Human Embyronic Stem Cells: Progress and Promise


Date Thursday April 3rd 2003
Time 5:00 PM
Venue George E. Pake Auditorium

PARC Forum

Human embryonic stem cells offer the potential to serve as starting materials for the manufacture of limitless quantities of virtually every cell and tissue of the human body. Such tissue can be used to (1) study early human developmental biology, (2) unravel the genetic control of differentiation, (3) provide human cells for drug screens and disease models, and (4) generate cells and tissues for transplantation to humans. In order to achieve these potentials, much fundamental biology unique to human embryonic stem cells must be defined. This talk will summarize Geron Corporation’s program to date on unlocking the therapeutic promise of human embryonic stem cells.


Tom Okarma joined Geron in 1997 as Vice President of Cell Therapies, became Vice President of Research and Development in 1998 and has served as President and CEO since July 1999. Before that Dr. Okarma was a senior vice president at Rhone-Poulenc Rohrer from the time it acquired Applied Immune Sciences, Inc., where he was the scientific founder and, eventually, Chairman and CEO. From 1980 to 1985, Dr. Okarma was a member of the faculty of the Stanford University School of Medicine, where he also earned his M.D. and PhD.

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