additional stem cells, as well as regenerating the phenotypically mixed populations of non-tumorigenic cells present in the original tumor. Effective treatment of cancer will require therapeutic strategies that are able to target and eliminate this tumorigenic subset of cells. My laboratory is pursuing the identification of cancer stem cells in other tumors so that they can be studied. Finally, the laboratory is actively pursuing how cancer stem cells self-renew to maintain themselves and escape the genetic constraints on unlimited self-renewal that regulate normal stem cells. Differences in self-renewal pathways between normal and malignant stem cells could be targeted by new therapeutic agents to eliminate cancer stem cells.

Education
MD, Indiana University, 1977

Awards
Rackham Award, University of Michigan

American Society of Clinical Investigation

American Association of Physicians

Kenan C.
Garcia
Stanford Center
Bio

My laboratory studies the structural and functional basis of receptor/ligand interactions in systems that are relevant to human health and disease. Our investigations are aimed at understanding the molecular recognition properties governing the interactions of receptors with their ligands, and the subsequent molecular events that couple ligand recognition to receptor activation. Many of the systems we are studying are related to the interaction of the host with the environment. The structural studies are complemented by functional approaches using molecular biology and protein engineering to dissect the structural information, design new or altered proteins with modified specificities and activities, and ultimately contribute to the development of proteins or molecules with therapeutic potential. Molecules under study include receptors of the immune system involved in autoimmune disorders (T cell receptors, co-receptors, MHC, cytokines), proteins involved in host-pathogen interactions and molecular mimicry (CMV and Toxoplasma surface antigens), proteins of nervous system (peptide hormone receptors, neural guidance proteins), and membrane proteins (chemokine receptors). An emerging focus of our research is to develop, using combinatorial biologic approaches, novel ligands for receptors that might serve as therapeutic starting points.

Michelle Leigh
Monje-Deisseroth
Stanford Center
Bio

Much of brain development occurs after birth. Maturation of complex neural circuitry necessary for high-level cognitive and motor functions occurs throughout childhood and young adulthood. Central to the process of developing or strengthening a functional neural circuit is the generation of new glial cells for neuronal support, synapse formation and myelination. In some brain regions, such as the hippocampus, new neuron production occurs throughout postnatal life and is believed to subserve normal memory function. My Lab studies the molecular and cellular mechanisms of postnatal neurodevelopment. This includes microenvironmental influences on neural precursor cell fate choice in normal neurodevelopment and in disease states. Areas of emphasis include neuronal instruction of gliogenesis, cellular contributions to the neurogenic and gliogenic signaling microenvironment, molecular determinants of neural precursor cell fate, and the role of neural precursor cells in oncogenesis and repair mechanisms. As a practicing neurologist and neuro-oncologist, I am particularly interested in the roles for neural precursor cell function and dysfunction in the origins of pediatric brain tumors and the consequences of cancer treatment. As a paradigm of pediatric gliogenesis, we have been focusing on brain-stem tumors, whose spatial and temporal specificity bespeak an underlying developmental cause.

Education
PhD, Neuroscience, Stanford University, 2004

MD, Stanford University, 2004

Awards
Peter A. Steck Memorial Award, Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, 2011

K08 Mentored Clinical Scientist Career Development Award, National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2010-15

Young Investigator Award, Hagerty Foundation for Glioma Research, 2006

Debashis
Sahoo
Stanford Center
Bio

I was trained primarily as a computer scientist, but have pursued an interest in biology. One key observation I made is that relationships in biology are not straight correlations, but instead are often Boolean functions. This insight led to my research finding proteins and genes critical to stem-cell function and cancer behavior through Boolean searches of massive public databases. The Boolean search strategy can be used to find genes and proteins that are important in normal and abnormal stem cell development, and to find markers that have prognostic value in the clinical setting.

Education
BTech, Computer Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

MS, PhD, Electrical Engineering, Stanford University

 

Matt
Van de Rijn
Stanford Center
Bio

Our research focuses on gene microarray analysis of human soft tissue tumors (sarcomas). We also work with tissue microarrays to characterize large numbers of novel antisera raised against peptides derived from genes found to be of interest during gene array analysis. These genes are not only identified in sarcomas but, through collaborations with other laboratories, also in a large number of other human neoplasms, including breast, kidney, prostate, lung and liver tumors.

Education
MD, PhD, Universiteit Van Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1986