John D. Gearhart, Ph.D.

John is the James W. Effron University Professor and the Emeritus Director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.  He is a developmental geneticist and his research over the past several decades has been directed at an understanding of the molecular and cellular basis of human embryonic development.  He is a leader in the development and use of human reproductive technologies, embryo and germ cell manipulations, and in the genetic engineering of cells. 

In 1998, Dr. Gearhart and his research team at Johns Hopkins published the first report on the derivation of pluripotent stem cells from germ cells of the human embryo.  These cells have the capacity to form all cell types and tissues present in the human body and are considered a major starting point for the development of a wide variety of cell-based therapies in the new field of regenerative medicine.  His research is focused on the basic science of stem cells, stem cell specialization, and the generation cell-based therapies for a number of diseases and injuries.

Dr. Gearhart was a founding member of the International Society for Stem Cell Research and serves on a number of advisory boards and committees of foundations, institutes and professional societies involved in stem cell research and policy and science outreach and has served as a consultant or expert witness for many governmental agencies, in states, at the national level and to governments of foreign countries.