Ronald McKay, Ph.D.

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Ronald McKay, Ph.D.


Director for Basic Science, Lieber Institute for Brain Development
Johns Hopkins University Medical School

Dr. McKay’s achievements in research are at the heart of stem cell biology. He discovered a new class of the founding pluripotent stem cell in early embryo and neural stem cells in the central nervous system. This work led to the first demonstrations that stem cells could be used as a source of functional dopamine neurons, hepatocytes and pancreatic islets, holding the potential for cell therapies that may be able to treat diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and liver disease. He is currently focused on using stem cell technologies to determine the intersection between genetic and developmental risk in brain and behavior disorders.

Dr. McKay received a B.Sc. and a Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh and did postdoctoral training at the University of Oxford. He joined the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in 1978 and MIT faculty in 1984. In 1993, he joined the National Institutes of Health and in 2010, joined the Lieber Institute for Brain Development.