Sheng Ding, PhD
Senior Investigator, Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease

Other Professional Titles

William K. Bowes, Jr. Distinguished Investigator
Professor, University of California, San Francisco, Pharmaceutical Chemistry


(415) 734-2717


(415) 355-0141


Sue Cammack
(415) 734-2713

On The Web

Areas of Investigation

Our laboratory is interested in developing and applying innovative chemical approaches to stem cell biology and regeneration. Our work focuses on discovering and characterizing novel small molecules that can control cell fate and function in numerous cell types, including stem cell maintenance, activation, differentiation, and reprogramming in various developmental stages and tissues. Our current works have focused on screening the chemical libraries to identify and further characterize small molecules that can control stem cell fate in various systems.

Lab Focus

Self-renewal regulation of embryonic and adult stem cells
Directed and step-wised differentiation of embryonic stem cells toward neuronal, cardiac and pancreatic lineages
Subtype specification of human tissue-specific stem/progenitor cells
Cellular plasticity and reprogramming of lineage-restricted somatic cells to alternative cell fate (e.g., toward iPSCs or transdifferentiation)
Functional proliferation of adult cardiomyocytes and pancreatic beta cells
Developmental signaling pathways (i.e. Wnt, Hh, BMP and FGF) and epigenetic mechanisms (histone and DNA de/methylation)
Development of new technologies for drug discovery


Developed the first protein-transduction technology for induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) reprogramming and generated the first protein-induced pluripotent stem (piPS) cells from somatic cells without using any genetic materials. This method and such piPS cells provide safer cells for personalized regenerative medicine and more effective platform for human disease modeling.
First discovered a series of small molecules and conditions that can replace reprogramming transcription factors and enhance reprogramming efficiency in generating iPS cells from somatic cells.
Developed a novel-reprogramming paradigm for generating heart, brain and pancreatic cells directly from skin fibroblasts.
First developed a method for generating a novel type of human pluripotent stem cells that represents an earlier pluripotency (naïve) stage and a true equivalent of classic murine ESCs. These novel human pluripotent stem cells may serve as better materials for regenerative medicine.
First identified a number of different synthetic small molecules that can control cell fate, including stem cell self-renewal, differentiation, lineage-specific reprogramming and developmental and disease pathways.


  • Fate Therapeutics, Inc. (Co-founder and Member of Scientific Advisory Board)
  • Stemgent, Inc. (Co-founder and Member of Scientific Advisory Board)
  • American Chemical Society 

  • American Society for Cell Biology 

  • International Society for Stem Cell Research
  • Journal of Medical Chemistry (Editorial Board)
  • Journal of Biological Chemistry (Editorial Board)
  • Stem Cells Translational Medicine (Editorial Board)
  • Stem Cells Reviews and Reports (Editorial Board)

Professional titles

William K. Bowes, Jr. Distinguished Investigator
Professor, University of California, San Francisco, Pharmaceutical Chemistry


  • California Institute of Technology
  • The Scripps Research Institute

Honors and Awards

2012 San Francisco Business Times 40 Under 40
2010 Named one of the 100 most inspiring people in the life-science industry by PharmaVoice
2010 NIH Transformative RO1
2009 #1 of Top 10 Innovations, and Top 5 People in 2009 by the Scientist Magazine
2008 Prostate Cancer Foundation Challenge Award
2008 New Faculty Award, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine