Irving L. Weissman, M.D., is the Director of the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine and Director of the Stanford Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Weissman was a member of the founding Scientific Advisory Boards of Amgen (1981-1989), DNAX (1981-1992), and T-Cell Sciences (1988-1992). He co-founded SyStemix in 1988, StemCells in 1996, and Celtrans (now Cellerant), the successor to SyStemix, in 2001. He is a Director and Chair of their Scientific Advisory Boards.

His research encompasses the biology and evolution of stem cells and progenitor cells, mainly blood-forming and brain-forming. He is also engaged in isolating and characterizing the rare cancer and leukemia stem cells as the only dangerous cells in these malignancies, especially with human cancers. Finally, he has a long-term research interest in the phylogeny and developmental biology of the cells that make up the blood-forming and immune systems. His laboratory was first to identify and isolate the blood-forming stem cell from mice, and has purified each progenitor in the stages of development between the stem cells and mature progeny (granulocytes, macro-phages, etc.). At SyStemix he co-discovered the human hematopoetic stem cell and at StemCells, he co-discovered a human central nervous system stem cell. In addition, the Weissman laboratory has pioneered the study of the genes and proteins involved in cell adhesion events required for lymphocyte homing to lymphoid organs in vivo, either as a normal function or as events involved in malignant leukemic metastases.

Professor Weissman is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy, and the American Association of Arts and Sciences. He has received the Kaiser Award for Excellence in Preclinical Teaching, the Pasarow Award in Cancer Research, the Outstanding Investigator Award from the National Institutes of Health, the De Villiers International Achievement Award of the Leukemia Society of America, the Van Bekkum Stem Cell Award, the Rabbi Shai Shacknai Memorial Prize in Immunology and Cancer Research from the Lautenberg Center for General and Tumor Immunology. He is also the 2004 New York Academy of Medicine Award for distinguished contributions to biomedical research.