The Power List 2016
Associate Professor and Director, Stem Cell and Retinal Regeneration Program, Ophthalmology, University of California, Irvine
Klassen is a pioneer in the field of stem cell research, and has focused on regenerating damaged retinal tissue in order to restore sight for the last quarter of a century. Just last year, a first-of-its-kind stem cell-based therapy for retinitis pigmentosa developed in his lab received all necessary approvals and moved in to the important clinical trial phase. Klassen’s objective is to use stem cells in order to rescue and rejuvenate rods and cones in the degenerating retina, and he hopes, will eventually be able to reverse the course of retinitis pigmentosa, even at relatively advanced stages.