The five scientists we have invited to become members of the international committee have large experience as researchers, as well as in science management and in the evaluation of research proposals and scientific papers; they also know all or some of the PIs personally, have followed our work for many years (in three cases more than 10 years) and three of them have visited the center more than once.

Peter Lansdorp, MD, PhD is a Distinguished Scientist at Terry Fox Laboratory, Professor of Medicine at the University of British Columbia, both in Vancouver, Canada, and Scientific Director of the European Institute on the Biology of Aging, University of Groningen, in Groningen, The Netherlands. Professor Lansdorp is a renowned physician-scientist on stem cells with ~250 publications and ~21,000 citations (h-index, 76), who worked on the purification and culture of human and murine hematopoietic stem cells in the 1980s, which led him to studies of telomere biology and the role of telomeres in stem cells.

Bob Löwenberg, MD, PhD is a Professor of Hematology at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and is known for his contributions to the pathobiology, diagnosis, and treatment of acute myeloid leukemia. Between 1982-1990, Professor Löwenberg was the scientific director of the Daniel den Hoed Cancer Center, Rotterdam, and between 1990-2011 he was Chairman of the Department of Hematology at Erasmus University Medical Center. He is member of the editorial board of the New England Journal of Medicine and elected Editor-in-chief of the journal Blood. Professor Löwenberg has published extensively (~600 publications; ~19,000 citation; h-index, 76) in leading scientific journals and has significantly contributed to the area of stem cell transplantation and molecular diagnostics and developmental therapeutics.

Gillermo Dighiero, MD, PhD is a Professor at Pasteur Institute, Associate Professor at the School of Medicine Paris VI, both in Paris, France, Executive Director of the Pasteur Institute in Montevideo, Uruguay, and member of the French National Academy of Medicine. Professor Dighiero is known worldwide for his extensive contribution to the investigation of the biology of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, the establishment of a prognostic classification, and the development of novel therapeutic strategies for this disease. Professor Dighiero has published ~200 articles in leading journals and has ~9,000 citations (h-index, 46).

Paolo Bianco, MD is a Professor at the Sapienza University of Rome, and Director of Stem Cell Laboratory of the Department of Molecular Medicine at the same University. He is known worldwide for his pioneering contributions to the field of somatic stem cells, especially Mesenchymal or Skeletal Stem Cell. He has published ~140 articles and has ~8,550 citations (h-index, 46).

Manoel Barral Netto, MD, PhD is a Professor at the Federal University of Bahia and Oswaldo Cruz Institute at Salvador, Bahia. At present he is one of the four directors of the Brazilian Research Council (CNPq), and has been the Dean of the Medical School and the Research Provost of the Federal University of Bahia. He is one of the most recognized Brazilian researchers in human immunology and parasitology. On the basis of Web of Science he has published 154 articles and received 3,000 citations (h=28).