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Thomas A. Rando is professor of the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine and deputy director of the Stanford Center on Longevity. He is also chief of neurology and director of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Rehabilitation Research & Development’s Center of Excellence in Palo Alto, California. Rando’s research concerns the basic biology of stem cells and how they function in adult tissue homeostasis, in degenerative diseases, and in aging. Groundbreaking work from his lab shows that the age-related decline in stem cell function is due primarily to influences of the cells’ environment rather than to intrinsic aging of stem cell themselves. Rando has received numerous awards, including the prestigious National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award in 2005 for his work at the interface between stem cell biology and the biology of aging. [+]