Rudolf Jaenisch is a Professor of Biology at MIT and a founding member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. He uses pluripotent cells (ES and iPS cells) to study the genetic and epigenetic basis of human diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, autism and cancer. Jaenisch received his doctorate in medicine from the University of Munich in 1967. Before coming to Whitehead, he was head of the Department of Tumor Virology at the Heinrich Pette Institute at the University of Hamburg. He has coauthored more than 375 research papers and has received numerous prizes and recognitions, including an appointment to the National Academy of Sciences in 2003.