THE GERON CORPORATION is a biopharmaceutical company located in Menlo Park, California. Geron was founded in 1990 by Dr. Michael West with a mission to research cellular mechanisms of aging and to advance the study of telomerase. The name Geron comes from the Greek meaning “old man.” In 1995 West approached Dr. James Thomson at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, with an offer to provide funding for Thomson's research to isolate stem cells from six—day-old embryos left over from in vitro fertilization. Of the 36 embryos the University of Wisconsin team used, 14 developed to the blastocyst stage, and from these embryos, the inner cell mass was used to establish five human cell lines, two of which were female and three of which were male. In 1996 West approached Dr. John Gearhart at Johns Hopkins University with an offer to provide funding for Dr. Gearhart's research to isolate primordial germ ...