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William C. Rader

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William C. Rader
Born1938 (age 80–81)
EducationState University of New York (M.D., 1967)
Sally Struthers
(m. 1977; div. 1983)

William C. Rader (born 1938) is an American psychiatrist. After an early career treating eating disorders, he founded several offshore clinics administering injections of human fetal stem cells claiming clinically-unproven therapeutic benefits for a variety of illnesses.[1][2] Rader's assertions about the effectiveness of his injections, coupled with high-pressure sales tactics, aroused intense criticism. Complaints by patients led to the revocation of his medical license in California.[3][4]


Rader graduated with an M.D. from the State University of New York in 1967. He did his psychiatric fellowship at the University of Southern California Medical Center. He was a psychiatrist for the Navy's alcoholism treatment program from 1971 to 1973.[5]

Rader was married and had three children prior to marrying Sally Struthers, with whom he had a daughter.[6][7] He co-wrote a 1977 episode of the television sitcom All in the Family and became involved with Struthers' negotiations with television executives.[4][7] The couple divorced on January 18, 1983 in Los Angeles.[8]

Rader was a medical expert for KABC Eyewitness News in Los Angeles from 1977 to 1991.[2] Newsweek described Rader as "a highly telegenic Beverly Hills psychiatrist" and called his five-part debut on KABC about compulsive overeating "riveting".[9] In 1981, Rader published a book titled No Diet Program For Permanent Weight Loss.[10][11] In 1984 he started The Rader Institute to treat eating disorders.[5]

In 1992, he started the Survivor Program to help victims of sexual abuse.[5] He founded the Immune Suppressed Institute in 1993, an HIV/AIDS treatment center, in Mexico City.[1][5]

Stem cells

Rader first observed the human injection of fetal stem cells in the mid-1990s at a Ukrainian clinic.[1] In 1995, he began referring his own US patients to Ukraine for fetal stem cell treatment. Rader's first independent stem cell clinic was established in the Bahamas; the clinic reopened in the Dominican Republic after the Bahamian government asked Rader to leave in 2000 following a critical television report aired in the United States.[1][12]

Rader operated multiple stem cell marketing entities over the years including The Dulcinea Institute, Medra, Inc., and Stem Cell of America, Inc.,[13] continuing to maintain the latter's website and California office after he lost his medical license.[4]

In 2008, Rader claimed in a telephone interview that his stem cell product was obtained from a laboratory in the Republic of Georgia.[12] Rader has never published studies or results of his treatments in medical journals.[1] In 2009, the journal Science called Rader "particularly notorious" among unregulated offshore stem cell providers for his "extraordinary claims" and "refus[al] to share information on cell lines and techniques."[14]

Rader, who uses the same stem cell treatment no matter what the patient's ailment,[4] said of his injection process, "I'm not telling a cell where to go, because I have no clue where it should go. This is nature, God's work. Whatever you want to call it."[2] Dr. Evan Snyder, director of stem cell research at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in La Jolla, California, responded, "[t]hat's not a therapy, that's snake oil."[2] In 2009, the BBC's current affairs program Panorama aired an episode in which it investigated claims of Rader's high-pressure sales tactics.[15] Rader has stated that he charges $30,000 for an initial treatment with significant discounts for follow-up injections.[1][4] In 2010, Rader self-published another book titled Blocked in the USA: The Stem Cell Miracle.[11][16]

Revocation of medical license

On November 5, 2014 the Medical Board of California revoked Rader's medical license, citing negligence, professional misconduct, and false or misleading advertising.[3][4][17] "His dishonesty permeates every aspect of his business and practices," the Board concluded.[3][4] Rader was unsuccessfully defended before the Board by attorney Robert Shapiro.[3][4]

No longer permitted to advertise himself as Stem Cell of America's "medical director", Rader began calling himself "chief scientist" acting as the "PR person representing the company", and continued to market stem cell injections administered one day a month under the supervision of a local anesthesiologist in Tijuana, Mexico.[4] Prospective patients must sign a form pledging not to discuss their treatments online or with the media.[4] When asked by the Los Angeles Times in May 2015 for the name of the Mexican anesthesiologist currently serving as his company's medical director, Rader said he could not recall his full name.[4] It is illegal in Mexico to sell experimental treatments or operate without government permission.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Zarembo, Alan (February 22, 2005). "Outside the U.S., businesses run with unproved stem cell therapies". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 9, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d "Doctor Claims Controversial Stem Cell Treatment Works". KABC-TV (Channel 7, Los Angeles). May 9, 2007. Retrieved April 9, 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d "Before The Medical Board Of California Department of Consumer Affairs State of California in the Matter of the Accusation Against: William C. Rader, M.D., Physician's and Surgeon's Certificate No. A22848 (Case No. 20-2010-205857)". Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Zarembo, Alan (May 16, 2015). "Doctor with revoked license continues to sell unproven stem cell treatments". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d "Dr William Rader". Retrieved 2015-03-13. William C. Rader earned his medical degree with honors from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1967, and was first in his psychiatric residency class at the University of Southern California Medical Center in 1971. ... served as chief psychiatrist for the U.S. Navy's alcoholic treatment program from 1971 to 1973. ...
  6. ^ "California, Marriage Index, 1960-1985". State of California. William C Rader, Male, 1938, age 39, date: 18 Dec 1977, place: Los Angeles, spouse: Sally A Struthers Missing or empty |url= (help)
  7. ^ a b "Sally's Family Life". People magazine. February 16, 1981. Retrieved 2015-03-13. ... her husband, Dr. William Rader, 42 ... Rader's three children from a previous marriage ...
  8. ^ "California, Divorce Index, 1966-1984". State of California. William C Rader, date: 18 Jan 1983, place: Los Angeles, spouse: Sally A Missing or empty |url= (help)
  9. ^ Newsweek. Volume 91, Issues 10–17. Newsweek. 1978.
  10. ^ Rader, William (1981-01-12). Dr. Rader's no-diet program for permanent weight loss. J.P. Tarcher. ISBN 9780874771398. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  11. ^ a b "William C. Rader". WorldCat. Retrieved 2015-03-13.
  12. ^ a b Vastag, Brian (September 2, 2008). "Injections of Hope". Washington Post. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  13. ^ "Consumer Health Digest". National Council Against Health Fraud. July 8, 2010. Retrieved 2015-03-13. This year, Rader obtained FNPs for Medra (incorporated 1997), Medstem (incorporated 2005), and The Dulcinea Institute. He also set up a private corporation called The Fetal Stem Cell Institute, Inc. (2006), and a private foundation called the Cutting-Edge for Medical Invention Foundation (2001).
  14. ^ Kiatsangan, Sorapop; Douglas Sipp (March 20, 2009). "Monitoring and Regulating Offshore Stem Cell Clinics" (PDF). Science. Retrieved March 13, 2015. Vol. 323. no. 5921, pp. 1564-1565. "Medra became particularly notorious for the extraordinary claims made by its founder, psychiatrist William Rader, who has refused to share information on cell lines and techniques he claims can be used for treatment of conditions including spinal cord injury and Down syndrome."
  15. ^ "Panorama: Stem Cells and Miracles". BBC Online. May 18, 2009. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  16. ^ Rader, William C.; MD, William C Rader (2010-03-01). Blocked in the USA: The Stem Cell Miracle. Nanog Publishing Incorporated. ISBN 9780615329055. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  17. ^ Medical Board of California, Disciplinary Action Alert, medical license revoked November 5, 2014. Retrieved March 9, 2015.