The following is a brief timeline of stem cell research breakthroughs, which includes sources from all over the web, including Stem Cell History’s more detailed timeline.
1908 – The term “stem cell” was proposed for scientific use by the Russian histologist Alexander Maksimov (1874–1928) at congress of hematologic society in Berlin. It postulated existence of haematopoietic stem cells.
1960s – Joseph Altman and Gopal Das present scientific evidence of adult neurogenesis, ongoing stem cell activity in the brain; their reports contradict Cajal’s “no new neurons” dogma and are largely ignored.
1963 – McCulloch and Till illustrate the presence of self-renewing cells in mouse bone marrow.
1968 – Bone marrow transplant between two siblings successfully treats SCID.
1978 – Haematopoietic stem cells are discovered in human cord blood.
1981 – Mouse embryonic stem cells are derived from the inner cell mass by scientists Martin Evans, Matthew Kaufman, and Gail R. Martin. Gail Martin is attributed for coining the term “Embryonic Stem Cell”.
1992 – Neural stem cells are cultured in vitro as neurospheres.
1997 – Leukemia is shown to originate from a haematopoietic stem cell, the first direct evidence for cancer stem cells.
1998 – James Thomson and coworkers derive the first human embryonic stem cell line at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
2000s – Several reports of adult stem cell plasticity are published.
2001 – Scientists at Advanced Cell Technology clone first early (four- to six-cell stage) human embryos for the purpose of generating embryonic stem cells.
2003 – Dr. Songtao Shi of NIH discovers new source of adult stem cells in children’s primary teeth.
2004–2005 – Korean researcher Hwang Woo-Suk claims to have created several human embryonic stem cell lines from unfertilised human oocytes. The lines were later shown to be fabricated.
2005 – Researchers at Kingston University in England claim to have discovered a third category of stem cell, dubbed cord-blood-derived embryonic-like stem cells (CBEs), derived from umbilical cord blood. The group claims these cells are able to differentiate into more types of tissue than adult stem cells.
August 2006 – Rat Induced pluripotent stem cells: the journal Cell publishes Kazutoshi Takahashi and Shinya Yamanaka.
October 2006 – Scientists at Newcastle University in England create the first ever artificial liver cells using umbilical cord blood stem cells.
January 2007 – Scientists at Wake Forest University led by Dr. Anthony Atala and Harvard University report discovery of a new type of stem cell in amniotic fluid. This may potentially provide an alternative to embryonic stem cells for use in research and therapy.
June 2007 – Research reported by three different groups shows that normal skin cells can be reprogrammed to an embryonic state in mice. In the same month, scientist Shoukhrat Mitalipov reports the first successful creation of a primate stem cell line through somatic cell nuclear transfer
October 2007 – Mario Capecchi, Martin Evans, and Oliver Smithies win the 2007 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for their work on embryonic stem cells from mice using gene targeting strategies producing genetically engineered mice (known as knockout mice) for gene research.
November 2007 – Human Induced pluripotent stem cells: Two similar papers released by their respective journals prior to formal publication: in Cell by Kazutoshi Takahashi and Shinya Yamanaka, “Induction of Pluripotent Stem Cells from Adult Human Fibroblasts by Defined Factors”, and in Science by Junying Yu, et al., from the research group of James Thomson, “Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Lines Derived from Human Somatic Cells”: pluripotent stem cells generated from mature human fibroblasts. It is possible now to produce a stem cell from almost any other human cell instead of using embryos as needed previously, albeit the risk of tumorigenesis due to c-myc and retroviral gene transfer remains to be determined.
January 2008 – Robert Lanza and colleagues at Advanced Cell Technology and UCSF create the first human embryonic stem cells without destruction of the embryo.
January 2008 – Development of human cloned blastocysts following somatic cell nuclear transfer with adult fibroblasts
February 2008 – Generation of Pluripotent Stem Cells from Adult Mouse Liver and Stomach: these iPS cells seem to be more similar to embryonic stem cells than the previous developed iPS cells and not tumorigenic, moreover genes that are required for iPS cells do not need to be inserted into specific sites, which encourages the development of non-viral reprogramming techniques.
March 2008 – The first published study of successful cartilage regeneration in the human knee using autologous adult mesenchymal stem cells is published by Clinicians from Regenerative Sciences.
October 2008 – Sabine Conrad and colleagues at Tübingen, Germany generate pluripotent stem cells from spermatogonial cells of adult human testis by culturing the cells in vitro under leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) supplementation.
30 October 2008 – Embryonic-like stem cells from a single human hair.
This timeline ends in 2008, but many breakthroughs have occurred since. We encourage you to research numerous portals in your quest for stem cell knowledge as we update this page. Stem Cell History is a good place to start!