A husband, father, scientist, and Orange County business leader, Dr. Hans Keirstead is one of the world’s leading innovators in stem cell research and medical treatments.
Hans grew up in rural Canada outside of Ontario. Raised in a farming, middle class family, Hans has been working to support his family since age 9. There were days he’d come home not knowing if he and his siblings would be able to eat dinner. Hans has worked to achieve of his life’s successes and understands the struggles many hardworking Americans face today.
Inspired by his parents to help others, Hans went to college to become a physician but soon shifted to research. He studied at the University of British Columbia, and completed his Post-Doc at Cambridge in England. His aim was to develop more effective treatments to save and improve lives. He served for 15 years as Professor of Anatomy at UCI and led therapy breakthroughs for late-stage cancers, ALS and spinal cord injury.
Hans has launched multiple successful medical research companies in Orange County and is currently CEO at AIVITA Biomedical, where he is focusing on developing a cancer treatment that is proving to be the most effective treatment for cancer that has ever reached the final phase of clinical trials.
He has advised several members of Congress and U.S. Senators on healthcare and biotechnology. When then-President George W. Bush issued an executive order banning federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, Hans stepped up to help fill the void. Serving as lead scientific advisor for the California Stem Cell Initiative (Prop 71), he toured the state to promote the ballot measure. He spoke to hospital leadership, unions, professors, doctors, nurses, activists. Prop 71 with nearly 60% of the vote and established a $3 billion stem cell research fund to support medical innovation in California.
Hans’ wife Niki is a leading neuroscientist focused on Alzheimer’s disease. Hans, Niki, and their son Connor are proud to call Laguna Beach their home. In his spare time, Hans enjoys playing guitar and practicing martial arts with Connor.