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Stem Cell Research: The Teenage Years

Evan Snyder

54 minutes
Evan Snyder


Evan Snyder surveys the history of stem cell research into its current "teenage" years, in which the answers are less easy and clean cut. Scientists understand much about stem cells functioning as the building blocks of the body and maintaining balance, but there is a lot yet to discover including mechanisms of diseases in order to target stem cell therapies. Dr. Synder also describes his path to science and medicine, driven at a young age to take care of kids after working a center for disadvantaged and disabled children.

Evan Snyder is regarded as one of the fathers of the stem cell field, having identified over two decades ago that cells that came to be called stem cells were a source of neural plasticity. He was the first to demonstrate that non-hematopoietic stem cells could mediate cell and gene replacement, home to injury, and perform protective, trophic, pro-regenerative, and anti-inflammatory actions. He was the first to isolate human neural stem cells. In 2003, after 23 years at Harvard, Dr. Snyder was recruited to Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute as professor and director of the Stem Cells and Regenerative Biology program.