State-of-the-Art Speakers


Thomas A. Starzl State-of-the-Art Lecture

Synthetic Organs

George M. Church, PhD 

Wyss Institute at Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA, USA

Monday, June 3, 2019
10:15am-10:45am

George M. Church, PhD ’84, is professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, a founding member of the Wyss Institute, and director of PersonalGenomes.org, the world’s only open-access information on human genomic, environmental, and trait data. Church is known for pioneering the fields of personal genomics and synthetic biology. He developed the first methods for the first genome sequence & dramatic cost reductions since then (down from $3 billion to $600), contributing to nearly all “next generation sequencing” methods and companies.

His team invented CRISPR for human stem cell genome editing and other synthetic biology technologies and applications – including new ways to create organs for transplantation, gene therapies for aging reversal, and gene drives to eliminate Lyme Disease and Malaria. 

Church is director of IARPA & NIH BRAIN Projects and National Institutes of Health Center for Excellence in Genomic Science.  He has coauthored 450 papers, 105 patents, and one book, “Regenesis”. His honors include Franklin Bower Laureate for Achievement in Science, the Time 100, and election to the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering. 


Paul I. Teraski State-of-the-Art Lecture

Douglas Melton, PhDUsing Human Pluripoint Stem Cells to Make Tissue for Transplantation

Douglas Melton, PhD

Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regnerative Biology
Cambridge, MA, USA

Tuesday, June 4, 2019
9:15am-9:45am

Dr. Melton is the Xander University Professor at Harvard. He is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and Co-Director of Harvard's Stem Cell Institute in the Harvard Medical School and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He teaches undergraduate courses at Harvard College and with his wife, Gail, serves as Faculty Dean of Eliot House.

Dr. Melton earned a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Illinois and then went to Cambridge University in England as a Marshall Scholar. He earned a B.A. in history and philosophy of science at Cambridge University and remained there to earn a Ph.D. in molecular biology at Trinity College, Cambridge, and the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology. Dr. Melton is the Scientific Co-founder of Gilead Sciences and Semma Therapeutics.  Among his honors and awards, he has twice been named as one of the TIME 100; TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People.  Most recently, he received the 2016 Ogawa-Yamanaka Stem Cell Prize.

The Melton Laboratory focuses on one goal: creating a cure for T1 Diabetes using human stem cell derived islets.