C. Michael Armstrong Professor of Medicine,
Institute of Cell Engineering,
Johns Hopkins Medicine
John Gearhart led the Johns Hopkins University research team responsible for first identifying and isolating human pluripotent stem cells. His work has profound implications for drug development and the treatment of diseases and injuries such as Lou Gehrig's Disease, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, stroke, and spinal cord injuries, and raises the possibility of growing human tissues in the laboratory to replenish failing organs.
Much of Dr. Gearhart's research career has focused on how genes regulate the formation of tissues and embryos. For decades he has tried to determine the exact causes of mental retardation and other congenital birth defects, and he has been outspoken in his advocacy of federal funding for further embryonic stem cell research. He has written or co-authored 221 publications relating to transgenesis, Down's syndrome, and stem cells.
Dr. Gearhart is professor of gynecology and obstetrics and of physiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, holding a joint appointment in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has been a member of the Hopkins faculty since 1980.
Among his numerous scientific honors are the Basil O'Connor Starter Research Award from the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation and the Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement. He was selected as a Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Scholar in Mental Retardation.
Dr. Gearhart holds a B.Sc. degree from the Pennsylvania State University, a master's degree from the University of New Hampshire in plant genetics, and a doctoral degree in genetics from Cornell University.