Appointment of Thomas Rando as Director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA

Faculty and Staff

Chancellor Block sent the following message to UCLA faculty and staff.

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Thomas Rando as director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA, effective October 1, 2021.

Dr. Rando is currently professor of neurology and neurological sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine, where he is also director of the Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging and deputy director of the Stanford Center on Longevity. He has been chief of neurology service at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System since 1996, and he has served as director of the Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center and director of the Rehabilitative Research and Development Center of Excellence at the VA.

In addition to being recognized as a trailblazing clinical investigator in the fields of stem cell biology and the biology of aging, Dr. Rando has been actively engaged in building and leading academic programs that promote interdisciplinary and translational research and advance the careers of faculty and trainees throughout his more than two-decade career at Stanford. He has published extensively and founded biotechnology startups in his major areas of research, which include stem cell aging and epigenetic rejuvenation, tissue engineering, muscle stem cell biology and muscular dystrophies. As a practicing neurologist who has run a clinical service for more than 20 years, he brings a strong translational focus to his own research and to his roles leading research enterprises. Dr. Rando has sought to champion diversity, equity and inclusion through outreach programs including the Postdoctoral Recruitment Initiative in Science and Medicine program, the Stanford University School of Medicine’s Hispanic Center of Excellence and the Stanford Medical Youth Science Program.

Dr. Rando is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Neurological Association. He has received numerous honors, including a Director’s Pioneer Award and a Transformative Research Award from the National Institutes of Health, a Paul Beeson Physician Faculty Scholar Award and a Breakthroughs-in-Gerontology Award from the American Federation for Aging Research, and a Senior Scholar Award from the Ellison Medical Foundation. He is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a senior visiting fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He received a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, a doctorate in cell and developmental biology and a medical degree from Harvard University. He completed his internship at Massachusetts General Hospital, his residency in neurology at UC San Francisco and a research fellowship in molecular pharmacology at Stanford University.

I want to thank the search committee for assembling an outstanding pool of candidates and for their role in recruiting Dr. Rando. Jeffrey F. Miller, professor of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics and director of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA, served as committee chair. Other members were:

  • S. Thomas Carmichael – professor and chair of neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; interim director, Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA
  • Donald B. Kohn – distinguished professor of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics; hematology/oncology and pediatrics, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
  • Heather D. Maynard – professor of chemistry and biochemistry; Dr. Myung Ki Hong Endowed Chair in Polymer Science, UCLA College Physical Sciences
  • Judith C. Gasson – professor emerita of medicine and biological chemistry; senior advisor for research innovation, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
  • Michael A. Teitell – professor, pathology and laboratory medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; director, UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, UCLA Health

I also want to recognize and thank Dr. Owen Witte for his visionary leadership as founding director of the center from 2005 to 2020, and to thank Dr. Carmichael for his service as interim director.

I am confident the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA will continue to thrive under Tom’s leadership. Please join me in congratulating him and welcoming him to campus and into this new role.


Gene D. Block