Ravi Majeti to take over when Irv Weissman steps down as director of Stanford’s Stem Cell Institute

June 10, 2022

By Christopher Vaughan

Today, Stanford School of Medicine Dean Lloyd Minor, MD, announced that after a long search, Ravi Majeti, MD, PhD, will be appointed as the new director of the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. Majeti will take over for Irv Weissman, MD, who is stepping down as founding director of the institute after almost two decades. Majeti is the RZ Cao Professor of Medicine and chief of Stanford’s Division of Hematology. He will step into the role of director on September 1, Minor said.

“In his time at Stanford Medicine, Prof. Majeti has contributed to many breakthrough research projects,” Minor said. “Scientifically, he has been a leader in the characterization of leukemia stem cells in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and has been a pioneer in the identification and investigation of pre-leukemic hematopoietic stem cells in this disease.” Majeti also served as co-principal investigator on a multiple-year effort to discover, develop and bring to clinical trials the CD-47 monoclonal antibody, which targets AML and other cancers. “Beyond his research, Dr. Majeti has proven himself a strategic and collaborative leader,” Minor added.

Weissman has served as director of the institute since its founding in 2002. Weissman is the Virginia and D. K. Ludwig Professor of Clinical Investigation in Cancer Research. Weissman will remain as an active faculty member and will continue to do research. Weissman has said that he will be stepping away from being director of the institute in order to devote himself more fully to conducting a definitive clinical trial for a breast cancer therapy that showed great promise in a small clinical trial over two decades ago. 

“My first objective is to bring cancer-free autologous HSC transplants to patients with metastatic disease following essentially lethal high dose chemotherapy, as we did 25 years ago,” Weissman said. 

Majeti said he is “honored and excited” to have the opportunity to lead the institute in the coming years. “The stem cell field is poised to make major advances in biology and medicine, and our Institute and investigators will be major contributors,” Majeti said. “It is an exciting time for the field and for Stanford.”