Robert Lanza

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Robert P. Lanza
Robert Lanza in laboratory.JPG
Lanza at a laboratory in October 2009.
Robert Lanza

(1956-02-11) February 11, 1956 (age 64)
Alma materUniversity of Pennsylvania
Known forStem cell biology, cloning,
tissue engineering, biocentric universe
Scientific career
InstitutionsAstellas Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine
InfluencesJonas Salk, Christiaan Barnard,
and B. F. Skinner

Robert Lanza (born 11 February 1956) is an American medical doctor, scientist and philosopher. He is currently Head of Astellas Global Regenerative Medicine,[1] and is Chief Scientific Officer of the Astellas Institute for Regenerative Medicine and Adjunct Professor at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

Early life and education[edit]

Lanza was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and grew up south of there, in Stoughton, Massachusetts. Lanza "altered the genetics of chickens in his basement," and came to the attention of Harvard Medical School researchers when he appeared at the university with his results. Jonas Salk, B. F. Skinner, and Christiaan Barnard mentored Lanza over the next ten years.[2] Lanza attended the University of Pennsylvania, receiving BA and MD degrees. There, he was a Benjamin Franklin Scholar and a University Scholar. Lanza was also a Fulbright Scholar. He currently resides in Clinton, Massachusetts.


Lanza being interviewed by Barbara Walters in 2007.

Stem cell research[edit]

Lanza was part of the team that cloned the world's first early stage human embryos,[3][4] as well as the first to successfully generate stem cells from adults using somatic-cell nuclear transfer (therapeutic cloning).[5][6]

Lanza demonstrated that techniques used in preimplantation genetic diagnosis could be used to generate embryonic stem cells without embryonic destruction.[7]

In 2001, he was also the first to clone an endangered species (a Gaur),[8] and in 2003, he cloned an endangered wild ox (a Banteng)[9] from the frozen skin cells of an animal that had died at the San Diego Zoo nearly a quarter-of-a-century earlier.

Lanza and his colleagues were the first to demonstrate that nuclear transplantation could be used to reverse the aging process[10] and to generate immune-compatible tissues, including the first organ grown in the laboratory from cloned cells.[11]

Lanza showed that it is feasible to generate functional oxygen-carrying red blood cells from human embryonic stem cells under conditions suitable for clinical scale-up. The blood cells could potentially serve as a source of "universal" blood.[12][13]

His team discovered how to generate functional hemangioblasts (a population of "ambulance" cells[14]) from human embryonic stem cells. In animals, these cells quickly repaired vascular damage, cutting the death rate after a heart attack in half and restoring the blood flow to ischemic limbs that might otherwise have required amputation.[15]

In 2012 Lanza and a team led by Kwang-Soo Kim at Harvard University reported a method for generating induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells by incubating them with proteins, instead of genetically manipulating the cells to make more of those proteins.[16][17][18]

Clinical trials for blindness[edit]

Lanza's team at Advanced Cell Technology were able to generate retinal pigmented epithelium cells from stem cells, and subsequent studies found that these cells could restore vision in animal models of macular degeneration.[19][20] With this technology, some forms of blindness could potentially be treatable.[21]

In 2010, ACT received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for clinical trials of a pluripotent stem cell-based treatment for use in people with degenerative eye diseases.[22][23] In 2011 ACT received approval from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to use its PSC-based cell therapy in the UK; this was the first approval to study a PSC-based treatment in Europe.[24][25] The first person received the embryonic stem cell treatment in the UK in 2012.[26]

The results of the first two clinical trials were published in the Lancet in 2012,[27] with a follow up paper in 2014,[28]which provided the first published reports of the long-term safety and possible biologic activity of pluripotent stem cell progeny into humans.[29]


In 2007 Lanza's article "A New Theory of the Universe" appeared in The American Scholar.[30] The essay addressed Lanza's idea of a biocentric universe, which places biology above the other sciences.[31][32][33] Lanza's book Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the Universe followed in 2009, co-written with Bob Berman.[34] In 2016 a second book, Beyond Biocentrism: Rethinking Time, Space, Consciousness, and the Illusion of Death was published.

Lanza's biocentric hypothesis met with a mixed reception.[35] Deepak Chopra called "Lanza's insights into the nature of consciousness original and exciting" and stated that "his theory of biocentrism is consistent with the most ancient wisdom traditions of the world which says that consciousness conceives, governs, and becomes a physical world. It is the ground of our Being in which both subjective and objective reality come into existence."[36] David Thompson, an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center said that Lanza's "work is a wake-up call".[37] Nobel laureate (Physiology or Medicine) E. Donnall Thomas stated that "Any short statement does not do justice to such a scholarly work. The work is a scholarly consideration of science and philosophy that brings biology into the central role in unifying the whole."[38] Arizona State University physicist Lawrence Krauss stated: "It may represent interesting philosophy, but it doesn't look, at first glance, as if it will change anything about science."[39] Wake Forest University scientist Anthony Atala stated "This new theory is certain to revolutionize our concepts of the laws of nature for centuries to come."[40] In USAToday Online, astrophysicist and science writer David Lindley asserted that Lanza's concept was a "...vague, inarticulate metaphor..." and stated that "...I certainly don't see how thinking his way would lead you into any new sort of scientific or philosophical insight. That's all very nice, I would say to Lanza, but now what?"[41] Daniel Dennett, a Tufts University philosopher, said he did not think the concept meets the standard of a philosophical theory. "It looks like an opposite of a theory, because he doesn't explain how it [ consciousness ] happens at all. He's stopping where the fun begins."[42]

Awards and public commentary[edit]

Lanza has received numerous awards and other recognition, including TIME Magazine’s 2014 Time 100 list of the "100 Most Influential People in the World",[43] Prospect magazine 2015 list of “Top 50 World Thinkers”,[44] Marquis Who’s Who 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award,[45] the 2013 “Il Leone di San Marco Award in Medicine” (Italian Heritage and Culture Committee, along with Regis Philbin, who received the award in Entertainment),[46] a 2010 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s Award for “Translating Basic Science Discoveries into New and Better Treatments”;[47] a 2010 “Movers and Shakers” Who Will Shape Biotech Over the Next 20 Years (BioWorld, along with Craig Venter and President Barack Obama);[48] a 2005 Wired magazine "Rave Award" for medicine “For eye-opening work on embryonic stem cells”,[49] and a 2006 Mass High Tech journal “All Star” award for biotechnology for “pushing stem cells’ future”.[50][51]


Lanza has authored and co-edited books on topics involving tissue engineering, cloning, stem cells, regenerative medicine, and world health.


  • 1984 Heart Transplantation: The Present Status of Orthotopic and Heterotopic Heart Transplantation ISBN 0-85200-862-7
  • 1985 Medical Science and the Advancement of World Health ISBN 0-03-071734-5
  • 1994 Pancreatic Islet Transplantation: Volume I Procurement of Pancreatic Islets ISBN 1-57059-133-4
  • 1994 Pancreatic Islet Transplantation: Volume II Immunomodulation of Pancreatic Islets ISBN 1-57059-134-2
  • 1994 Pancreatic Islet Transplantation: Volume III Immunoisolation of Pancreatic Islets ISBN 1-57059-135-0
  • 1996 One World: The Health and Survival of the Human Species in the 21st Century ISBN 0-929173-33-3
  • 1996 Yearbook of Cell and Tissue Transplantation ISBN 0-7923-3844-8
  • 1997 Principles of Tissue Engineering ISBN 1-57059-342-6
  • 1999 Cell Encapsulation Technology and Therapeutics ISBN 0-8176-4010-X
  • 2000 Xeno: The Promise of Transplanting Animal Organs into Humans ISBN 0-19-512833-8
  • 2000 Principles of Tissue Engineering, Second Edition ISBN 0-12-436630-9
  • 2002 Methods of Tissue Engineering ISBN 0-12-436636-8
  • 2002 Principles of Cloning ISBN 0-12-174597-X
  • 2004 Handbook of Stem Cells: Volume 1 Embryonic Stem Cells ISBN 0-12-436642-2
  • 2004 Handbook of Stem Cells: Volume 2 Adult and Fetal Stem Cells ISBN 0-12-436644-9
  • 2006 Essentials of Stem Cell Biology ISBN 0-12-088442-9
  • 2006 Methods in Enzymology: Volume 418 Embryonic Stem Cells ISBN 0-12-373648-X
  • 2006 Methods in Enzymology: Volume 419 Adult Stem Cells ISBN 0-12-373650-1
  • 2006 Methods in Enzymology: Volume 420 Stem Cell Tools and Other Experimental Protocols ISBN 0-12-373651-X
  • 2007 Principles of Tissue Engineering, Third Edition ISBN 0-12-370615-7
  • 2008 Principles of Regenerative Medicine ISBN 978-0-12-369410-2
  • 2009 Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the Universe ISBN 978-1-933771-69-4
  • 2009 Essential Stem Cell Methods ISBN 978-0-12-374741-9
  • 2009 Essentials of Stem Cell Biology, Second Edition ISBN 978-0-12-374729-7
  • 2009 Foundations of Regenerative Medicine ISBN 978-0-12-375085-3
  • 2010 Principles of Regenerative Medicine, Second Edition ISBN 978-0-12-381422-7
  • 2012 Handbook of Stem Cells: Volume 1 Embryonic Stem Cells, Second Edition ISBN 0-12-385942-5
  • 2012 Handbook of Stem Cells: Volume 2 Adult and Fetal Stem Cells, Second Edition ISBN 978-0-12-385942-6
  • 2013 Principles of Cloning, Second Edition ISBN 978-0-12-386541-0
  • 2013 Principles of Tissue Engineering, Fourth Edition ISBN 978-0-12-398358-9
  • 2013 Essentials of Stem Cell Biology, Third Edition ISBN 978-0-12-409503-8
  • 2016 Beyond Biocentrism: Rethinking Time, Space, Consciousness, and the Illusion of Death ISBN 978-1942952213
  • 2017 Cellular Therapies for Retinal Disease ISBN 978-3319494777
  • 2018 Principles of Regenerative Medicine, Third Edition ISBN 978-0128098806
  • 2020 Principles of Tissue Engineering, Fifth Edition ISBN 978-0128184226


  1. ^ "Ocata's chief scientific officer to join new parent after acquisition". Boston Globe. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  2. ^ Fischer, Joannie (2001-11-25). "The First Clone". U.S. News & World Report. 131: 1–9. PMID 11765373. Archived from the original on 2008-08-26. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
  3. ^ Cibelli, Jose B.; Lanza, Robert P.; West, Michael D.; Ezzell, Carol (2001-11-24). "The First Human Cloned Embryo". Scientific American. 286 (1): 44–51. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0102-44. PMID 11799617. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
  4. ^ "Wired 12.01: Seven Days of Creation". 2009-01-04. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
  5. ^ Cell Stem Cell (2014). "Access : Human somatic cell nuclear transfer using adult cells". Cell Stem Cell. Cell Press. 14 (6): 777–780. doi:10.1016/j.stem.2014.03.015. PMID 24746675. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  6. ^ Naik, Gautam (2014-04-17). "Scientists Make First Embryo Clones From Adults". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  7. ^ Nature (2006). "Access : Human embryonic stem cell lines derived from single blastomeres". Nature. 444 (7118): 481–485. doi:10.1038/nature05142. PMID 16929302.
  8. ^ "Cloning Noah's Ark: Scientific American". 2000-11-19. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
  9. ^ "Wild Cows Cloned". NPR. 2003-04-08. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
  10. ^ Robert P. Lanza, Jose B. Cibelli, Catherine Blackwell, Vincent J. Cristofalo, Mary Kay Francis, Gabriela M. Baerlocher, Jennifer Mak, Michael Schertzer, Elizabeth A. Chavez, Nancy Sawyer, Peter M. Lansdorp, Michael D. West1 (28 April 2000). "Extension of Cell Life-Span and Telomere Length in Animals Cloned from Senescent Somatic Cells" (PDF). Science. doi:10.1126/science.288.5466.665.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ Lanza, Robert P. (2002). "Generation of histocompatible tissues using nuclear transplantation". Nature Biotechnology. 20 (7): 689–696. doi:10.1038/nbt703. PMID 12089553.
  12. ^ Lu, SJ; Feng, Q; Park, JS; Vida, L; Lee, BS; Strausbauch, M; Wettstein, PJ; Honig, GR; Lanza, R (2008). "Blood - Biological properties and enucleation of red blood cells from human embryoni". Blood. 112 (12): 4475–84. doi:10.1182/blood-2008-05-157198. PMC 2597123. PMID 18713948.
  13. ^ [1] Archived November 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Vergano, Dan (2007-05-08). "Elusive 'ambulance' cells are created -". Usatoday.Com<!. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
  15. ^ Lu, S. J.; Feng, Q.; Caballero, S.; Chen, Y.; Moore, M. A.; Grant, M. B.; Lanza, R. (2007). "Generation of functional hemangioblasts from human embryonic stem cells". Nature Methods. 4 (6): 501–509. doi:10.1038/nmeth1041. PMC 3766360. PMID 17486087.
  16. ^ Park, Alice (2009-05-28). "Researchers Hail Stem Cells Safe for Human Use". TIME. Retrieved 2009-08-30.
  17. ^ ROCKOFF, JONATHAN (2012-12-13). "Stem-Cell Trial Without Embryo Destruction". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2013-01-14.
  18. ^ Kim, Dohoon (2009). "Cell Stem Cell - Generation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells by Direct Delivery of Reprogramming Proteins". Cell Stem Cell. 4 (6): 472–476. doi:10.1016/j.stem.2009.05.005. PMC 2705327. PMID 19481515. Retrieved 2009-08-30.
  19. ^ Lund, R. D.; Wang, S.; Klimanskaya, I.; Holmes, T.; Ramos-Kelsey, R.; Lu, B.; Girman, S.; Bischoff, N.; Sauvé, Y.; Lanza, R. (2006-09-29). "Human Embryonic Stem Cell–Derived Cells Rescue Visual Function in Dystrophic RCS Rats – Cloning Stem Cells". Cloning and Stem Cells. 8 (3): 189–99. doi:10.1089/clo.2006.8.189. PMID 17009895.
  20. ^ "Stem Cells May Open Some Eyes". 2004-09-24. Archived from the original on August 15, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-30.
  21. ^ "Two Patients Undergo Stem-Cell Blindness Treatment". Technology Review. 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  22. ^ "FDA Approves Second Trial of Stem-Cell Therapy". TIME. 2010-11-22. Retrieved 2010-12-07.
  23. ^ "Second human embryonic stem cell clinical trial to start". USA Today. 2010-11-22. Retrieved 2010-12-07.
  24. ^ Sample, Ian (2011-09-22). "First trial of embryonic stem cell treatment in Europe gets green light". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
  25. ^ "First European Embryonic Stem Cell Trial Gets Green Light". TIME. 2011-09-22. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
  26. ^ Boseley, Sarah (2012-06-04). "Stem cell scientists take hope from first human trials but see long road ahead". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2012-06-11.
  27. ^ Schwartz, SD; et al. (25 February 2012). "Embryonic stem cell trials for macular degeneration: a preliminary report". Lancet. 379 (9817): 713–20. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60028-2. PMID 22281388. open access
  28. ^ Schwartz, SD; et al. (2014-10-15). "Human embryonic stem cell-derived retinal pigment epithelium in patients with age-related macular degeneration and Stargardt's macular dystrophy". Lancet. 385 (9967): 509–16. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61376-3. PMID 25458728.
  29. ^ "Stem Cells Allow Nearly Blind Patients to See". TIME. 2014-10-14. Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  30. ^ "A New Theory of the Universe: Biocentrism builds on quantum physics by putting life into the equation" (Spring). The American Scholar. 2007. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  31. ^ Aaron Rowe (2009-01-04). "Will Biology Solve the Universe?". Retrieved 2009-08-09.
  32. ^ "Theory of every-living-thing - Cosmic Log -". Archived from the original on 2007-03-12. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
  33. ^ "Robert Lanza - Tag Story Index -". 2008-10-16. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
  34. ^ Lanza, Robert; Berman, Bob (April 14, 2009). Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness Are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe. BenBella Books. ISBN 978-1-933771-69-4.
  35. ^ Log, Cosmic. "The universe in your head". NBC News. Retrieved 2016-12-14.
  36. ^ "Dr. Robert Lanza is Featured Guest on Deepak Chopra's SIRIUS XM Stars Radio Show". Retrieved 2009-08-17.
  37. ^ "Spring2009_Working01.qxd" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-08-17.
  38. ^ "A Biotech Provocateur Takes On Physics -". Retrieved 2009-08-09.
  39. ^ "A Biotech Provocateur Takes On Physics",, 9 March 2007
  40. ^ "Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness Are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe (9781933771694): Robert Lanza, Bob Berman: Books". Retrieved 2009-08-17.
  41. ^ "Exclusive: Response to Robert Lanza's essay". Usatoday.Com. 2007-03-09. Retrieved 2009-08-17.
  42. ^ "A Biotech Provocateur Takes On Physics". Retrieved 2009-08-17.
  43. ^ "TIME: The 100 Most Influential People - Robert Lanza". 2014-04-24. Retrieved 2015-03-17.
  44. ^ "World Thinkers 2015: Robert Lanza". 2015-02-16. Retrieved 2018-05-18.
  45. ^ "Who's Who Lifetime Achievement". 2018-05-22. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  46. ^ "ACT's Dr. Robert Lanza to Receive the Il Leone di San Marco Award in Medicine". 2013-09-24. Retrieved 2015-10-31.
  47. ^ "Stem cell leaders Lanza, Kim win $1.9M NIH award". 2010-09-22. Archived from the original on 2011-01-07. Retrieved 2011-09-24.
  48. ^ "Advanced Cell Technology's Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Robert Lanza Honored By BioWorld Magazine As Leader Who Could Shape Biotech Over Next 20 Years". 2010-05-10. Retrieved 2015-10-31.
  49. ^ "Wired 13.03: The 2005 Wired Rave Awards". 2009-01-04. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
  50. ^ "Dr. Robert Lanza Receives 2006 'All Star' Award for Biotechnology. Industry & Business Article - Research, News, Information, Contacts, Divisions, Subsidiaries, Business Associations". 2006-10-24. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
  51. ^ Songini, Marc (August 14, 2009). "Thought Leaders:Robert Lanza on stem cells and access to health care". Mass High Tech. Archived from the original on 17 September 2009. Retrieved 4 March 2010. He was named a Mass High Tech All Star in 2006

External links[edit]