Our mission is to find cures for human diseases.

Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) scientists are working together across Harvard schools, centers, and teaching hospitals, harnessing the power of stem cells to change medicine for the better.

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HSCI bridges the gaps in traditional research funding to encourage bold thinking and launch scientific careers.

Through our disease programs, we channel world-class resources, both intellectual and technological, toward some of the most prevalent, devastating diseases for which stem cell research holds promise.

In addition, our seed grants and junior faculty programs provide funding for innovative, early-stage projects in stem cell research. This allows up-and-coming scientists to pursue "high risk/high reward" avenues of research that might be difficult to fund from other sources.

Melanocyte stem cells affected by overstimulation of the parasympathetic nerve
How does stress affect stem cells? Here, we see elaborate sympathetic innervation (magenta) around melanocyte stem cells (yellow). Acute stress has triggered the release of large amounts of norepinephrine, depleting the melanocyte stem cells and causing hair to lose color. Image courtesy of Hsu Laboratory, Harvard University

Graphical abstract

Out with the Old (Neurons), In with the New

New research from the lab of HSCI Principal Faculty Jeffrey Macklis finds that just a few thousand neurons orchestrate evolutionarily advanced forelimb and digit dexterity.

Man with gray hair, glasses and mustache wearing a white and blue button up shirt stands next to a woman with blonde hair wearing a blue zip up jacket. They are standing in a lab

Mutant Protein Switches Sides in Melanoma

A recent discovery of a new mechanism that influences melanoma development, led by HSCI Executive Committee Chair Len Zon, could have wide implications for other cancers.

HSCI has been breaking down barriers to collaboration in stem cell science since 2004. We provide fertile ground for more than 350 research faculty and their labs, across the university’s schools, centers, teaching hospitals, and partner companies, to share knowledge and pursue bold new ideas.

With Harvard as a wellspring of discovery and a strong network that embraces new ways of working, we are better equipped than ever to change human health in ways that will benefit all of society.

Company Startups

A key part of our mission is to move research out of the lab and into the clinic. Since our founding, we have been forging a clear path to translating discoveries into products that benefit patients. Now, we have the flexibility to organize people across institutions and sectors to tackle specific biological problems so we can make a lasting difference in people's lives.


HSCI faculty startups

researchers in lab

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