Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte

Professor, Gene Expression Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies and Adjunct Professor, Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California San Diego

Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte rolls back cells’ development to a pluripotent state by improving the methodologies originally described in 2006. In addition, he follows new, more flexible strategies with the goal of providing safer and higher quality products for regenerative medicine. Izpisua Belmonte has spearheaded the development of new techniques to switch cells from one type—such as skin cells—to another type, from blood to brain to kidney, all the while eliminating the need for pluripotent cells. Most notably, Izpisua Belmonte has translated reprogramming technologies to encourage regeneration in living animals in order to, for example, heal infarcted hearts without cell transplantation. All these methods pave the way for stem cell therapies for a plethora of conditions.

Izpisua Belmonte has also created new ways to alter the genes inside stem cells, potentially allowing researchers to create personalized, “corrected” cells that can be transplanted into a patient to cure inherited disease. He showed the approach works with diseases, including premature aging syndromes, blood disorders and Parkinson’s disease. The platforms generated by Izpisua Belmonte could be used to correct countless other mutations in stem cell lines and treat other genetic disorders.

Research Activities and Funding

Generation of functional human organs and tissues using interspecific blastocyst complementation
NIH DP1DK113616Sep 30, 2016 - Jul 31, 2021
Role: Principal Investigator

Improving cell fate conversion by tracking cells and RNA over time and space
NIH/NHLBI R01HL123755May 5, 2015 - Apr 30, 2019
Role: Principal Investigator

NIH/NHLBI U01HL107442Jul 15, 2011 - Jun 30, 2017
Role: Principal Investigator

Reconstruction and Modeling of Networks Involved in Cardiomyocyte Differentiation
NIH R33HL088293Aug 1, 2007 - Jan 31, 2011
Role: Principal Investigator


  • –present
    Adjunct Professor Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California San Diego