Forging the Future of Health

In the Birthplace of Stem Cell Medicine


The Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine (ISCRM) is a center of discovery linking a pioneering past to a future of profound possibilities. The Institute has its roots in the work of Nobel-prize winner Dr. E. Donnall Thomas, a University of Washington physician and researcher whose bone marrow transplants in cancer patients were the first use of stem cells in human medicine. That groundbreaking work helped mark the beginning of a new era in medical research.

Dr. Thomas had shown that stem cell-based medicine could transform the treatment of cancer. But that was just the beginning. In 2005, Dr. Randall Moon, Dr. Charles Murry, and Dr. Tony Blau embarked on a mission to explore the implications for other deadly diseases, including heart disease, Alzheimer’s and diabetes. Their vision energized the community: in a short period of time, they raised $26 million and united experts from multiple departments across the School of Medicine, Arts & Science, and Engineering. In 2006, they founded the Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine (ISCRM) at the University of Washington, determined to build on the region’s reputation as a global leader in stem cell research.

In August of 2008, ISCRM moved to Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, a sleepy warehouse district yet to become the  hub of innovation it is now. Ten years later, the UW Medicine South Lake Union Research Complex anchors a nexus of science, technology, and industry alongside Amazon, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the Seattle Children’s Research Institute, the Institute for Systems Biology, and the Infectious Disease Research Institute.

ISCRM is now one of the largest research institutes at the University of Washington. With six UW schools/colleges and thirty-eight different departments represented, ISCRM attracts researchers from around the world to work and study at its facilities and invites leaders in the field to deliver public lectures, encouraging global cross-pollination of ideas. The Institute has become a West Coast locus of  scientific discovery and training, home to more than 130 labs (including 50 at South Lake Union), many hundreds of undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral trainees and 100,000 square feet of lab space.