DR. KEVIN EGGAN

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Eggan received his bachelor’s degree in microbiology from the University of Illinois. He completed a two-year predoctoral internship with Amgen at the National Institutes of Health, before earning his Ph.D. in biology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he actively pursued projects focused on cloning, stem cells, and reprogramming after nuclear transfer under the guidance of genetics pioneer Rudolf Jaenisch. As a young investigator in the burgeoning field of stem cell biology, Eggan has garnered international recognition for his seminal work and a number of high profile awards for his creativity and productivity, including the MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” in 2006. His current research focuses on applying the knowledge gained in stem cell biology to studying the mechanisms underlying amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and discovering new therapeutic targets. In collaboration with the Stanley Center’s scientists, Eggan is now interested in extending the approaches his group has used to better understand ALS to the study of psychiatric disease. He made a significant impact in the field by publishing two high profile papers in Cell Stem Cell and Science in 2008. One paper described the discovery that motor neurons derived from human embryonic stem cells are susceptible to the toxic effect of glial cells harboring an ALS mutation. The other shows that induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells generated from adult skin cells of ALS patients can be differentiated into motor neurons.

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