Shoukhrat Mitalipov

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Shoukhrat Mitalipov
Born 1961 (age 55–56)
Citizenship American[1]
Alma mater Timiryazev Agricultural Academy
Research Centre of Medical Genetics
Occupation Scientist
Known for Stem cell breakthrough

Shoukhrat Mitalipov (Shoe-KHRAHT Mee-tuhl-EE-pov, Russian: Шухрат Миталипов[2], born 1961)[3] is an American biologist who heads the Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland.[4] He is known for discovering a controversial genetic therapy that may be a way to prevent mitochondrial diseases, as well as a new way of creating human stem cells from skin cells.[4][5]

Early life[edit]

Mitalipov was born in 1961 in Almaty, Kazakhstan, then part of the Soviet Union.[4] He is of Uyghur ancestry.[1] He served two years in Soviet military, beginning in 1979, as an army radio technician.[1]


After the military, Mitalipov studied genetics at the Timiryazev Agricultural Academy in Moscow, and also played blues guitar in a cover band to pay the bills.[4] After graduation from the academy worked for a short time as the chief livestock specialist in the kolkhoz in the Yaroslavl region.[6] He received his master's degree in 1989.[4] He earned his Ph.D. in developmental and stem cell biology from the Research Centre of Medical Genetics in Moscow.[4] After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 funding for stem cell research was scarce, so Mitalipov applied for and won a fellowship at Utah State University in 1995.[4] He started working at the Oregon National Primate Research Center in 1998, where he could work with monkeys, which share 98% of their DNA with humans; at Utah State Mitalipov had worked with cow DNA.[4]


A therapy for mitochondrial diseases that Mitalipov discovered, the "spindle transfer" technique, involves removing the nucleus from a human egg and placing it into another.[3][4] If the egg is fertilized, in genetic terms it would have three parents.[4] Mitalipov has successfully bred "three-parent" rhesus macaques.[4] The possibility of using the procedure on human eggs has raised safety and ethics questions.[4]

In May 2013, Mitalipov and his team published a study in Cell that describes a new process for creating human stem cells from skin cells.[5] The stem cell discovery made several journals' "Top 10" scientific breakthrough lists in 2013, including Nature, Science, Time, Discover, National Geographic, and The Week.[5]

In July 2017, Mitalipov and his team performed the first known successful attempt at creating genetically modified human embryos, using the CRISPR/Cas9 gene modifying tool. Previously, there were only three reports of editing human embryos, which were all published by scientists in China.

Mitalipov and his team experimented upon a larger number of embryos, and further demonstrated the possibility of safely and efficiently correcting defective genes that cause inherited diseases. [7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Budnick, Nick (June 2, 2013). "Oregon Stem-cell Groundbreaker Stirs International Frenzy with Cloning Advance". The Oregonian. Retrieved March 4, 2015. 
  2. ^ Ученый из Казахстана первый в мире создал обезьяну-мутанта - новости науки | Tengrinews (in Russian)
  3. ^ a b Tavernise, Sabrina (March 17, 2014). "His Fertility Advance Draws Ire". The New York Times. Retrieved March 4, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Moore, Elizabeth Armstrong (September 17, 2014). "Splice of Life". Willamette Week. p. 12. Retrieved March 4, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c "About Us". Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy. Retrieved March 4, 2015. 
  6. ^ Астахова, Алла (12 August 2017). "Тонкая работа". Блог о здравоохранении. 
  7. ^

External links[edit]