Dr. Irving L. Weissman is a Professor of Pathology and Developmental Biology at Stanford University where he is the Director of the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine and Director of the Stanford Ludwig Center for Cancer Stem Cell Research. He is a leader in the field of cancer stem cell biology and is an expert in the field of hematopoiesis, leukemia, and hematopoietic stem cells [HSC], and most recently, the clonal events leading from HSC to leukemia stem cells. His research also encompasses the phylogeny and developmental biology of the cells that make up the blood-forming and immune systems.
His laboratory was first to identify and isolate the blood-forming stem cell [HSC] from mice, and has defined, by lineage analysis, the stages of development between the stem cells and mature progeny. His laboratories have also discovered the human HSC, a human brain-forming stem cell population, mouse skeletal muscle stem cells, and an osteochondral stem cell in mice. In recent years his work has included studying the potential of CD47 as a cancer therapeutic and identifying cancer stem cells from a variety of blood and solid cancers. He and his colleagues have found that CD47, a "don't eat me" signal is highly expressed beginning in the latter stages of progression of cancer stem cells from the benign to the highly malignant state, and this counteracts "eat me" signals on preneoplastic and highly malignant cancer cells, presumably as part of the evolution of cancer clones driven by self-renewing subsets of cells in the cancer. This research brings into focus the primary role of phagocytic cells such as macrophages of the innate immune system, in tumor surveillance.
Dr. Weissman has trained and supervised hundreds of students and fellows, authored more than 750 scientific articles and has numerous awards and honorary degrees for his research accomplishments. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and many other societies. He is past president of the American Association of Immunologists  and the International Society of Stem Cell Research .
Dr. Weissman was a co-founder of three companies, SyStemix, Cellerant, and Stem Cells, Inc., all focused on bringing stem cell therapies into the clinic, and earlier was on the founding SABs of Amgen, DNAX, and T Cell Sciences. He is a co-founder and board member of Forty Seven, Inc. He obtained an M.D. from Stanford University.