Global Speaker Series: Jacob Hanna, MD, PhD -Weizmann Institute of Science

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The Medicine by Design Global Speaker Series invites established and emerging international leaders in regenerative medicine to engage with our extraordinary community of researchers and clinicians. Medicine by Design, in partnership with the McEwen Stem Cell Institute, is pleased to welcome Jacob Hanna, MD, PhD, Senior Scientist and Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics, Weizmann Institute of Science. The title of this talk will be, “Synthetic Ex Utero Embryogenesis: from Naive Pluripotent Stem Cells to Advanced Whole Embryos”.

Hybrid event, with in-person and virtual options


Born in Rama, an Arab Palestinian village in the Galilee region of Israel, Professor Jacob (Yaqub) Hanna earned his BSc in medical science, PhD in immunology, and MD in clinical medicine summa cum laude from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He conducted postdoctoral research at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at MIT. He joined the department of Molecular Genetics at the Weizmann Institute in 2011.

Professor Hanna is pioneering techniques in induced naïve pluripotency from adult cell and synthetic whole embryo models made solely from stem cells ex utero. Professor Hanna was the lead researcher in a study that showed how further-modified iPS cells could be used to treat sickle-cell anemia in mice, the first proof of concept of the therapeutic application of iPS cells.

During his postdoctoral work, Professor Hanna received a prestigious Novartis Fellowship from the Helen Hay Whitney Foundation. In 2010, he was awarded the Sir Charles Clore Prize for Outstanding Appointment in the Weizmann Institute. He received an EMBO Young Investigator Award (2012), a Rappaport Prize in biomedical research (2013), a Krill Prize by the Wolf Foundation (2013), and the Helen and Martin Kimmel Award for Innovative Investigation (2014). In 2014, he was featured among “40 under 40” innovative scientists by the prestigious journal Cell and was elected as a member of EMBO in 2018. In 2021, he ranked at the top of the list of 50 leading world thinkers by Prospect magazine.

Learn more about Jacob (Yaqub) Hanna

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