Reality Check For Stem Cell Research

Hans Keirstead
Orange, CA

Health & Medical Science


Hans Keirstead, PhD
Associate Professor of Anatomy & Neurobiology
UC Irvine
Hans Keirstead is Co-Director of the Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center. His research focuses on stem cell therapies as they relate to spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis and other diseases of the nervous system. He can discuss all aspects of embryonic stem cell treatment, including testing on humans.
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Contact Information:
Orange, CA 92868
United States
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Hans S. Keirstead is an Associate Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the Reeve-Irvine Research Center, and Co-Director of the Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center at the University of California at Irvine.  The Canadian-born neuroscientist received his PhD from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.  His PhD thesis concerned his invention of a novel method for regenerating damaged spinal cords, and formed the basis of several worldwide patents as well as the formation of a company in 1999.  This work constituted the first demonstration of functional regeneration of the injured adult spinal cord, and for his achievements he received the Cameron Award for the outstanding PhD thesis in Canada.

Keirstead has testified at Federal and California Senate Hearings on several occasions regarding the potential of stem cells, is an avid scientific correspondent for public education, was an advisor to the CA government on stem cell policy, was a Scientific Advisory Committee Member of the California Stem Cell Initiative that authored Proposition 71, and maintains working relationshipswith several stem cell companies, venture capital groups, and government economic development offices in the United States, Sweden and Norway.

In 2000,  Keirstead joined the Reeve-Irvine Research Center at the University of California at Irvine. The Reeve-Irvine Research Center, founded by the late Christopher Reeve and philanthropist Joan Irvine, is a leading center for spinal cord injury research.  Keirstead directs a large team investigating the cellular biology and treatment of spinal cord trauma, research that also has significance for multiple sclerosis and other diseases of the nervous system.  He was recently awarded the Distinguished Assistant Professor of UCI Award, the UCI Academic Senate's highest honor, and was thereafter promoted to Associate Professor with tenure. 

Story Pitch

Stem cells may be the key to curtailing much human suffering
Hans Keirstead believes that great successes have proven that the use of embryonic stem cell research can alleviate human suffering.
Recent Publications/Appearances


February 29, 2012 "Reality Check for Stem Cell Research"

November 21, 2011 Medical News Today "Landmark Spinal Repair Stem Cell Trial"

October 24, 2011 The Orange County Regestar "At 1 year, UCI stem-cell treatment safe so far"

August 2, 2010 Singularity Hub "Geron's Embryonic Stem Cell Clinical Trials for Spinal Cord Injury Have Returned"


September and October 2011 California Stem Cell Leaders Keirstead and Airriess Scheduled to Speak at Leading Stem Cell Conferences


Sharp J, Keirstead HS.
Stem cell-based cell replacement strategies for the central nervous system. Neurosci Lett. 2009 Jun 12;456(3):107-11. Epub 2009 Jan 16.

Hatch MN, Nistor G, Keirstead HS.
Derivation of high-purity oligodendroglial progenitors. Methods Mol Biol. 2009;549:59-75.

Siegenthaler MM, Ammon DL, Keirstead HS.
Myelin pathogenesis and functional deficits following SCI are age-associated. Exp Neurol. 2008 Oct;213(2):363-71. Epub 2008 Jul 3.

Siegenthaler MM, Berchtold NC, Cotman CW, Keirstead HS
Voluntary running attenuates age-related deficits following SCI. Exp Neurol. 2008 Mar;210(1):207-16. Epub 2007 Nov 13.

Siegenthaler MM, Tu MK, Keirstead HS.
The extent of myelin pathology differs following contusion and transection spinal cord injury. J Neurotrauma. 2007 Oct;24(10):1631-46.


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