A therapy developed at UC Irvine that made paralyzed rats walk again will become the world’s first embryonic stem cell treatment tested in humans. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the therapy, based on work by a research team led by Hans Keirstead (pictured), co-director of the UCI Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, for a clinical trial in patients with acute spinal cord injury. Geron Corp. of Menlo Park, Calif., will conduct the clinical trial. “This trial was approved only after rigorous safety testing and consultation of countless experts in the field,” Keirstead said. “Any benefit to the patient, even an incremental one, would be a resounding victory.”