Born in Toronto, the stem cell researcher studied biology in Heidelberg and did his doctorate there at the Centre for Molecular Biology, ZMBH. After two years as a research group leader at Boehringer Mannheim (now Roche) in Tutzing, he was a research assistant to Peter Gruss at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen for three years, and then led a research group at EMBL in Heidelberg for eight years. From 1999 to 2004 he was Professor of Reproductive Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Since 2004, he has been director at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine and professor at the University of Münster.
Hans Schöler’s main research focus is the biology of germ line cells. He has discovered a key factor for the pluripotency of human embryonic cells (Oct4) and is working on converting body cells back into pluripotent stem cells. He has been awarded numerous (inter)national honours, is an associate professor at the Hannover Medical School and Konkuk University in Seoul and a member of many academies of science, including the Leopoldina. He has led numerous research projects and has been awarded an Advanced Grant from the ERC, among others.