S. Thomas Carmichael, MD, PhD
University of California, Los Angeles
S. Thomas Carmichael is a neurologist and neuroscientist in the Departments of Neurology and of Neurobiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Carmichael is Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology, co-Director of the UCLA Broad Stem Cell Center and co-Director of the Regenerative Medicine Theme in the David Geffen School of Medicine. He has active laboratory and clinical interests in stroke and neurorehabilitation and how the brain repairs from injury. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Washington University School of Medicine in 1993 and 1994, and completed a Neurology residency at Washington University School of Medicine, serving as Chief Resident. Dr. Carmichael was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute postdoctoral fellow at UCLA from 1998-2001. He has been on the UCLA faculty since 2001. Dr. Carmichael’s laboratory studies the molecular and cellular mechanisms of neural repair after stroke and other forms of brain injury. This research focuses on the processes of axonal sprouting and neural stem cell and progenitor responses after stroke, and on neural stem cell transplantation. Dr. Carmichael is an attending physician on the Neurorehabilitation and Stroke clinical services at UCLA.
Dr. Carmichael has published important papers on stroke recovery that have defined mechanisms of plasticity and repair. These include the fact that the stroke produces stunned circuits that limit recovery, but can be restored to normal functioning with newly applied experimental drugs. His work has identified a novel brain “growth program” that is activated by stroke and leads to the formation of new connections. These studies have also identified how this growth program changes with age, and how specific molecules in the aged brain block the formation of new connections and of recovery.
This and other work has led to new directions in stroke therapeutics, including therapies with stem cell and tissue engineering applications. Dr. Carmichael is in the midst of stroke stem cell development applications with the FDA and with biotechnology companies.