Meet the Experts

The UC San Diego CIRM Alpha Stem Cell Clinic

At UC San Diego, a team of highly talented professionals with diverse fields of expertise contribute to our Alpha Stem Cell Clinic in order to safely accelerate the delivery of stem cell therapies to patients with unmet needs. The oversight and direction of these experts, beyond the physicians that take care of our patients, ensure that our clinical trials adhere to the highest standards. We invite you to meet the people who help our studies.

Click the expert's name or picture to begin the video, or visit the entire playlist on UCSD's YouTube page.

  • Thomas Kipps, MD, PhD

    Thomas Kipps, MD, PhD

    Thomas Kipps, MD, PhD, describes a specific approach to developing new therapies for cancer. This approach controls cancer stem cells already present the body to prevent them from coming back or spreading to other parts. Recognized internationally for his work in cancer research, immunology and gene therapy, Dr. Kipps has helped to develop standardized treatment protocols. He is the clinic’s trial expert for cancer and a professor of Medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine.
  • Ted Ball, MD

    Ted Ball, MD

    Edward “Ted” Ball, MD, discusses his background in stem cell transplant and excitement for alpha stem cell clinic projects. Dr. Ball has led numerous trials involving stem cell transplant and is the clinic’s clinical advisor. He is also a professor in the Department of Medicine and chief of the Division of Bone Marrow Transplant at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

  • Jeremy Pettus, MD

    Jeremy Pettus, MD

    Jeremy Pettus, MD, discusses how stem cells can be directed to become insulin-producing beta cells. Dr. Pettus, the clinic’s diabetes trial expert, also explains why stem cells may provide hope in the treatment of diabetes. Dr. Pettus is the co-investigator of the diabetes clinical trial and an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine’s Division of Endocrinology at UC San Diego School of Medicine. He is especially interested in patient empowerment through education.

  • Lisa Madlensky, PhD, CGC

    Lisa Madlensky, PhD, CGC

    Lisa Madlensky, PhD, CGC, shares her role as the outreach and education liaison for genetics counseling. Madlensky, a certified genetic counselor, provides cancer risk assessment and genetic consultation to patients at UC San Diego Health. She also helps ensure that patients understand information presented about stem cell related clinical trials and participation. Dr. Madlensky is an associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

  • Joseph Ciacci, MD

    Joseph Ciacci, MD

    Joseph Ciacci, MD, explains the limitations and challenges of recovering from brain or spinal cord injury. He also discusses the need for safely conducted research through a team approach. Dr. Ciacci is the clinic’s trial expert for neurosurgical technique and the principal investigator for the clinical trial on spinal cord injury. He has extensive experience in neuro-oncology and is a professor in the Department of Surgery at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

  • Bob Henry, MD

    Bob Henry, MD

    Robert Henry, MD, discusses how the Clinic’s diabetes trial uses a special device to deliver stem cells directed to become insulin-producing beta cells. Dr. Henry is the principle investigator of the trial and a professor in the Department of Medicine’s Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

  • Sheldon Morris, MD, MPH

    Sheldon Morris, MD, MPH

    Sheldon Morris, MD, MPH, explains the unique challenges associated with initiating first-in-human stem cell clinical trials. He also highlights the importance of having a specialized team to help you overcome these challenges. Dr. Morris is the clinic’s data management lead and is an associate professor in the Department of Medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine.