Dr. Richard Burt is chief of the division of immunotherapy department of medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois. Dr Burt pioneered the use of hematopoietic stem cells to treat autoimmune diseases. Dr. Burt performed either the United States’ first of the world’s first autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplants for numerous immune-related diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, systemic lupus erythematosus, Crohn’s disease, polymyositis, bullous pemphigus, chronic inflamatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, Behcet’s disease, neurovascular or pulmonary Sjogren’s syndrome, Wegener’s granulomatosis, Arron’s syndrome (immune-mediated blindness), Devic’s syndrome and type 1 diabetes.
Dr. Burt is the leader of the recently completed randomised, controlled stem cell trials currently ongoing for 1) systemic sclerosis: ASSIST (American Scleroderma Stemm Cell vs. Immune Suppression Trial), and 2) multiple sclerosis: MIST (Multiple Sclerosis International Stem cell trial Immune Suppression vs. Stem Cell Transplant).
Dr. Burt’s stem cell trials are being conducted at Northwestern University (Chicago), Uppsala University (Stockholm, Sweden), the University of Sao Paolo (Ribeirao Preto, Brazil), Sheffield Teaching Hospitals (Sheffield, UK), and Singapore General Hospital (Singapore).
In 2006, Dr. Burt was recognised by Scientific American along with Al Gore and Steve Jobs as one of the top 50 people in the world for improving humanity due to his pioneering stem cell work. in 2011, Science Illustrated recognised Dr. Burt’s stem cell work as one of the top 10 advances of the decades, In January 2016, the magazine The Economist recognised Dr. Burt’s work by concluding: “This work (hematopoietic stem cell transplant for multiple sclerosis) should give drug companies some pause for though.”