Alan Colman is currently a Research Director in the A*STAR Institute of Medical Biology and also Executive Director of the Singapore Stem Cell Consortium. His research involves the use of human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) lines to investigate the pathophysiology of human congenital disease. Currently the lab focuses on diseases of premature ageing, central nervous system monogenic disease, and heart compliants such as dilated cardiomyopathy.
Alan Colman obtained a BA degree in Biochemistry in Oxford (1971) and a PhD under John Gurdon, a pioneer of the field of nuclear transfer, at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK (1974). After a series of academic appointments in Oxford and Warwick Universities, he became Professor of Biochemistry in the University Of Birmingham, UK. The focus of his academic career was the area of eukaryotic protein secretion, with a particular emphasis on the use of frog oocytes and eggs as in vivo test tubes.
From 1987 until March 2002, he was the research director of the company PPL Therapeutics in Edinburgh, UK. This company specialized in the production of transgenic livestock that produced human therapeutic proteins in their milk. PPL attracted considerable media attention because of its participation, together with the Roslin Institute, in the technique of somatic nuclear transfer. This work led to Dolly, the world's first sheep cloned from an adult somatic cell (1996), Polly and Molly, the first cloned transgenic livestock (1997), Diana and Cupid, the first livestock with targeted genetic changes (2000), Millie et al., the first cloned pigs (2000) and, finally, Austin and crew, the first homozygous alpha-gal-transferase knock-out pigs (2003).
From April 2002 - June 2007, he worked for the Singapore-based company, ES Cell International (ESI), first as its Chief Scientific Officer (April 2002 - February 2005) and then its Chief Executive Officer (February 2005 - June 2007). ESI specialized in the development of human embryonic stem cell-based therapies for the treatment of diabetes and congestive heart failure.