Stem Cell Program Leadership

Thorsten M. Schlaeger, PhD

Thorsten Schlaeger, PhD
Head, Human Embryonic Stem Cell Core
Instructor, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Schlaeger is a renowned expert in mouse genetics, endothelial and hematopoetic developmental biology, and pluripotent stem cells. He holds a PhD in Human Biology from Philipps University in Marburg, Germany. He received the prestigious Otto Hahn medal for his work on endothelial specific gene regulation, which was performed in the laboratories of the late Dr. Werner Risau (Max Planck Institute) and Dr. Tom N. Sato (Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, Boston).

In 1998, following an unsuccessful bone marrow transplantation, Dr. Werner Risau, his PhD supervisor, mentor and friend, succumbed to leukemia. Motivated by this experience to study the mechanisms of blood cell development, Dr. Schlaeger joined Dr. Stuart Orkin’s laboratory at Boston Children’s Hospital in 1999, where he studied the role of the stem cell leukemia gene in endothelial and hematopoetic stem cells. Following a 16-month stint as Senior Scientist in the mouse genetics group of Cell and Molecular Technologies (now Invitrogen), Dr. Schlaeger returned to Children’s in 2005 to serve as Head of the Human Embryonic Stem Cell Core Facility within the Stem Cell Program of Children’s Hospital.

Read more about Dr. Schlaeger’s work:



  • Quality control

    The production ofinduced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) is often imprecise, yielding many incompletely reprogrammed cells. Thorsten Schlaeger, PhD, of Children’s Stem Cell Program has developed a battery of tests to ensure that he has the real thing: pure pluripotent stem cells. Schlaeger’s work creates a standard of analysis in the field. Read more and click here to see image.