Negotiating the Mine Field in the Quest for a Parkinson's Disease Cell Therapy

Jeanne Loring, Professor, Scripps Research Institute

Video Overview

Jeanne Loring, Ph.D., is a Professor and the founding Director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla. Her research team focuses on largescale analysis of genomics and epigenetics of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) and their derivatives, in order to ensure the quality and safety of these cells for clinical use. The team’s translational projects include development of cell therapies for Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer disease, and epigenetic modeling of autism. The team is also producing an ethnically diverse library of iPSC (induced pluripotent stem cell) lines for use in pharmaceutical screening. In addition, her lab is developing a “zoo” of induced pluripotent stem cells from endangered species to aid in their conservation.

Dr. Loring is committed to educating both scientists and the public. She has trained more than 400 scientists over the last 10 years in intensive laboratory courses in human ES and iPSC biology, and is author of a comprehensive laboratory manual on human pluripotent stem cells (“Human Stem Cell Manual: a Laboratory Guide, in second edition, 2012). She is frequently quoted in major newspapers, and gives numerous public lectures and interviews to inform the public about biological and societal issues associated with stem cell research, including the ethics of stem cell generation and clinical use, the legal implications of stem cell patents, and public education about the dangers of unregulated stem cell treatments (“stem cell tourism”). Dr. Loring serves on both bioethics and scientific advisory boards.