Esmail Zanjani

23 Sep
The sheep have 15 percent human cells and 85 percent animal cells and their evolution brings the prospect of animal organs being transplanted into humans one step closer.
Zanjani, has spent seven years and about 9.8 million dollars perfecting the technique, which involves injecting adult human cells into a sheep’s fetus.
He has already created a sheep liver which has a large proportion of human cells and eventually hopes to precisely match a sheep to a transplant patient, using their own stem cells to create their own flock of sheep.
The process would involve extracting stem cells from the donor’s bone marrow and injecting them into the peritoneum of a sheep’s fetus.
When the lamb is born, two months later, it would have a liver, heart, lungs and brain that are partly human and available for transplant.


Department of Agriculture, Nutrition and Veterinary Sciences

University of Nevada/Mail Stop 202
1664 North Virginia Street
Reno, Nevada 89557

Office: (775) 784-7737

Fax: 784-7736

View Larger Map Building: Max Fleischmann Agriculture, Office 103

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B.S. Biology, 1964, New York University
M.S. Biology, 1966, New York University
Ph.D. Experimental Hematology, 1969, New York University


  • 1979 – Research Career Scientist (Department of Veterans Affairs)
  • 1997 – M.E.R.I.T. Award, NHLBI, NIH
  • 1998-’02 Member, NIH Hematology I Study Section
  • 1998- Associate Editor, Experimental Hematology
  • 2000 – Associate Editor, Journal of Hematology and Stem Cell Research
  • 2001 – President, Internal Society for Experimental Hematology


  • Journals

Almeida-Porada, M. G., Zanjani, E. D., Porada, C. D. 2010, Bone Marrow Stem Cells and Liver Regeneration., Experimental Hematoloy / Elsevier, 38(7), 574-580.
Porada, C. D., Sanada, C., Long, C. R., Wood, J. A., Desai, J., Frederick, N., Millsap, L., Bormann, C., Menges, S. L., Hann, C., Flores-Foxworth, G., Shin, T., Westhusin, M. E., Liu, W., Glimp, H., Zanjani, E. D., Lozier, J. N., Pliska, V., Stranzinger, G., Joerg, H., Kraemer, D. C., Almeida-Porada, M. G. 2010, Clinical and molecular characterization of a re-established line of sheep exhibiting hemophilia A., Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, 8(2), 276-285.
Colletti, E. J., Airey, J. A., Liu, W., Simmons, P. J., Zanjani, E. D., Porada, C. D., Almeida-Porada, M. G. 2009, Generation of tissue-specific cells from MSC does not require fusion or donor-to-host mitochondrial/membrane transfer., Stem Cell Research, 2(2), 125-138.
Human mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) hold great promise for cellular replacement therapies. Despite their contributing to phenotypically distinct cells in multiple tissues, controversy remains regarding whether the phenotype switch results from a true differentiation process. Here, we studied the events occurring during the first 120 h after human MSC transplantation into a large animal model. We demonstrate that MSC, shortly after engrafting different tissues, undergo proliferation and rapidly initiate the differentiative process, changing their phenotype into tissue-specific cells. Thus, the final level of tissue-specific cell contribution is not determined solely by the initial level of engraftment of the MSC within that organ, but rather by the proliferative capability of the ensuing tissue-specific cells into which the MSC rapidly differentiate. Furthermore, we show that true differentiation, and not cell fusion or transfer of mitochondria or membrane-derived vesicles between transplanted and resident cells, is the primary mechanism contributing to the change of phenotype of MSC upon transplantation.

  • Book or Chapter(s) in Books

Flake, A. W., Zanjani, E. D. 2009, In Utero Transplantation, F.R. Applebaum, S.J. Forman, R.S. Negrin, and K.G. Blume (Ed.), Thomas’ Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, 4th Edition (pp. Chapter 40; pages 577-589). West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.

Stem Cell Transplantation 225x300

Click on picture to buy and have more details about this book

Book Description

Publication Date: September 4, 2006 | ISBN-10: 3527310185 | ISBN-13: 978-3527310180 | Edition: 1
This is the first handbook on the whole field of stem cell research covering (1) molecular and cellular fundamentals, (2) clinical applications and (3) GMP processing. It provides a timely overview of the potential and plasticity of adult stem cells. With its focus on standardization and quality control of cell lines suited for processing and clinical trials, the book features novel therapeutic approaches that offer great promise for new ways of treating neural, hematological and cardiovascular diseases.
The editors are leading international experts in adult stem cell research, and their successful networking in the US and Europe has resulted in a distinguished team of authors from around the world.

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