Meet The Founder and Director

James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D.

As its founder and current Director, Dr. Sherley leads Asymmetrex with a mission of advancing emerging adult stem cell tissue technologies to applications in clinical drug discovery and cellular medicine. Asymmetrex is the developer and holder of a rich portfolio of recently issued patents for biotechnologies for the quantification and production of human adult tissue stem cells.

Asymmetrex is led by James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D. an award winning and highly respected scientist.   Dr. Sherley founded Asymmetrex in October 2013. The company was originally named The Adult Stem Cell Technology Center, as a continuation of the academic research center that he established as a Senior Scientist at Boston Biomedical Research Institute in 2009.  Dr. Sherley is a graduate from Harvard College in 1980 with a B.A. degree in biology. He completed a joint M.D. and Ph.D. program from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1988.  After post-doctoral studies at Princeton University, he joined the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia as a principal investigator in 1991.  In 1998, he moved to the faculty at the Department of Biological Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he pursued the new discipline of adult stem cell biological engineering. Dr. Sherley has won numerous awards and accolades, including the 1993 Pew Scholars in Biomedical Research Award, the 2003 Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar Award in Aging Research, and the 2006 NIH Director’s Pioneer Award. Dr. Sherley has spent twenty years in regenerative biology and stem cell medicine fields. He has focused on elucidating mechanisms responsible for the specialized renewal properties of adult stem cells and using this knowledge to address major research problems limiting the development of adult stem cells for biomedicine. Read or download Dr. James Sherley’s entire curriculum vitae here.

Post-doctoral Research

  • Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ (1988-1991)


  • The Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Baltimore, MD. Both M.D. and Ph.D. in Molecular Biology (1980-1988)

  • Harvard College, Cambridge, MA, B.A. in Biology (1976-1980)

  • Director, Asymmetrex, Boston, MA (2013-Present)

  • Director, The Adult Stem Cell Technology Center, Boston Biomedical Research Institute, Watertown, MA (2009-2013)

  • Senior Scientist, Boston Biomedical Research Institute, Programs in Regenerative Biology and Cancer Biology (2007-2013)

  • Associate Professor, Department of Biological Engineering,  Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA (2003-2007)

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Engineering,  Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA (1998-2003)

  • Associate Member, Department of Molecular Oncology, Division of Medical Science, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA (1991-1998)

  • Associate Professor, Rhode Island Hospital, Department of Hematology-Oncology, Brown University (2013-present)

  • Adjunct Professor, School of Engineering and Technology, Hampton University, Hampton, VA (2011-present)

  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN (2003-present)

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN (1993-2003)

  • Harvard Medical School Biomedical Science Careers Program Honor Roll for Service to Students (2009)

  • NIH Director’s Pioneer Award (2006)

  • Science Spectrum Trailblazer Award (2006)

  • Mentor Recognition Award, University of California, San Diego (2005)

  • MIT Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award (2005)

  • Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar Award (2003)

  • Month of August Featured Scholar on Pew Scholars Program Homepage (2002)

  • Pew Scholars Science and Society Institute Inductee (2001)

  • Samuel A. Goldblith Career Development Professorship (2000-2003)

  • MIT Charles E. Reed Faculty Initiatives Fund Recipient (1999, 2001)

  • Pew Scholar Award in the Biomedical Sciences (1993)

  • The Iacocca Family Foundation, “Accelerating Industrial Development of Bioengineered Stem Cell Transplantation Therapies for Type I Diabetes”  $450,000 total direct costs (7/11-9/13)

  • NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, 1DP1OD000805 (OD)  “Pioneering Human Adult Stem Cell Discovery and Cellular Medicine” $4,000,000 total costs (10/06-9/11)

  • NIH-National Center for Research Resources, Shared Instrumentation Grant, “Amnis ImageStream System” $431,500.00 total costs (2010)

  • Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar Award In Aging Research, “Identification of Chemical Age Spots on Immortal DNA Strands” $904,970 total costs (10/03-10/08)

  • NIH-NIEHS R01, “Kinetotoxic Mechanisms of Environmental Carcinogens” $1,321,000 total costs (12/03-12/08)

  • MIT Center for Cancer Research Koch Research Award, “Investigation of an Adult Stem Cell Signature in Cancer Cells” $50,000 total costs (3/06-2/07)

  • Cambridge Isotope Laboratories, Inc. Research Award,  “Adult Stem Cell Identification and Aging” $5,000 total costs (8/05-8/06)

  • MIT Center for Cancer Research Pilot Grant, “Investigation of HSCs as Targets for Human Carcinogenesis $72,900 total costs (7/05-7/06)

  • MIT-Center for Cancer Research Koch Award, “Non-Random Chromosome Segregation and Cancer Mechanisms” $100,000 total costs (2/03-8/03)

  • MIT-Center for Environmental Health Sciences, “Molecular Markers for Adult Stem Cells”  $25,000 total costs (8/02-6/03)

  • MIT-BPEC (NSF) “Research for Adult Stem Cell Expansion” $300,000 total costs (6/00-6/03)

  • MIT Charles E. Reed Faculty Initiatives Fund,  “Stem Cell Mice” $50,000 total costs (7/01-12/02)

  • NIH Prog. Announcement in Cancer Prevention R03, “The Plasma Purine Ratio: A New Biomarker for Cancer Risk” $100,000 total direct costs (1/01-12/02)

  • MIT-CEHS Pilot Grant for Kinetotoxic Carcinogen Research,  $25,000 total costs  (6/01-5/02)

  • MIT Charles E. Reed Faculty Initiatives Fund, $50,000 total costs (7/99-12/99)

  • Fox Chase Cancer Center, NCI Institutional Pilot Grant,  $22,400 total direct costs (7/96-6/97)

  • Fox Chase Cancer Center, Breast Cancer Program Pilot Grant, $25,000 total direct costs (1/96-9/96)

  • Pew Scholar Award in the Biomedical Sciences,  $200,000 total direct costs (7/93-7/97)

  • W. W. Smith Charitable Trust,  $71,000 total direct costs (4/93-4/95)

  • National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute R01, $403,200 total direct costs  (1/93-1/97)

  • U. S. Healthcare, Incorporated Research Grant $300,000 total direct costs  (1/92-1/97)


  • NIH- National Human Genome Research Institute, “Molecular and Genomic Imaging Center” Subproject: “Applications of Polony Tech. To Adult Stem Cell Function” $1,164,688 total direct costs (4/04-4/10)

  • NIH-National Human Genome Research Institute STTR, “Multi-dim. Bio-Informatics for Genomic Data” $30,000 total costs (2004-05)

  • DuPont-MIT Alliance “Informatics-Enhanced Tissue MicroArray Biosensor for Environmental Agents: Human Liver Stem Cell Expansion in Culture” Subproject: “Expansion of Human Adult Liver Stem Cells” $505,000 total costs (9/00-8/04)

  • Defense Advance Research Program Agency, “Vascularized Tissue Sensors for Generic Toxin and Pathogen Detection” Salary support (8/98-7/02)

  • Rohm and Haas-Sponsored Fox Chase Cancer Center “Summer Fellowship for Underrepresented Scholars in Science” $10,000 total direct costs (Author and co-director- 1998)

  • NSF-Research Centers in Minority Institutions Meharry Medical College $229,304 total direct costs (9/94-8/97)

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