Leadership Team

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    Joel Pachter, Ph.D

    Professor Pachter is an expert in the fields of neuroinflammatory, neurodegenerative and cerebrovascular diseases. His research focuses on the mechanism of homeostasis of the central nervous system (CNS), especially on the blood brain barrier (BBB) of the CNS and alterations and damages in the BBB in neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis, AIDS dementia complex and Alzheimer disease. Professor Pachter is a permanent member of the Brain Injuries and Neurovascular Pathologies study section at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and serves as ad hoc reviewer. He is also on the editorial board of Microvascular Research, and currently sits on a study section at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Professor Pachter has been collaborating with ImStem on the mechanism of action of T-MSC in treating multiple sclerosis.


    Professor Pachter received his PhD from the Department of Pharmacology, New York University School of Medicine. Following that, he completed a NIH-sponsored postdoctoral fellowship in the department of Physiological Chemistry at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He serves as Full Professor in the Department of Cell Biology at the University of Connecticut Health Center.

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    Troy Lund M.D., Ph.D

    Dr. Lund is an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics and a faculty member in the Division of Blood and Marrow Transplantation at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He also works as a pediatric blood and marrow transplant physician at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital Pediatric Specialty Care Journey Clinic, specializing in treating adrenoleukodystrophy, leukemia and lymphoma.  Dr. Lund’s research interest lies in rare genetic diseases such as the cerebral form of adrenoleukodystrophy (cALD), Hunter syndrome, and Metachromatic Leukodystrophy, the pathophysiological mechanisms of those diseases and the application of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) as a treatment. His particular interest is exploring how an autoimmune reaction may trigger the cALD, the most serious form of adrenoleukodystrophy. He has conducted investigations on one of the largest cohorts of cALD patients who have received HSCT. For his contributions in the medical field, he was recognized as "Top Doctor" in St. Paul Magazine for two consecutive years since 2020. ImStem is currently in collaboration with Dr. Lund on stem cell therapy for cALD.


    Dr. Lund obtained his PhD in Cancer Biology from University of South Florida, Moffitt Cancer Centre. Prior to that, he received his MS in Medical Sciences from School of Medicine at the same university. Dr Lund received his MD and subsequently completed residency in Pediatrics and fellowship in Hematology/Oncology and Blood and Marrow Transplantation at University of Minnesota Medical School.

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    Jeffery Cohen M.D.

    Dr. Cohen is an expert in stem cell therapy and one of the top global Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) in multiple sclerosis (MS). He is a certified neurologist and has been working at Cleveland Clinic's Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis Treatment and Research for more than 20 years. He is a Director of Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis Treatment and Research, a Director of the Clinical Neuroimmunology Fellowship, a Professor at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University, and a distinguished member of American Neurological Association. Since joining Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Cohen has designed and conducted a large number of MS clinical trials, such as the Avonex Combination Trial, which is a large multi-center trial to investigate interferon beta-1a in combination with other drugs. Subsequently, he helped design and run one of the Phase 3 trials of the now-approved drug, fingolimod, the first oral treatment approved for MS. Since 2011, Dr. Cohen has been exploring novel cell therapies in treating a more severe form of the disease: progressive MS, completing a Phase I Autologous Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC) Transplantation clinical trial in MS. Dr. Cohen has over 180 publications about immunologic, clinical and research aspects of multiple sclerosis.


    Dr. Cohen obtained his bachelor’s degree in Zoology at Connecticut College. He received his M.D. at the Medical School of University of Chicago. Following medical school, he completed his internship, residency, and fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania.

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    Hongkui Deng Ph.D.

    Professor Deng is a world’s leading cell biologist and is best known for using small chemicals to reprogram adult cells into pluripotent stem cells. Professor Deng was awarded the prestigious Cheung Kong Scholarship and Changjiang Professorship at Peking University in China, and he serves as Director of the Peking University Stem Cell Research Center and a senior investigator at the Center for Life Sciences at Peking University.


    At Peking University, Dr. Deng first worked on the differentiation of human embryonic stem cells into beta cells to treat diabetes. Then he utilized his expertise in infectious diseases during the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak, conducting research on SARS treatment and vaccine(s). Most recently, Dr. Deng and his collaborator generated CCR5-ablated hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs), which were resistant to the HIV infection, using CRISPR gene-editing technology, and transplanted them into a patient with HIV and leukemia. They have demonstrated, for the first time, the safety of CRISPR-based genome editing in the context of human gene therapy. He won $1.9 million dollars from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Grand Challenges in Global Health for a proposal to use stem cells to create mouse models for testing HIV and hepatitis C vaccines. The journal Nature reported this science breakthrough in its Nature's 10 list of people who mattered in science in 2019.


    Dr. Deng earned his Bachelor’s degree in science from Wuhan University in China. He then received his master’s degree at Shanghai Second Medical College before coming to the United States to enroll in a Ph.D. program in immunology at the University of California, Los Angeles. After graduation, he completed his postdoctoral fellowship at New York University. He had served as the Research Director of the stem cell company ViaCell in Cambridge, Massachusetts and as a Member of Scientific Advisory Board at Stemgent, Inc.