Rudolf Jaenisch received his M.D. in Munich in 1967. After postdoctoral work at Princeton and five years as a Research Professor at the Salk...
Rudolf Jaenisch received his M.D. in Munich in 1967. After postdoctoral work at Princeton and five years as a Research Professor at the Salk Institute, he became Head of the Department of Tumor Virology at the Heinrich Pette Institute for Experimental Virology and Immunology. Since 1984 he has been a Founding Member of the Whitehead Institute and Professor of Biology at M.I.T. and in 2005 he established the Human Stem Cell Facility at the Whitehead.
Dr. Jaenisch is a pioneer in making transgenic mice, leading to some important advances in understanding cancer, neurological and connective tissue diseases, and developmental abnormalities. These mice have been used to explore basic questions such as the role of DNA modification, genomic imprinting, X chromosome inactivation, nuclear cloning, and, most recently, the nature of stem cells. The Jaenisch laboratory has used therapeutic cloning and gene therapy to rescue mice having a genetic defect and more recently, using a technique for turning skin cells into stem cells, they have cured mice of sickle cell anemia -- the first direct proof that the easily obtained cells can reverse an inherited disease.