Wisconsin Discovery Portal

Researcher: James Thomson

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Areas of Expertise
  • Isolation and culture of non-human primate and human embryonic stem cells
  • Demonstrating the developmental potential of human ES cells in lineage-specific differentiation
  • How ES cells can form any cell in the body (pluripotency), and how an ES cell chooses between self renewal and the initial decision to differentiate
  • How a differentiated cell with limited developmental potential can be reprogrammed to a pluripotent cell
  • Examining the transcriptional networks in ES cells that mediate self-renewal and commitment to each of the basic lineages of the early embryo
  • Mapping the epigenome of ES cells and their early-differentiated derivatives as a participant in the San Diego Epigenome Center
  • Improving methods for generating human iPS cells, and correcting genetic defects in iPS cells generated from patients with degenerative retinal disease
  • Developing new strategies to convert human pluripotent stem and somatic cells into hematopoietic, vascular, and cardiac progenitor cells
  • Understanding clocking mechanisms that control developmental rates
Web Site James Thomson's University Web Page
Curriculum Vitae (CV)
Issued Patent(s)
  • 9,023,644 - FGF having enhanced stability, issued May 2015.
  • 8,785,189 - Method of forming dendritic cells from embryonic stem cells, issued July 2014.
  • 8,772,460 - Thermostable FGF-2 mutant having enhanced stability, issued July 2014.
  • 8,642,337 - Defined surfaces of self-assembled monolayers and stem cells, issued February 2014.
  • 8,440,461 - Reprogramming somatic cells using retroviral vectors comprising Oct-4 and Sox2 genes, issued May 2013.
USPTO Published Applications
  • 20150056698 - Primate embryonic stem cells, published February 2015.
  • 20140248699 - Erythroid cells producing adult-type beta-hemoglobin generated from human embryonic stem cells, published September 2014.
  • 20140057355 - Somatic cell reprogramming, published February 2014.
  • 20130236962 - Medium and culture of embryonic stem cells, published September 2013.
  • 20130230917 - Method of forming dendritic cells from embryonic stem cells, published September 2013.
Recent Publication(s)
  • EBSeq-HMM: A Bayesian approach for identifying gene-expression changes in ordered RNA-seq experiments. Leng N, Li Y, McIntosh BE, Nguyen BK, Duffin B, Tian S, Thomson JA, Dewey CN, Stewart R, Kendziorski C. Bioinformatics. 2015 Apr 5. pii: btv193. [Epub ahead of print].
  • A cost-effective RNA sequencing protocol for large-scale gene expression studies. Hou Z, Jiang P, Swanson SA, Elwell AL, Nguyen BK, Bolin JM, Stewart R, Thomson JA. Sci Rep. 2015 April 1;5:9570. doi: 10.1038/srep09570.
  • Chromatin architecture reorganization during stem cell differentiation. Dixon JR, Jung I, Selvaraj S, Shen Y, Antosiewicz-Bourget JE, Lee AY, Ye Z, Kim A, Rajagopal N, Xie W, Diao Y, Liang J, Zhao H, Lobanenkov VV, Ecker JR, Thomson JA, Ren B. Nature. 2015 February 19;518(7539):331-336. doi: 10.1038/nature14222.
  • Evaluation of de novo transcriptome assemblies from RNA-Seq data. Li B, Fillmore N, Bai Y, Collins M, Thomson JA, Stewart R, Dewey CN. Genome Biol. 2014 December 21;15(12):553. doi: 10.1186/s13059-014-0553-5.
Recent Artistic Works
  • Intra-University Collaboration: Statistics, Biostatistics and Medical Informatics
  • Genome Center of Wisconsin
  • University of California, San Diego, Bioinformatics and Systems Biology, Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Institute of Genomic Medicine, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research
  • Genome Sciences Centre, BC Cancer Research Center
  • University of California Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Tsinghua University, Life Sciences
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Laboratory of Immunogenetics
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Research Tools
  • Plasmids Available
Research Facilities
E-mail Address [email protected]
Phone Number 608-316-4348
Current University UW–Madison
Department Cell and Regenerative Biology
Title Professor
Other Appointments Director, Regenerative Biology, Morgridge Institute for Research
Address Line 1 Discovery Building
Address Line 2 330 North Orchard Street
City Madison
State WI
Zip Code 53706
Bachelor's Degree B.S., University of Illinois, Biophysics, 1981
Master's Degree
PhD Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Molecular Biology, 1988
Other Degrees VMD, University of Pennsylvania, 1985
Technologies Available for Licensing Differentiation and Purification of Neural Precursors from Human Embryonic Stem Cells

In Vitro Differentiation of Neural Stem Cells and Neurons from Human Embryonic Stem Cells

Culturing Human Embryonic Stem Cells in Well Defined and Controlled Conditions

Differentiation and Purification of Neural Precursors from Human Embryonic Stem Cells

Hematopoietic Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells

Method for Generating Primate Trophoblasts

Method of Forming Dendritic Cells from Embryonic Stem Cells

Method of Making Embryoid Bodies from Primate Embryonic Stem Cells

Multipotent Lymphohematopoietic Progenitor Cells

Serum-Free Cultivation of Primate Embryonic Stem Cells

Defined Surfaces of Self-Assembled Monolayers and Stem Cells