James Edgar Till (1931– )
James Edgar Till is a biophysicist known for establishing the existence of stem cells along with Ernest McCulloch in 1963. Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can shift, or differentiate, into specialized types of cells and serve as a repair system in the body by dividing indefinitely to replenish other cells. Till’s work with stem cells in bone marrow, which produces the body’s blood cells, helped form the field of modern hematology, a medical discipline that focuses on diseases related to the blood. He also worked on issues in the medical field including patient inclusion in clinical trials, matters of effective and ineffective clinical communication, and limitations of public access to medical and scientific research. Till’s work with stem cells furthered scientists’ understanding of abnormal blood cell development, which helped set the foundation for regenerative medicine.