Paul J. Tesar

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Paul J. Tesar
Cleveland, Ohio, United States of America
CitizenshipUnited States of America
Alma materCase Western Reserve University
University of Oxford
OccupationProfessor, entrepreneur
Years active2010 - present
EmployerConvelo Therapeutics
Known forDiscovery of pluripotent epiblast stem cells
Spouse(s)Anne Wolbert
ChildrenKenzie Tesar

Paul J. Tesar is a professor at Case Western Reserve University and co-founder of Cleveland-based biotechnology company Convelo Therapeutics [1] who studies stem cell biology and developmental neuroscience. He is a professor in the Departments of Genetics and Genome Sciences at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU).


Tesar was born and raised in Cleveland, OH and completed his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Case Western Reserve University. He received his Ph.D. in Developmental Biology as a dual National Institutes of Health/University of Oxford Biomedical Research Scholar under Richard Gardner and Ron McKay. During this time, Tesar discovered a new type of pluripotent stem cell, epiblast stem cells. He started his independent career at CWRU in 2010 as a Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation Scholar.

Career and research

Tesar's current research utilizes new regenerative approaches to gain an understanding of nervous system disorders. In particular, he is focused on glial cell types such as oligodendrocytes and their progenitor cells (OPCs), and has pioneered cell culture protocols to generate pure, highly expandable populations of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells that can differentiate into large numbers of functional oligodendrocytes from stem cells,[2] reprogrammed cells,[3] and in human organoids.[4][5][6]

Tesar's scientific approach involves applying high-throughput forward genetic and small molecule screens to stem cell-derived OPCs to identify therapeutics and genetic pathways that regulate oligodendrocyte differentiation and maturation. This approach led to the discovery of pro-myelinating drugs and compounds such as the antifungal miconazole[7][8] and the inception of Convelo Therapeutics, a Cleveland based biotechnology company aimed at generating therapeutics to promote re-myelination in patients with neurological disorders.[9] Tesar has expanded his technological platforms towards other glial-based disorders including genetic myelin disorders, schizophrenia, glioblastoma, and multiple sclerosis.[10][11][12]


  • The Beddington Medal from The British Society for Developmental Biology (2008)
  • Harold M. Weintraub Award (2008)[13]
  • Scholar Award, Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation (2010)[14]
  • Robertson Investigator, New York Stem Cell Foundation (2011)[15]
  • President’s Award, Myelin Repair Foundation (2011)
  • The Dr. Donald and Ruth Weber Goodman Professor of Innovative Therapeutics 2013[16]
  • Associate Scientific Advisor, Science Translational Medicine 2014
  • Outstanding Young Investigator Award, International Society for Stem Cell Research 2015[17][18]
  • Robertson Stem Cell Prize, New York Stem Cell Foundation 2017[19]
  • Diekhoff Award for Graduate Student Mentoring, Case Western Reserve University 2018[20]
  • Crains Cleveland 40 Under 40 (2019)
  • Homegrown Hero (2019)

Personal Life

Tesar lives in Cleveland and is married to physician assistant and fellow CWRU alumni Anne Wolbert. They have one daughter, Kenzie, and a golden retriever.


  1. "Convelo Therapeutics".
  2. "Scientists develop new method to more efficiently generate brain stem cells".
  3. "Study converts skin cells into brain cells".
  4. "NYSCF Collaboration Adds Missing Functionality to Brain Organoids".
  5. "New method adds missing functionality to brain organoids".
  6. "Growing Brains in the Lab".
  7. "Could a Non-Prescription Antifungal Become a Major Advance for Multiple Sclerosis?".
  8. "Athlete's foot drug may be MS therapy".
  9. "Cleveland Researchers Develop a New Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis and Launch a Company to Test It".
  10. "Innovative 'Mini-Brains' May Help Boost Parkinson's Research, Study Suggests".
  11. "Genentech, Biotech Partner on Multiple Sclerosis".
  12. "New method adds missing functionality to brain organoids".
  13. "Harold M. Weintraub Awardees from 2001-2014" (PDF).
  14. "Past Recipients of the Mt. Sinai Scholars Award" (PDF).
  15. "NYSCF Robertson Investigator Paul Tesar".
  16. "Paul Tesar, PhD, the Dr. Donald and Ruth Weber Goodman Professor of Innovative Therapeutics, more efficiently generates brain stem cells".
  17. "NYSCF Investigator Paul Tesar Receives ISSCR Young Investigator Award".
  18. "Paul Tesar -ISSCR Young Investigator Award".
  19. "NYSCF Robertson Stem Cell Prize Awarded to Paul J. Tesar".
  20. "Coming full circle: Paul Tesar wins Diekhoff Award for Graduate Student Mentoring".

External links