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The Stem Cell Biology Program

The future of regenerative medicine depends on fully understanding the regenerative properties of stem cells. Researchers in our Stem Cell Biology program at ICE work to understand the natural life cycle of human embryonic stem cells by carefully identifying and studying the molecules required for stem cells to self-renew and to differentiate into many cell types. In addition to improving methods for coaxing stem cells into desired cell types for both further study and potential therapies, the Stem Cell Biology team is heavily focused on developing induced pluripotent stem cells from adult tissues to improve current technologies to bring cell therapies to clinical care. 

The Stem Cell Biology Program at Johns Hopkins’ Institute for Cell Engineering

Researcher Hongjun Song introduces the Stem Cell Biology Program, where scientists get an up-close look at diseases by making stem cells with patients' DNA and growing affected cell types in the lab. Others are working on ways to make blood for transfusions or seeing how mental illness relates to problems in early brain development.


Photo of Dr. Linzhao Cheng, Ph.D.

Cheng, Linzhao, Ph.D.

Professor of Medicine
Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Professor of Oncology
Edythe Harris Lucas and Clara Lucas Lynn Chair in Hematology
Associate Director for Basic Research
Member, Stem Cell Program in the Institute of Cell Engineering
Photo of Dr. Valina L. Dawson, Ph.D.

Dawson, Valina L., Ph.D.

Professor of Neurology
Professor of Neuroscience
Professor of Physiology
Director, Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering,
Photo of Dr. Gabsang Lee, Ph.D.

Lee, Gabsang, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Neurology
Associate Professor of Neuroscience
Expertise, Disease and Conditions: Muscular Dystrophies, Pain Management, Peripheral Nerve Disorders
Photo of Dr. Elias Thomas Zambidis, M.D., Ph.D.

Zambidis, Elias Thomas, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Oncology
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Expertise, Disease and Conditions: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML), General Pediatrics, Hodgkin's Disease, Leukemia, Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL), Pediatric Hematology Oncology, Pediatric Oncology, Stem Cell Transplants

Latest News

Images of mouse neurons from the hippocampal region of the brain.

Neurons Constantly Rewrite Their DNA
Johns Hopkins scientists have discovered that neurons are risk takers: They use minor “DNA surgeries” to toggle their activity levels all day, every day.

human red blood cells

Johns Hopkins Researchers Engineer Custom Blood Cells
Researchers have successfully corrected a genetic error in stem cells from patients with sickle cell disease, and then used those cells to grow mature red blood cells.

Johns Hopkins Medicine logo

‘Crispr’ Science: Newer Genome Editing Tool Shows Promise in Engineering Human Stem Cells
The “genome editing” technology CRISPR is used by researchers to trim, disrupt, replace or add to sequences of an organism’s DNA. Now, scientists at have shown that the system also alters human stem cells.

Osteoporosis improves in mice treated with the drug L-235

'Unsung' Cells Double the Benefits of a New Osteoporosis Drug
Experiments in mice with a bone disorder similar to that in women after menopause show that a scientifically overlooked group of cells are likely crucial to the process of bone loss caused by the disorder, according to Johns Hopkins researchers.

iPSC-derived vascular stem cells (white arrow) incorporating into a damaged retinal blood vessel and repairing it

Lab-Grown, Virus-Free Stem Cells Repair Retinal Tissue in Mice
Investigators at Johns Hopkins report they have developed human induced-pluripotent stem cells capable of repairing damaged retinal vascular tissue in mice