In This Section

Deborah L. French, PhD
Deborah French
Director, Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Core

Dr. French came to CHOP in 2008 to establish the Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Core in the Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics. She is an internationally recognized researcher involved in multi-investigator teams that utilize pluripotent stem cells for modeling human disease to study mechanism, development, and establish new therapeutic modalities.



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Dr. French’s primary research interest has been in the area of megakaryopoiesis and platelet biology. She is continuing this work using human pluripotent stem cells to study pediatric and adult genetic diseases, including hematological disorders.

The pluripotent stem cell technology represents a major breakthrough for studying disease because these cells express human genes of interest, they can be differentiated in vitro to the three germ layers and derivative tissues, they can be genetically manipulated, and they allow for easy access to cells for in-depth structural, functional, and molecular characterization. 

Dr. French is involved in a broad spectrum of projects using these cells to model human development and disease. Dr. French and her colleagues have shown a number of hematopoietic pathologies to be successfully recapitulated through differentiation of patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells, including Glanzmann thrombasthenia, Down syndrome, and juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia. In addition to using renewable sources of pluripotent stem cell-derived human hematopoietic lineages for therapeutic and investigative applications, she is genome editing pluripotent stem cells using the CRISPR-CAS9 technology. This technology is a major breakthrough enabling the generation of cells lines that are genetically identical except for the variant sequence of interest. The ability to generate isogenic lines has eliminated the clonal heterogeneity observed when comparing cell lines of different genetic backgrounds during differentiations to derivative tissues and downstream functional applications.

Dr. French's career achievements include:

  • Integrin structure/function studies and disease
  • Human pluripotent stem cell-derived megakaryopoiesis
  • Human disease modeling using pluripotent stem cells
  • Genome editing using CRISPR/CAS9 technology

Education and Training

BS, Purdue University (Microbiology), 1974

PhD, Rush University (Immunology), 1984

Fellowship, Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Immunology), 1989

Titles and Academic Titles

Director, Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Core

Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Professional Awards

Thrombosis Study Section, AHA 2002-2005

Editorial Board, Blood 2002-2006

Editorial Board, Stem Cell Research 2016

NIH Special Emphasis Panels 2017, 2019

Advisory Editor, Stem Journal 2019

President, Stem Cell COREdinates consortium 2019

Established Fellow of the New York Heart Association 1984-86

Catacosinos Young Investigator Award for Cancer Research 1989

Ilma F. Kern Fellow of the New York Heart Association 1997-2003        

The Charles Slaughter Foundation Award 1999-2002

Publication Highlights