Roman Reed


Roman Reed

President & Patient Advocate,
Roman Reed Foundation

It was the first game of the college football season, and Roman Reed was playing exceptionally well. Then fate intervened. The tackle only took a few seconds, a vertebra was crushed, and his dream of playing in the NFL ended.

“I tried to give a thumbs-up to the crowd, but my hand didn’t work. I went from being able to bench press 430 pounds to not being able to lift my arms or move my legs.”

The doctor’s prognosis was bleak, and Roman was told that he would never walk again, never use his arms, and never father a child. His response? “Never tell me never!” Today, Roman can bench press 225 pounds and is the proud father of three!

Spearheaded by our great 20th District Assemblyperson John Dutra, Roman and his father Don have worked tirelessly to have the Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Act passed in California. As a result, more than $12.5 million in state funds has been awarded to scientists conducting research in spinal cord regeneration. An additional $50 million has been leveraged from outside sources.

Roman joined the SPSC to promote research and awareness on behalf of all those with spinal cord injury and dysfunction. President Obama invited him to the March 9, 2009, ceremony commemorating the historic reversal of the government’s ban on the use of federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Roman is not only back in the game, he is also calling plays.

View More Exponential Medicine Faculty

Exponential Medicine brings together top experts to inform medical leaders how technology is impacting business. View the full list of 2017 faculty: