Who is Robert Lanza?

Photo of Robert Lanza, M.D.

Robert Lanza is considered one of the leading scientists in the world. His research spans the range of natural science, from biology to theoretical physics. TIME magazine recognized him as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World,” and Prospect magazine named him one of the Top 50 “World Thinkers.” He was part of the team that cloned the world’s first human embryo, the first endangered species, and published the first-ever reports of pluripotent stem cell use in humans.

Robert Lanza is an American scientist and author whose research spans the range of natural science, from biology to theoretical physics. TIME magazine recognized him as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World,” and Prospect magazine named him one of the Top 50 “World Thinkers.” He was part of the team that cloned the world’s first human embryo, the first endangered species, and published the first-ever reports of pluripotent stem cell use in humans.

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Book trailer for Lanza’s new novel with award-winning author Nancy Kress

Book cover of Robert Lanza's Observer: A Novel
If we can alter the structure of reality, should we?

OBSERVER takes you on a mind-expanding journey to the very edges of science. It will thrill you, inspire you, and lead you to think about life and the power of the imagination in startling new ways.

“Robert Lanza has taken the gigantic step of incorporating his ideas into a science fiction novel with Nancy Kress …brilliant…a riveting and moving story.”—Rhonda Byrne, #1 New York Times bestselling author.

“A startling, fascinating novel.”—Kim Stanley Robinson, New York Times bestselling author.

Get 40% off if you pre-order now button link to Observer A Novel website.

Lanza Featured in Fortune Magazine

“…he’s the standard-bearer for stem cell research”

“Lanza published a paper in The Lancet earlier this year detailing the results of early clinical trials involving two women suffering from macular degeneration. Lanza Featured in Fortune MagazineA UCLA ophthalmologist injected each woman with 50,000 retinal cells derived from human embryonic stem cells, and according to the paper, both claim to have better vision as a result. They’re not 20/20. But after a single injection one now walks the mall alone, uses her computer, and can pour a cup of coffee. The other sees colors and can read five letters on the eye chart. If Lanza is remembered one day as the man who saved millions from blindness, his story will provide a ready-made biopic for Ben Affleck. Born in the hardscrabble town of Roxbury and raised by a professional gambler, he escaped the economic underclass through intelligence and imagination. At 13, he altered the DNA of a chicken to make it change color; the experiment was published in Nature. His sisters never graduated from high school. He received an MD from Penn and a Fulbright scholarship, and has collaborated with giants, including B.F. Skinner and Jonas Salk. He was the first ever to clone an endangered species, and now he’s the standard-bearer for stem cell research.”

Lanza Named One of the Top 50 “World Thinkers”

Lanza Named One of the Top 50 World Thinkers

Dr. Lanza selected as one of Prospect Magazine’s “World Thinkers 2015.” The thinkers were chosen for “engaging in original and profound ways with the central questions of the world today,” as well as for their continuing significance for “this year’s biggest questions” (in economics, science, philosophy, cultural and social criticism and in politics).

Astellas Executive Interview Series – Dr. Bob Lanza

Meet AIRM’s Chief Scientific Officer: Dr. Robert Lanza
Regenerative medicine could revolutionize medicine, and provide therapies for the world’s most deadly conditions. [Read More]

Lanza receives the Marquis Who’s Who Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Robert Lanza Who\'s Who Archivement Award graphic

Lanza’s new book released

Dr. Robert Lanza Who's Who Archivement Award graphic

Why are we here? Where did it all come from―the laws of nature, the stars, the universe. Humans have been asking these questions forever, but science hasn’t succeeded in providing many answers—until now. In The Grand Biocentric Design, Robert Lanza, one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People,” is joined by theoretical physicist Matej Pavšič and astronomer Bob Berman to shed light on the big picture that has long eluded philosophers and scientists alike. [Read More]

Lanza’s new paper published in leading physics journal

Image of space bubbles.

Observers determine the structure of spacetime itself
The paper—published in the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics (one of the world’s leading journals in cosmology & astrophysics, covering the latest developments and breakthroughs including Stephen Hawking’s groundbreaking work on the evolution of the early universe)—was co-authored with Dmitriy Podolskiy and Andrei Barvinsky, one of the world’s leading theorists in quantum gravity & quantum cosmology. The paper shows that networks of observers define the structure of physical reality/spacetime itself. In particular, it reveals the exasperating incompatibility between Einstein’s general relativity and quantum mechanics vanishes if one takes the properties of observers—us—into account. The study also represents a rare case in physics when the presence of observers drastically changes the behavior of observable quantities themselves not only at microscopic scales but also at very large spatio-temporal scales. Observers determine the value of both the gravitational constant and the effective cosmological constant.

JCAP paper [Read More]
Big Think [Read More]

Lanza and Podolskiy’s paper is the cover story of Annalen der Physik, which published Einstein’s theories of special and general relativity

Magazine cover image of Annalen der Physik

On Decoherence in Quantum Gravity

In his papers on relativity, Einstein showed that time was relative to the observer. This new paper takes this one step further, arguing that the observer creates it. The paper shows that the intrinsic properties of quantum gravity and matter alone cannot explain the tremendous effectiveness of the emergence of time and the lack of quantum entanglement in our everyday world. Instead, it’s necessary to include the properties of the observer, and in particular, the way we process and remember information.

Wired [Read More]
Discover Magazine [Read More]

Lanza named head of Astellas global regenerative medicine

Dr. Lanza Named Head of Astellas Global Regenerative Medicine

“Robert Lanza, one of the most prominent scientists in the field of stem cell biology, on Monday said he will lead global regenerative medicine research at Astellas Pharma Inc., the Japanese drug maker that acquired his Massachusetts company this month. Lanza will also remain in his current role of chief scientific officer at Astellas-owned Ocata Therapeutics Inc., which is developing stem cell therapies for a broad range of diseases.”

The Boston Globe [Read More]

Lanza gives opening address at the Massachusetts State Science & Engineering Fair

Dr. Lanza Featured on Stephen Hawking\'s Stem Cell Special

Lanza delivered the opening address to the judges and students at the Official Opening of 2015 MSSEF held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MSSEF was founded by the prestigious American Academy of Arts & Sciences and has advanced science literacy and inspired new generations of science and engineering leaders for over six decades. 400 distinguished scientists and engineers served as judges, providing the year-end competition with over $525,000 in scholarships and prizes.

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Lanza’s work voted the top science story of the year

Winner of Discover Magazine’s ‘People’s Choice’ Award

Stem cell breakthrough by Lanza and colleagues was voted the year\’s top story, beating the Ebola outbreak, climate change crisis, entangled photons, cosmic inflation, as well as the year’s other science stories ranging from topics in space exploration to mathematics, technology, paleontology, and the environment.

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First report of the long-term safety/efficacy of pluripotent stem cells in humans with any disease

Dr. Lanza Featured on Stephen Hawking\'s Stem Cell Special

“For a nice two decades scientists have dreamt about using human embryonic stem cells to treat diseases … that day has finally come…scientists have used human embryonic stem cells to successfully treat patients suffering from severe vision loss”

Wall Street Journal [Watch Video]

“In a report published in the journal Lancet, scientists led by Dr. Robert Lanza, chief scientific officer at Advanced Cell Technology, provide the first evidence that stem cells from human embryos can be a safe and effective source of therapies for two types of eye diseases”

Time magazine [Read More]

In a cloning first, Lanza and colleagues create stem cells from adults

Dr. Lanza Featured on Stephen Hawking\'s Stem Cell Special

“Advancement Could Lead to Treatment for Alzheimer’s, Heart Disease”

Wall Street Journal [Read More]

“After years of failed attempts, researchers have finally generated stem cells from adults using the same cloning technique that produced Dolly the sheep in 1996. The process could provide a new way for scientists to generate healthy replacements for diseased or damaged cells in patients”

Time magazine [Read More]

“First Embryonic Stem Cells Cloned From A Man’s Skin”

NPR [Listen to the Story]

Lanza Featured on Stephen Hawking’s Stem Cell Special

Dr. Lanza Featured on Stephen Hawking\'s Stem Cell Special

“Since my 20s, I haven’t had to deal with the distractions that come from being able bodied. I’ve led a life of the mind. Stem cells may give you that same freedom, allowing you to pursue your wildest dreams without ever having to worry about the limitations of your body.”

“Dr. Robert Lanza is one of the pioneers of stem cell therapies. He is already using them to help patients regenerate damaged body parts.”

Premiere: Science Channel special, Stem Cell Universe with Stephen Hawking, Feb. 3 at 10/9c.

Lanza urges students to persevere, keep challenging boundaries of science

Il Leone di San Marco Award Photo

“I believe [Lanza’s] passionate advice to fledgling scientists to be persistent and not take ‘no’ for an answer will inspire students to stay true to their goals and dreams; it will inspire them to contribute in their classes and their communities, knowing that one day their ideas and inventions will become part of larger endeavors that positively impact humanity,” – Gregory Lamontagne, Vice-President for Academic Affairs, CCRI

Cloning & Stem Cells: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV

Lanza receives the Il Leone di San Marco award in Medicine

Il Leone di San Marco Award Photo

Past honorees in other fields have included Dion, Susan Lucci, Tony Danza, Paul Giamatti, Paul Sorvino and Rudy Giuliani
Dr. Lanza received this year’s prestigious Il Leone di San Marco award in Medicine (along with Regis Philbin, who received the award in Entertainment). For 34 years, the Italian Heritage and Culture Committee has acknowledged outstanding Americans in fields such as the Performing Arts, Entertainment, Medicine, Journalism, Literature, Playwriting, Government, Science, Academia or Business. Past honorees have included Stanley Tucci, Paul Giamatti, Paul Sorvino, Danny Aiello, Armand Assante, Tony Danza, Susan Lucci, Dion DiMucci, Phil Ramone, Bart Giamatti, and Rudy Giuliani. Dr. Lanza was one of four people who received this year’s Il Leone di San Marco Award for their “many talents and great accomplishments” who represent the best in Italian-American culture.

Dr. Lanza featured in The Pennsylvania Gazette

Article selected as one of Longreads 10 Best Stories
Robert Lanza has racked up a slew of scientific accolades for his pioneering work on cloning and stem cells. And then there’s the private island stocked with dinosaur fossils, the Good Will Hunting comparisons … and his “theory of everything.”

The Pennsylvania GazetteSixteen miles outside Boston, in the back corner of an unfinished basement, a teenage boy lowers his syringe to a chicken egg and takes aim. It’s 1969 and this is Robert Lanza’s first time experimenting with embryos. He isn’t yet a well-known scientist. He hasn’t achieved all those cloning and stem-cell firsts, hasn’t been called genius or renegade. He doesn’t wave to worry about being killed on his way to work. Journalists haven’t come up with the “real-life Good Will Hunting” analogy or suggested that he open his own Jurassic Park. He hasn’t worked with B.F. Skinner and Jonas Salk, hasn’t told off the former dean of Penn’s medical school. He doesn’t have a private 10-acre island and a house filled with dinosaur bones. That will all come later. Today he’s still just a kid, and he wants to win the school science fair. … Robby, the scrawny kid from Stoughton, Massachusetts, will become Bob Lanza—one of the most prominent and controversial figures in his field.

Picture of Dr. Lanza
CELLebrity Doctors 2011 Calendar Logo

Dr. Robert Lanza featured in “CELLebrity” Doctors 2011 Calendar

Top U.S. scientists hang their lab coats for stem cell research fundraising efforts. The 2011 “CELLebrity” Doctors Calendar spotlights twelve highly renowned doctors in the U.S. and details the progress that has been made in their prospective medical fields. NOTE: All proceeds from calendar sales benefit SCF and will be earmarked towards funding stem cell research in the United States.

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Dr. Lanza / Barabara Walter's Interview Thumbnail Poster
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Robert Lanza - Barbara Walter's Interview Caption

New breakthroughs in stem cells and tissue engineering are the key to extending life.

Robert's Creatures Video Thumbnail Poster
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Beyond Invention - Robert's Cloned Creatures Caption

Can humankind reverse the tide of extinction? This video includes biographical material on Lanza.

Dr. Lanza's Stem Cells Offer Hope for Blind Video Thumbnail Poster
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Stem Cells Offer Hope for Blind Caption

It’s an experimental breakthrough for macular degeneration. How embryonic stem cells helped two blind people see again.

Graphic image for Dr. Robert Lanza's Biocentrism video
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Rethinking Our Insanely Improbable Universe

Speaking with the authority of a distinguished scientific career, Robert Lanza presents the case for abandoning the “dumb universe” paradigm…

Graphic image for Dr. Robert Lanza's Biocentrism video
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Lanza on Biocentrism

Robert Lanza’s talk on biocentrism at the Science & Nonduality Conference.

New York Times: 2 Treatments for Retinas Make Gains

Advanced Cell Technology, of Marlborough, Mass., said it would test its stem cell therapy on 12 adults with severe vision loss caused by Stargardt’s, an inherited disease. The company has turned human embryonic stem cells into retinal pigment epithelial cells, which will be surgically implanted into the eye. The hope is that the implanted cells […]

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From physicist Scott M. Tyson’s book The Unobservable Universe

“…Dr. Lanza’s writings provided me with the pieces of perspective that I had been desperately seeking.”

Book Cover of The Unobservable Universe“I downloaded a digital copy of [Biocentrism] in the privacy of my home…Now, mind you, my motivation was not all that pure. It was my intention to read the book so I could more effectively refute it like a dedicated physicist was expected to. I consider myself to be firmly and exclusively entrenched in the cosmology camp embodied by the likes of Stephen Hawking, Lisa Randall, Brain Greene, and Edward Witten…The book had the completely opposite effect on me. The views that Dr. Lanza presented in this book changed my thinking in ways from which there could never be retreat. Before I had actually finished reading the book, it was abundantly obvious to me that Dr. Lanza’s writings provided me with the pieces of perspective that I had been desperately seeking. Everything I had learned and everything I thought I knew just exploded in my mind and, as possibilities first erupted and then settled down, a completely new understanding emerged. The information I had accumulated in my mind hadn’t changed, but the way I viewed it did – in a really big way.”


Lanza Interviewed By Michio Kaku

Photo of Dr. Lanza Doing Radio Interview with Michio Kaku

“To give us a glimpse about some of the big breakthroughs that were made in biotechnology, we have Dr. Robert Lanza of Advanced Cell Technology. He is one of the leading scientists making breakthroughs in this fast moving field.”

“Dr. Michio Kaku”

“Professor of Theoretical Physics and Co-Founder of String Theory”

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MSNBC Publishes Free Online Abridgment of Biocentrism

Photo of Person Looking into Sky

“The Universe in Your Head”

“Stem cell pioneer Robert Lanza generates controversy on a whole different plane with ‘Biocentrism,’ a book that lays out his theory of everything.” Alan Boyle, MSNBC’s Science Editor

Image of a Glowing Head

“Free Online Abridgment”

“Exclusive online abridgement ‘Biocentrism’: How life creates the universe. Authors say cosmology misses the big picture unless it includes biology.”


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Principles of Tissue Engineering

Principles of Tissue Engineering Book Cover

“First published in 1997, Principles of Tissue Engineering is the widely recognized definitive resource in the field. Co-edited with Robert Langer, Institute Professor at MIT, and Joseph Vacanti, The John Homans Professor at Harvard Medical School (Langer and Vacanti are considered the founders of tissue engineering)”


One World: The Health & Survival of the Human Species in the 21st Century

One World: The Health & Survival of the Human Species in the 21st Century Book Cover

Foreword by President Jimmy Carter. Includes the last works of Carl Sagan and Jonas Salk, and contributions by Director-General of UNESCO, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, President of the European Parliament, Director-General of the World Health Organization, and the Ministers of Health from the United Kingdom, France, Japan, India and Russia, among others. Conclusion by Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

“This book is as bold and ambitious in scope as its title promises.”
The New England Journal of Medicine

Dr. Robert Lanza Honored By BioWorld Magazine As Leader Who Could Shape Biotech Over Next 20 Years

Dr. Lanza Recognized as a “Stem Cell Pioneer”
WORCESTER, MA – May 10, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE)—Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. (“ACT”; OTCBB: ACTC) announced today that the company’s Chief Scientific Officer, Robert Lanza, MD, has been recognized by BioWorld, a widely-read publication covering the biotechnology industry, as one of 28 leaders predicted to be the “movers and […]

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NEWSWEEK: Still No Truce in the Stem-Cell Wars

by Sharon Begley
Embryonic” and “senescent” aren’t supposed to go together any more than “good” and “grief” or other oxymorons, which is why biologist Robert Lanza was “devastated” when he saw what was happening with the human stem cells he and colleagues were trying to grow. Like hundreds of other stem-cell scientists, they had been intrigued […]

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CBS News: The Trouble With Adult Stem Cells. Research Shows Why They Won’t Displace Embryonic Ones

by Andrew Moseman
When scientists first created induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) three years ago, they were hailed as a game-changing advance for medicine: Scientists hoped the engineered cells could duplicate the talents of embryonic stem cells, which can develop into any kind of cell in the body, while avoiding the destruction of embryos. However, […]

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