News Release

Haifan Lin takes on new role as President of the ISSCR

Business Announcement

International Society for Stem Cell Research

Haifan Lin

image: Haifan Lin assumes the role of ISSCR president. view more 

Credit: Yale University School of Medicine, USA

The ISSCR is pleased to announce Haifan Lin, PhD, Yale University School of Medicine, USA, as its President. Dr. Lin’s one-year term of office leading the global Society begins today.

“It is a great honor for me to assume the ISSCR presidency during the 20th anniversary year of the Society’s founding,” Dr. Lin said. “In the past 20 years, the ISSCR has embodied our shared passion for stem cell research. The remarkable growth of the Society is driven by our members’ exciting research and discoveries, many of which are being translated into lifesaving treatments and new approaches in drug development for the benefit of humanity.”

Dr. Lin urged, “In a time challenged by the persisting pandemic as well as by polarizing geopolitical forces and a devastating war, there is more need and more urgency for ISSCR to serve as a haven for stem cell researchers from all over the world to work together synergistically for the benefit of all mankind, regardless of race, color, religion, gender, and national origin.“ He pledged, “to work closely with members, the board, and the staff to actively expend our global engagement in both academia and industry during my presidency.”  

Haifan Lin is the Eugene Higgins Professor of Cell Biology and founding Director of Yale Stem Cell Center at Yale University School of Medicine, a Member of US National Academy of Sciences, a Member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Foreign Member of Chinese Academy of Sciences. 

Dr. Lin studies the self-renewing mechanism of stem cells, stem cell-related cancers, and germline development, using Drosophila germline stem cells, mouse germline and embryonic stem cells, Hydra stem cells, and human cancer cells as models. He has made key contributions to the demonstration of stem cell asymmetric division and the proof of the stem cell niche theory. He discovered the Argonaute/Piwi gene family and their essential function in stem cell self-renewal and germline development and demonstrated their crucial function in breast and colon cancers.  He is a discoverer of PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs), a discovery hailed by the Science magazine as one of the 10 Scientific Breakthroughs in 2006. Recently, he proposed and demonstrated the crucial roles of the Piwi-piRNA pathway in epigenetic programming and in post-transcriptional regulation of mRNA and lncRNA.

Amander T. Clark, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles, USA is President-Elect and will serve as President in 2023. Valentina Greco, PhD, Yale Stem Cell Center, USA is the new Vice President and Clive Svendsen, PhD, Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute, USA, is the Society’s new Treasurer.

Helen Blau, PhD, Stanford University School of Medicine, USA, and Kathy Niakan, PhD, University of Cambridge, UK were elected as new Board Members and begin their three-year terms 1 July 2022. Arnold Kriegstein, MD, PhD, University of California, San Francisco, USA and Kenneth Zaret, PhD, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, USA were re-appointed to another term.

Learn more.

About the International Society for Stem Cell Research (
With more than 4,400 members from more than 70 countries, the International Society for Stem Cell Research is the preeminent global, cross-disciplinary, science-based organization dedicated to stem cell research and its translation to the clinic. The ISSCR mission is to promote excellence in stem cell science and applications to human health. Additional information about stem cell science is available at A Closer Look at Stem Cells, an initiative of the Society to inform the public about stem cell research and its potential to improve human health.


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