Pioneers of Stem Cell Research
Imagine having your back cut open in the name of science. John Cornick, 51, did more than imagine it. Cornick, who has Lou Gehrig's disease, volunteered for a clinical trial that would make him one of the first three humans to receive stem cell treatment. While Cornick was hopeful about the outcome, he was also realistic. “Well, of course you'd like to get up and walk ... but I know that's not going to happen." The purpose of this phase was to establish safety, determining if fetal stem cells can safely be injected into the spinal cord. Dr. Jonathan Glass, director of Emory's ALS center, says that Cornick and the two previous patients in the trial are heroes because, at this point, the trial will likely produce only information, not results.