Jeanne Loring

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Jeanne Loring

Jeanne Frances Loring (born May 4, 1950) 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.

Education and early life[edit]

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[1] and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Loring began her graduate studies as a National Science Foundation Research Fellow[2] 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.[3][4] 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[5] (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).[6] 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.[7][8][9] 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.[11] After another merger with Novocell, the company became Viacyte,[12] 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,[13] 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.[14] 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.[15] Aspen was founded to bring forward translational research to clinical utility.[16] She is currently the chief scientific officer at Aspen,[17] and remains at Scripps as a professor emerita.[18] 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.[19] She holds 5 patents on transgenic methods, Alzheimer disease, and stem cells.[20]

Patient advocacy[edit]

Loring is an advocate for patient education and against stem cell tourism, and has frequently spoken out on these subjects[21] including commentaries in ethics journals with bioethicist Mary Devereaux.[22][23] She has also commented on the ethics of stem cell research in articles with ethicist Jonathan Moreno[24] and pro-life advocate Christine Scheller.[25] 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.[26] 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 [27] and received the Stem Cell Action Advocacy Award in 2015 from the Genetics Policy Institute, which hosts the World Stem Cell Summit,[28] and won a Stem Cell Pioneer award from Xconomy in 2019.[29]

Research areas[edit]

Genomics and epigenetics

A major theme of the research that Loring oversees is focused on the study of genomics and epigenetics of pluripotent stem cells, with the goal of ensuring their effectiveness and safety for cell therapy. Loring oversaw the development of PluriTest, an animal-free, molecular test of pluripotency that uses gene expression profiling to predict pluripotency of novel cell lines.[30] The patent on PluriTest was assigned to Aspen Neuroscience in 2019.[31] She has also done analysis of genomic integrity of cells in culture, and a comparative analysis the mutational loads of different reprogramming methods.[32]

Parkinson's disease cell replacement therapy

Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are caused by the death of dopamine neurons in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra. Aspen Neuroscience is developing a dopamine neuron replacement therapy for Parkinson's disease.[33] The project was launched in 2012 by funding by the patient advocacy group Summit For Stem Cell.[34] The goal of the project is to produce autologous (patient-specific) dopaminergic neurons differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) for use as a cell replacement therapy. The approach of using autologous cells ensures that they will not be rejected after transplantation. The project is notable for the high level of community involvement, including fundraisers, lab tours, and community education.[35]

Multiple sclerosis therapy development

Another project in Dr. Loring’s lab is development based therapy for multiple sclerosis. In a collaboration with Tom Lane, a notable MS researcher, a type of human neural precursor cell derived from pluripotent stem cells restored motor function in a mouse model of MS.[36][37] The transplanted cells do not permanently engraft within the mouse but the recovery process continues for several months before stabilizing. The goal of this research is to identify the mechanism by which the human cells induced recovery from paralysis in the mouse. This knowledge is to be used to develop a novel evidence-based therapy for MS.


Fragile X syndrome is a genetic form of autism, and Loring's laboratory is using iPSCs derived from Fragile X patients to understand the causes of the disease. The goal of this research is to understand how autism affects brain development. Because the project uses iPSCs that are developed into the neurons affected in autism, the work has the potential to lead to identification of drugs to treat Fragile X and autism.[38]

The Stem Cell Zoo

Loring and her postdoctoral fellow, Inbar Friedrich Ben-Nun, were the first to report the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells from endangered species.[39] IPSCs were generated from a primate, the drill Mandrillus leucophaeus and the nearly extinct northern white rhinoceros, Ceratotherium simum cottoni. There are only two northern white rhinos left in the world, and the hope is that the iPSCs can be differentiated into sperm and egg cells to generate new animals. "If everything falls into place and everything works, there is a way to generate new animals," said Loring in an interview with Nature News.[40] The project is a collaboration with The Frozen Zoo at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, which has collected and frozen samples from thousands of animals, including twelve northern white rhinos, in The Frozen Zoo. “It’s really brilliant in retrospect that when animals die, you can freeze some of their cells and they’ll last forever,” said Loring.[41] In December 2015, an expert meeting was convened in Vienna, Austria, "Conservation by cellular technologies" where a plan was devised to rescue the northern white rhino[42] and their paper was published detailing this plan.[43]

Awards and honors[edit]

Loring has received numerous awards and accolades, including the 2019 Xconomy Stem Cell Pioneer award, the 2015 Stem Cell Action Advocacy Award,[44] the 2015 Stem Cell Person of the Year,[45] a Millipore Foundation Stem Cell Research Award,[46] 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.[6] 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.[47]

Personal life[edit]

Loring is married to fellow scientist David L. Barker, former Chief Scientific Officer of the genomics biotechnology company Illumina, Inc, and current member of several Boards of Directors of biotechnology companies.[48] Loring and Barker enjoy traveling and often travel to wherever in the world has the best viewing of total solar eclipses,[49] including Easter Island, Bolivia, Russia, Turkey, Indonesia and Australia. Loring has experienced 17 eclipses.[50] Thirteen were total, in which the moon completely eclipsed the sun for up to 5 minutes, and 3 were annular, in which the moon covered all but the edges of the sun. She has logged a total time in the darkness of the totally eclipsed sun of more than 45 minutes.[51]


  1. ^ "Spreading the stem cell gospel". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  2. ^ "Home - NSF Graduate Research Fellowships Program (GRFP)". Retrieved 2016-06-06.
  3. ^ Loring, Jeanne; Glimelius, Bengt; Weston, James A. (1982-03-01). "Extracellular matrix materials influence quail neural crest cell differentiation in vitro". Developmental Biology. 90 (1): 165–174. doi:10.1016/0012-1606(82)90222-6. PMID 7060829.
  4. ^ Loring, Jeanne; Glimelius, Bengt; Erickson, Carol; Weston, James A. (1981-02-01). "Analysis of developmentally homogeneous neural crest cell populations in vitro". Developmental Biology. 82 (1): 86–94. doi:10.1016/0012-1606(81)90430-9. PMID 7227640.
  5. ^ "GenPharm International". Stanford Graduate School of Business. Retrieved 2016-06-06.
  6. ^ a b "Faculty Page". Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  7. ^ "NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry Under Former President Bush (Aug. 9, 2001–Mar. 9, 2009) [Stem Cell Information]". Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  8. ^ "Human Embryonic Stem Cell Policy Under Former President Bush (Aug. 9, 2001 - March 9, 2009) [Stem Cell Information]". Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  9. ^ Anand, Geeta; Journal, Antonio Regalado Staff Reporters of The Wall Street (2002-04-10). "Stem-Cell Ownership Fight Bogs Down One Researcher". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-06-08.
  10. ^ "CyThera, Arcos to merge, form company.(Arcos BioScience Inc.)(Brief Article)". 2002-04-15. Archived from the original on 2018-03-27. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  11. ^ Loring, Jeanne. "Human Embryonic Stem Cells: Comprehensive Training Program". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  12. ^ Lewis, Alan J; Carpenter, Melissa; Robins, Allan; Baetge, Emmanuel (2007-11-01). "Novocell, Inc". Regenerative Medicine. 2 (6): 973–978. doi:10.2217/17460751.2.6.973. ISSN 1746-0751. PMID 18034635.
  13. ^ Loring, Jeanne. "Human Embryonic Stem Cells: Comprehensive Training Program". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  14. ^ "Jeanne Loring | Scripps Research". Retrieved 2020-03-12.
  15. ^ "Aspen Neuroscience". Aspen Neuroscience. Retrieved 2020-03-12.
  16. ^ "History". Aspen Neuroscience. Retrieved 2020-03-12.
  17. ^ "Leadership Team". Aspen Neuroscience. Retrieved 2020-03-12.
  18. ^ "Jeanne Loring | Scripps Research". Retrieved 2020-03-12.
  19. ^ "Jeanne Loring - Google Scholar Citations". Retrieved 2020-03-12.
  20. ^ "Patent Database Search Results: IN/"Loring, Jeanne" in US Patent Collection". Retrieved 2016-06-06.
  21. ^ California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (2009-06-08), Concerns About Stem Cell Tourism, retrieved 2016-06-03 CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  22. ^ Devereaux, Mary; Loring, Jeanne F. (2010-05-01). "Growth of an industry: how U.S. scientists and clinicians have enabled stem cell tourism". The American Journal of Bioethics: AJOB. 10 (5): 45–46. doi:10.1080/15265161003769005. ISSN 1536-0075. PMID 20461650. S2CID 7167218.
  23. ^ Devereaux, Mary; Loring, Jeanne F. (2010-02-01). "A modest proposal in response to Rhodes and Schiano". The American Journal of Bioethics: AJOB. 10 (2): 20–22. doi:10.1080/15265160903531309. ISSN 1536-0075. PMID 20131166. S2CID 1096121.
  24. ^ Bhan, Anant; Deng, Hongkui; Loring, Jeanne F.; Moreno, Jonathan D.; Yin, Ming; Zhai, Xiaomei; Lavery, James V. (2008-01-01). "Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research: Structuring Oversight in International Collaborations". The Brown Journal of World Affairs. 15 (1): 145–153. JSTOR 24590956.
  25. ^ "On The Bridge: A Conversation Between A Pro-Lifer And An Embryonic Stem Cell Researcher". The Huffington Post. 2010-10-05. Retrieved 2016-06-06.
  26. ^ "Patients talk stem cells. The FDA listens. - The Niche". The Niche. 2015-09-28. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  27. ^ "Stem Cell Person of the Year 2015: Jeanne Loring - The Niche". The Niche. 2015-11-12. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  28. ^ "GPI "Stem Cell Action Award" Honorees Announced for 2015". World Stem Cell Summit. 2015-10-27. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  29. ^ "Jeanne Loring, Stem Cell Pioneer of the Year". Xconomy. Retrieved 2020-03-12.
  30. ^ Müller, Franz-Josef; Schuldt, Bernhard M; Williams, Roy; Mason, Dylan; Altun, Gulsah; Papapetrou, Eirini P; Danner, Sandra; Goldmann, Johanna E; Herbst, Arne (2011). "A bioinformatic assay for pluripotency in human cells". Nature Methods. 8 (4): 315–317. doi:10.1038/nmeth.1580. PMC 3265323. PMID 21378979.
  31. ^ "Patents & Licenses". Aspen Neuroscience. Retrieved 2020-03-12.
  32. ^ "Artificial embryonic stem cells get safety OK". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  33. ^ "Pipeline". Aspen Neuroscience. Retrieved 2020-03-12.
  34. ^ "Home · Summit for Stem Cell - Victory over Parkinson's". Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  35. ^ "Stem cells for Parkinson's getting ready for clinic". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  36. ^ Chen, Lu; Coleman, Ronald; Leang, Ronika; Tran, Ha; Kopf, Alexandra; Walsh, Craig M.; Sears-Kraxberger, Ilse; Steward, Oswald; Macklin, Wendy B. (2014-06-03). "Human neural precursor cells promote neurologic recovery in a viral model of multiple sclerosis". Stem Cell Reports. 2 (6): 825–837. doi:10.1016/j.stemcr.2014.04.005. ISSN 2213-6711. PMC 4050357. PMID 24936469.
  37. ^ "New stem cells may help in battling multiple sclerosis". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  38. ^ "Faculty Page". Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  39. ^ Friedrich Ben-Nun, Inbar; Montague, Susanne C; Houck, Marlys L; Tran, Ha T; Garitaonandia, Ibon; Leonardo, Trevor R; Wang, Yu-Chieh; Charter, Suellen J; Laurent, Louise C (2011). "Induced pluripotent stem cells from highly endangered species". Nature Methods. 8 (10): 829–831. doi:10.1038/nmeth.1706. PMID 21892153. S2CID 9791672.
  40. ^ Callaway, Ewen (2011-09-04). "Could stem cells rescue an endangered species?". Nature News. doi:10.1038/news.2011.517.
  41. ^ "Can scientists clone a rhinoceros?". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  42. ^ "Reproduction, stem cell researchers set up a rescue plan for Northern White Rhino". Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  43. ^ Saragusty, Joseph; Diecke, Sebastian; Drukker, Micha; Durrant, Barbara; Friedrich Ben-Nun, Inbar; Galli, Cesare; Göritz, Frank; Hayashi, Katsuhiko; Hermes, Robert (2016-05-01). "Rewinding the process of mammalian extinction". Zoo Biology. 35 (4): 280–292. doi:10.1002/zoo.21284. ISSN 1098-2361. PMID 27142508.
  44. ^ "GPI "Stem Cell Action Award" Honorees Announced for 2015". World Stem Cell Summit. 2015-10-27. Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  45. ^ "Stem Cell Person of the Year 2015: Jeanne Loring - The Niche". The Niche. 2015-11-12. Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  46. ^ "Millipore Gives $150K to Scripps' Loring to Study miRNA-Induced Stem Cell Pluripotency". GenomeWeb. Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  47. ^ Author. "In Brief".
  48. ^ "Former CSO of Illumina, Inc., Dr. David Barker, Joins NextBio Board of Directors". BioSpace. Retrieved 2020-03-12.
  49. ^ Regalado, Antonio (2010-07-06). "The Other Eclipse People Are Flocking to See". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  50. ^ "Spreading the stem cell gospel". San Diego Union-Tribune. 2014-05-10. Retrieved 2020-03-12.
  51. ^ "Eclipse Chaser Log for Jeanne Loring". Retrieved 2016-06-03.