Jeanne F. Loring

Cell biology

United States
Also Known As
Stem cell biologist, developmental neurobiologist, and geneticist

Jeanne Frances Loring is an American stem cell biologist, developmental neurobiologist, and geneticist. She is the director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine and professor at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. Loring was born on May 4, 1950, in Tucson, Arizona, to William and Elizabeth Loring. She has one sister, Anne Loring, who is an attorney. Her father had a Ph.D. in geology, and his job as a uranium and copper prospector required that the family move frequently. Loring grew up in mining towns in Arizona, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Wyoming. Bill Loring was an intellectual, and at home, he filled in the gaps of her small-town education. In 1968, Loring was selected for a National Merit Scholarship, which allowed her to attend the University of Washington in Seattle, where she completed a bachelor of science degree, magna cum laude, in molecular biology in 1972 and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Loring began her graduate studies as a National Science Foundation Research Fellow in the newly established Institute for Molecular Biology at the University of Oregon in Eugene, where she became interested in stem cell development through her research on neural crest cells. She earned her Ph.D. in 1979 and began work as a visiting assistant professor at the University of California Davis. After completing her doctoral work, Loring spent five years studying and lecturing on embryology and neurobiology at UC Davis before moving to Hana Biologics in 1987. As staff scientist at Hana Biologics, Loring's work included study of cell therapy for Parkinson's disease. Loring remained in the biotechnology for more than 10 years. She then began to focus on the intersection of genomics with stem cells as a senior scientist at GenPharm International (1989–1995), senior research fellow at Molecular Dynamics (1995–1997), senior director at Incyte Genomics (1997–2001) and as chief scientific officer and founder at Arcos BioScience (1997-2003). At GenPharm, Loring worked on gene editing in mouse embryonic stem cells, and creation of mouse models for human disease. Loring founded Arcos Bioscience in part to work on human embryonic stem cells and derived nine of the human embryonic stem cell preparations that were approved for federal funding by President George W. Bush in 2001. The Wisconsin Alumni Foundation (WARF) was issues as a patent in 2001 that covered all human and embryonic stem cells, and because of high patent licensing fees, Arcos decided to merge with Cythera,[10] when then merged with another stem cell company, Bresagen. After another merger with Novocell, the company became Viacyte, and focused on development of stem cell-derived therapies for type 1 diabetes. With a grant from the National Institutes of Health to provide the first training course for hESC research, Loring moved to academia, becoming the founding co-director of the Stem Cell Center at the Burnham Institute (now called the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute). In 2007, Loring was recruited to The Scripps Research Institute, where she was the founding director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine and professor in the Department of Chemical Molecular Medicine. In 2019, she moved her lab and research projects to Aspen Neuroscience, a biotechnology company she founded in 2018 with her colleague, Andres Bratt-Leal. Aspen was founded to bring forward translational research to clinical utility. She is currently the chief scientific officer at Aspen, and remains at Scripps as a professor emerita. She is also an adjunct professor in human genetics at Sanford Burnham Prebys Institute, adjunct professor in public health at San Diego State University, and a research fellow of the Zoological Society of San Diego. Her research is currently focused on human pluripotent stem cells, a remarkable cell type made by reprogramming adult cells to an embryonic state, making them capable of developing into all of the cell types in the body. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles, which have been cited more than 12,000 times. She holds 5 patents on transgenic methods, Alzheimer disease, and stem cells. Loring is an advocate for patient education and against stem cell tourism, and has frequently spoken out on these subjects including commentaries in ethics journals with bioethicist Mary Devereaux. She has also commented on the ethics of stem cell research in articles with ethicist Jonathan Moreno and pro-life advocate Christine Scheller.She often guest blogs on the stem cell blog, The Niche, describing her experiences, such as attending an FDA public meeting on Huntington's disease and Parkinson's disease.For her outspoken support of patients and advocacy of stem cell research she was awarded the Stem Cell Person of the Year award in 2015 and received the Stem Cell Action Advocacy Award in 2015 from the Genetics Policy Institute, which hosts the World Stem Cell Summit, and won a Stem Cell Pioneer award from Xconomy in 2019. Research areas: -Genomics and epigenetics -Parkinson's disease cell replacement therapy -Multiple sclerosis therapy development -Autism -The Stem Cell Zoo Loring has received numerous awards and accolades, including the 2019 Xconomy Stem Cell Pioneer award, the 2015 Stem Cell Action Advocacy Award, the 2015 Stem Cell Person of the Year, a Millipore Foundation Stem Cell Research Award, an Esther O'Keefe Foundation Award for Stem Cell Research, The Burnham Institute for Medical Research Leadership Award and the Marie and Jimmy Mayer Award for Melanoma Research. She was a National Merit Scholar (1968) and received a National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship. 2017 Jeanne Loring has been invited to join the prestigious international group of researchers working toward development of cell replacement therapies for Parkinson's disease, called G-Force PD.

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