S. Thomas Carmichael, MD, PhD

S. Thomas Carmichael, M.D., Ph.D. 

Professor and Frances Stark Chair, Neurology


As a clinician-scientist, S. Thomas Carmichael, M.D., Ph.D., investigates how the brain recovers after a stroke. By studying the cells and molecules that begin to repair the brain after injury, he hopes to gain a deeper understanding of the healing process, which could inform the development of new drugs and cell therapies to promote recovery in patients with stroke and other brain diseases.

Through this research, Carmichael discovered a novel environment in the brain that supports repair and regeneration after stroke by forming new blood vessels and secreting specialized proteins, known as growth factors. These growth factors stimulate neural stem cells to generate new, healthy neurons to replace those that have been damaged. His present work focuses on developing drugs that will influence this environment to further natural recovery following stroke.

Carmichael’s lab is also pursuing a method that would allow scientists and clinicians to influence the survival and fate of the neural stem cells that normally reside in the brain. The ultimate goal of this work is to develop cell therapies that stimulate the brain’s own tissue regeneration after stroke, head injury and other brain diseases. In addition to utilizing stem cells that are found naturally to the brain, the Carmichael lab is investigating the feasibility of transplanting stem or progenitor cells as a method of therapeutic cell replacement therapy to aid in brain repair.

Carmichael received his medical and doctorate degrees from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where he completed his neurology residency.


Honors & Affiliations


  • Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award for Brain Repair, American Society for Neural Therapy and Repair, 2018
  • Outstanding Clinician-Scientist Award, American Society of Neurorehabilitation, 2009
  • Distinguished Scholar Award, Larry L. Hillblom Foundation, 2005


  • Director, Adelson Program in Neural Repair and Rehabilitation
  • Associate Editor, Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
  • American Neurological Association
  • American Academy of Neurology
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • American Society of Neurorehabilitation
  • American Heart Association 


Carmichael’s lab is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the American Heart Association and the UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center, including support from the Gillian S. Fuller Foundation. 


The Power of Regenerative Medicine
UCLA Neurology Chair and Interim Director of the UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center Dr. S. Thomas Carmichael is joined by William Lowry and Dr. Ranmal Samarasinghe to discuss how stem cell research could lead to therapies for neurological conditions including stroke, dementia, epilepsy and intellectual disability disorders.
UCLA Neurology Lab Profile: The S. Carmichael Lab
UCLA Neurology is known for its state-of-the-art research labs. Here faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows work together to develop groundbreaking research methods and treatments for a wide variety of neurological diseases. In this episode of our lab profiles, we highlight the work of Dr. S. Thomas Carmichael, the Frances Stark Chair of Neurology at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine.