Sally Temple

Sally Temple

Research Professor; Scientific Director, Principal Investigator and Co-Founder, Neural Stem Cell Institute
School of Public Health
Department of Biomedical Sciences
The RNA Institute
A portrait of Sally Temple.

Dr. Sally Temple is the Scientific Director of the Neural Stem Cell Institute, and oversees scientific programs with the goal of understanding the role of neural stem cells in Central Nervous System (CNS) development, maintenance, and repair. A native of York, England, Dr. Temple leads a team of 30 researchers focused on using neural stem cells to develop therapies for eye, brain, and spinal cord disorders. In 2008, she was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship Award for her contribution and future potential in the neural stem cell field.

Dr. Temple received her undergraduate degree from Cambridge University, Cambridge UK, specializing in developmental biology and neuroscience. She performed her PhD work in optic nerve development at University College London, UK. She received a Royal Society fellowship to support her postdoctoral work at Columbia University, NY where she focused on spinal cord development.

In 1989, Dr. Temple discovered that the embryonic mammalian brain contained a rare stem cell that could be activated to proliferate in vitro and produce both neurons and glia. Since then, her lab has continued to make pioneering contributions to the field of stem cell research, by characterizing neural stem cells and the intrinsic and environmental factors that regulate their behavior. Her lab’s research on the characterization of neural stem and progenitors brings us closer to developing effective clinical treatments for central nervous system damage in which tissue is lost, for example, due to neurodegenerative diseases or trauma.

As the Scientific Director of NSCI, Dr. Temple oversees the research mission from basic to translational projects. Dr. Temple is a member of the board of directors and is a past president of the International Society for Stem Cell Research.