Most scientists toil away in relative obscurity, conducting research and producing papers that may be read by a handful of people. But the work this UW-Madison scientist has done and is doing could change the world.
In 1998, Thomson's lab reported that it had successfully isolated human embryonic stem cells providing revolutionary new avenues for basic research, drug development, disease treatment and even tissue regeneration.
At times, Thomson has been put in the unwelcome role of defending his work against ideologues who equate using cells from embryos that would otherwise be destroyed with, as one especially kooky state lawmaker put it, "creating babies to experiment on."
They gave Galileo and Darwin a hard time too.