Who is Robert Lanza?

Photo of Robert Lanza, M.D.

Robert Lanza is considered one of the leading scientists in the world. He is currently Head of Astellas Global Regenerative Medicine and is Chief Scientific Officer of the Astellas Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Robert Lanza, M.D. is currently Head of Astellas Global Regenerative Medicine, and is Chief Scientific Officer of the Astellas Institute for Regenerative Medicine and Adjunct Professor at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. His current research focuses on stem cells and regenerative medicine and their potential to provide therapies for some of the world’s most deadly and debilitating conditions.

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Lanza Featured in Fortune Magazine

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

“…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”

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
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).

Beyond Biocentrism

Beyond Biocentrism Book Cover

BEYOND BIOCENTRISM

Rethinking Time, Space, Consciousness, and the Illusion of Death

Biocentrism shocked the world with a radical rethinking of the nature of reality … but that was just the beginning.

Biocentrism / Robert Lanza’s Theory of Everything

Biocentrism Book Cover

BIOCENTRISM

How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe

“Like “A Brief History of Time” it is indeed stimulating and brings biology into the whole. Any short statement does not do justice to such a scholarly work. Almost every society of mankind has explained the mystery of our surroundings and being by invoking a god or group of gods. Scientists work to acquire objective answers from the infinity of space or the inner machinery of the atom. Lanza proposes a biocentrist theory which ascribes the answer to the observer rather than the observed. The work is a scholarly consideration of science and philosophy that brings biology into the central role in unifying the whole. The book will appeal to an audience of many different disciplines because it is a new way of looking at the old problem of our existence. Most importantly, it makes you think.”

– Nobel Prize Winner E. Donnall Thomas

Google Scholar Citations

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
Google Scholars logo

h-index for Lanza = 81

From Wikipedia: The h-index measures both the productivity and impact of a scientist or scholar. A value for h of about 12 might be typical for advancement to tenure (associate professor) at major [US] research universities. A value of about 18 could mean a full professorship, 15–20 could mean a fellowship in the American Physical Society, and 45 or higher could mean membership in the United States National Academy of Sciences. According to Hirsch (who put forward the h-index), an h index of 20 is good, 40 is outstanding, and 60 is truly exceptional.

Lanza has published extensively in leading scientific journals.

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Here is a sampling of his papers:

Science (207: 543, 1980)
Science (212: 695, 1981)
Science (283: 1849, 1999)
Science (288: 665, 2000)
Science (294: 1893, 2001)
Science (295: 819, 2002)
Nature (252: 597, 1974)
Nature (308: 61, 1984)
Nature (439: 216, 2006)
Nature (444: 481, 2006)
Cell (11: 115, 1977)
Cell (17: 491, 1979)
Lancet (365: 1636, 2005)
Lancet (379: 713, 2012)
Lancet (385: 509, 2015)

Lanza Voted Top 4 “Most Influential People on Stem Cells”

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
Lanza featured in the 2013 - TOP 50 Global Stem Cell Influencers

Lanza featured in the 2013 “TOP 50 Global Stem Cell Influencers.” It is the result of a global survey of the stem cell community, which yielded thousands of votes. The 50 personalities were picked based on their career achievements whether this was groundbreaking discovery and research, innovation, or lifetime dedication. Lanza was among the top four on the list, alongside James Thomson and Nobel laureate Shinya Yamanaka.

Lanza Featured in Der Spiegel, Europe’s largest news magazine

Monday, September 24th, 2012
Lanza Featured in Spiegel Online International

The Dawning of a New Era of Hope

Stem cell researcher Robert Lanza hopes to save thousands of lives — and for a long time this caused him to fear for his own… At the time, a doctor was threatened at a nearby fertility clinic, and a pipe bomb exploded at a bio lab in Boston. “Back then I thought that there was probably a 50-50 chance that I was going to get knocked off because I was so visible,” says the doctor. “I said, okay, try to kill me — I’m still going to do what I think is right.” In Lanza’s case, doing what is “right” involves working with therapies based on human stem cells. The blind shall see again; the paralyzed shall walk again; the hemophiliac shall not bleed anymore. That may sound like something out of the Bible, but Lanza is no faith healer. In fact, the US business magazine Fortune called him “the standard-bearer for stem cell research.” Lanza is often compared to the main character played by Matt Damon in the film “Good Will Hunting,” a highly talented outsider who, like Lanza, comes from a humble background.

Initial Success: “We have some surprisingly good visual outcome,” says Steven Schwartz, an eye surgeon at UCLA. He says that one of his patients can read a clock again and go shopping, while another can recognize colors again. Lanza is a “genius” and his work is “stellar,” Schwartz says.

U.S. News & World Report Cover Story

Friday, December 31st, 2004

“…his mentors described him [Lanza] as a “genius,” a “renegade” thinker, even likening him to Einstein.”

Lanza Featured in Fortune Magazine

“Robert Lanza is the living embodiment of the character played by Matt Damon in the movie Good Will Hunting. Growing up underprivileged in Stoughton, Mass., south of Boston, the young preteen caught the attention of Harvard Medical School researchers when he showed up on the university steps having successfully altered the genetics of chickens in his basement. Over the next decade, he was to be “discovered” and taken under the wing of scientific giants such as psychologist B. F. Skinner, immunologist Jonas Salk, and heart transplant pioneer Christiaan Barnard. His mentors described him as a “genius,” a “renegade” thinker, even likening him to Einstein.”

Work with Christiaan Barnard

Photo of Christiaan Barnard

Performed the World’s First Heart Transplant

New England Journal of Medicine 307; 1275 (1982)
Lanza (with Barnard & Cooper)

JAMA 249; 1746 (1983)
Lanza (with Barnard, Cooper & Cassidy)

American Heart Journal 107; 8 (1984)
Lanza (with Barnard, Cooper & Boyd)

Work with Dr. Gerald Edelman

Photo of Dr. Gerald Edelman

Nobel-winner was “The Father of Modern Immunology”

Lanza worked with Edelman at Rockefeller University in 1976