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Interview with Derrick Rossi

Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital Boston

June 15, 2011
38 minutes
Derrick Rossi


Derrick Rossi is assistant professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School and a researcher at Childrens Hospital Boston. Rossi works in the field of stem cell research and has been featured in Time Magazine's "People who Mattered" 2010 list. Rossi discovered an innovative method for reprogramming skin cells back into stem cells. Until now, the creation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, which are derived from adult cells instead of embryos, has required the use of potential cancer-causing viruses and genes to help coax the adult cells back into an embryonic state. Rossi's method bypasses that step, using messenger molecules — instead of the actual viruses or genes — to do the same work without the risks, such as cancer, that these elements pose. His new method could help move stem cell–based treatments for diseases such as diabetes and Parkinson's more quickly from the lab to the clinic.