Clive Svendsen, PhD

Clive svendsen square

 Sidmouth, England

Current Residence
Los Angeles, USA

Graduate Degree
University of Cambridge

Current Position
 Professor and Exectutive Director, Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, USA

What is the current focus of your research, and what do you find most rewarding about your work? 

Modeling and treating human disease using a range of stem cell technologies.  I love training new undergrads/techs/post docs/scientists/professors in this exciting field and of course seeing exciting results!.  Taking stem cells to the clinic for ALS patients has been the most rewarding for me.   

How would you explain the significance of this work to a lay audience? 

Our work will hopefully lead to a better understanding of human disease and new treatments.

What led you to become a scientist and to stem cell research? 

My father was always talking to me about science driving to school from the age of 12.  What is photosynthesis?  Why are some animals warm and some animals cold?  If my drive to school had not been 40 minutes I don’t think I would have been a scientist.  My move to stem cell research was the need for dopamine neurons in clinical trials for Parkinson’s disease.   

What is the most exciting aspect of your work? 

The thrill of seeing novel data – that is reproducible!  

What guidance would you share in talking with trainees interested in pursuing your area of research? 

It’s easiest if you have a passionate need to ask questions and love science.  I have never really worked a day in my life – I just love what I do and would be doing it in my spare time if I had any (see below!). 

Do you have any mentors or individuals who have inspired you in your stem cell work? 

Anders Bjorklund – he is the consummate professor – elegant, modest, incredibly bright, and thoughtful and most importantly for a scientist – honest.  

How do you spend your free time? 

I watch my wife and daughter horse ride and race a 42 foot Catalina sailboat in the Santa Monica bay… 

What is something your peers would be surprised to learn about you?  

I have learnt how to “tweet”…. 

What do you most value about your membership with the ISSCR? 

Being part of an organization that promotes transparency in stem cell research and clinical trials.   


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