George Q. Daley, M.D., Ph.D.

George Q. Daley, M.D., Ph.D.

Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Boston Children's Hospital
George Q. Daley photo courtesy of HMS

George Q. Daley, dean of Harvard Medical School and the Caroline Shields Walker Professor of Medicine at HMS, is an expert in stem cell science and cancer biology and a longtime member of the HMS faculty whose work spans the fields of basic science and clinical medicine.

The Daley lab seeks to translate insights in stem cell biology into improved therapies for genetic and malignant diseases. Important research contributions from his laboratory include the creation of customized stem cells to treat genetic immune deficiency in a mouse model (together with Rudolf Jaenisch), the differentiation of germ cells from embryonic stem cells (cited as a “Top Ten Breakthrough” by Science magazine in 2003), and the generation of disease-specific pluripotent stem cells by direct reprogramming of human fibroblasts (cited in the “Breakthrough of the Year” issue of Science magazine in 2008).

As a graduate student working with Nobelist Dr. David Baltimore, Dr. Daley demonstrated that the BCR/ABL oncogene induces chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in a mouse model, which validated BCR/ABL as a target for drug blockade and encouraged the development of imatinib (GleevecTM; Novartis), a revolutionary magic-bullet chemotherapy that induces remissions in virtually every CML patient. Dr. Daley’s later studies clarified mechanisms of imatinib resistance and informed development of next generation kinase inhibitors that rescued patients with imatinib-resistant disease.

Dr. Daley received his bachelor's degree magna cum laude from Harvard University (1982), a Ph.D. in biology from MIT (1989), and the M.D. from Harvard Medical School, where he was the tenth individual in the school’s history to be awarded the degree summa cum laude (1991). He served as Chief Resident in Internal Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital (94-95) and has served as a staff physician in Hematology/Oncology at the Children's Hospital and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. He has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the American Association of Physicians, and the American Pediatric Societies, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Association for Cancer Research Academy. Dr. Daley was an inaugural winner of the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award for highly innovative research (2004) and has received the Judson Daland Prize from the American Philosophical Society for achievement in patient-oriented research, the E. Mead Johnson Award from the American Pediatric Society for contributions to stem cell research, and the E. Donnall Thomas Prize of the American Society for Hematology for advances in human induced pluripotent stem cells.

Prior to becoming dean, Dr. Daley was the Director of the Stem Cell Transplantation Program at Boston Children’s Hospital and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He has served as Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Medicine, and Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, Associate Director of Children’s Stem Cell Program, founding member of the Executive Committee of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and past-President of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (2007-2008).


Research Interest(s)