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A. Rahman Ford

Legal/Academic Researcher, Writer and Editor

Location icon United States of America

I am an academic, legal and policy research professional with extensive leadership and organizational experience. I earned my J.D. from the Howard University School of Law, and my Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2016, I published my first book of poetry, entitled "Life as a Sclerian: Poetry on Politics and Periphereality."

My professional accomplishments include employment at two of the country’s most prestigious law firms, as well as employment with federal agencies and highly respected research institutes. While in law school, I served as Editor in Chief of the Howard Law Journal. My research interests include race/ethnic studies, disability studies, democracy and civil rights, stem cell therapy and overall health and wellness.

Portfolio

Academic

Books

Sensescape Press
Life as a Sclerian: Poetry on Politics and Periphereality

This short book of poetry is a parable of tragedy and triumph for the abadoned. It tells the story of a marginalized group of spiritual people, how they were violently excommunicated from their ancestral home, thrust into a darkness and despair devoid of identity, only to find the light that they possessed within them the whole time.

News and Analysis

Pain News Network
10/19/2019
A Very Uncharitable Pew Stem Cell Policy Report - Pain News Network

By A. Rahman Ford, PNN Columnist The Pew Charitable Trust - an institution whose stated mission is to "encourage democratic participation" in accordance with its founders' "emphasis on innovation" - has released a 52-page report on the FDA's framework for regulating stem cells and regenerative

Pain News Network
10/07/2019
The FDA v. Your Stem Cells: An Insider's View - Pain News Network

By A. Rahman Ford, PNN Columnist Mark Berman, MD, is a key player in the escalating conflict between stem cell therapy providers and the Food and Drug Administration. Berman is co-founder of the California Stem Cell Treatment Center, a California-based clinic that specializes in stromal vascular

Pain News Network
09/11/2019
Stem Cell Therapy for Lower Back Pain Moves Closer - Pain News Network

By A. Rahman Ford, PNN Columnist There's good news on the horizon for those who suffer from lower back pain due to disc degeneration. Mesoblast , an Australian biotech company, has partnered with Grunenthal, a large German pharmaceutical company, to commercialize an investigational stem cell pr

Pain News Network
08/23/2019
Online Censorship of Health Information Is Authoritarianism - Pain News Network

By A. Rahman Ford, PNN columnist Critics of stem cell therapy have taken their censorship campaign to another frightening and paternalistic step up the authoritarian ladder. Not only does it threaten freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of health, but now it's targeting poor people

Pain News Network
07/15/2019
Stem Cell Fearmongering

By A. Rahman Ford, PNN Columnist In a recent Canadian Medical Association Journal case report , Canadian researchers report the case of a 38-year-old man who suffered an adverse event from a very specific form of stem cell therapy - an olfactory mucosa graft. Rather than simply present the med

The Doctor Weighs In
07/12/2019
OPINION: Stem Cell Therapy - How I Became a Patient Advocate

In 2010, I went to Nanjing, China for stem cell therapy (SCT). I have absolutely no regrets. The therapy was to treat a debilitating, progressive neuro-muscular disorder I'd had since childhood. The condition had progressed to the point where my walking was unsteady and my swallowing was no longer functioning properly.

Pain News Network
06/27/2019
The Push for Stem Cell Censorship Has Begun

By A. Rahman Ford, PNN Columnist A new study published in journal Stem Cell Reports , entitled "How to Peddle Hope: An Analysis of YouTube Patient Testimonials of Unproven Stem Cell Treatments," looks at over a hundred videos by stem cell patients posted on YouTube. The study appears

Pain News Network
05/26/2019
Stem Cell Therapy Can Cure Sickle Cell Disease

By A. Rahman Ford, PNN Columnist Sickle cell disease is a debilitating illness that affects the hemoglobin in red blood cells. The disorder causes the normally-round hemoglobin molecules to adopt an abnormal crescent or sickle shape. As a result, the patient suffers from anemia, repeated

Pain News Network
05/18/2019
Have We Reached the Stem Cell Tipping Point?

By A. Rahman Ford, PNN Columnist One morning while watching TV, I was astonished by one of the commercials that ran. It was an ad for stem cell therapy. That was when it dawned on me - stem cells had finally hit the mainstream.

The Mighty
The Beautiful Vulcan Crucible of Getting a Feeding Tube

On June 2, 2008, I had my last meal. It was one of my favorites - a platter of salmon, macaroni and cheese and cornbread. The meal was in a plastic container and eaten with plastic utensils as I sat on the small concrete wall outside the Penn graduate dormitory I was living in while I completed my doctoral studies.

Pain News Network
06/16/2018
Can Stem Cells Treat Lyme Disease?

By A. Rahman Ford, PNN Columnist In a recent article in Scientific American , author Mary Beth Pfeiffer paints a startling portrait of Lyme disease in America. She describes the "peril and menace" now associated with many forests, parks and even some backyards -- landscapes that

Pain News Network
06/03/2018
Taking Stem Cells to the Bank

By A. Rahman Ford, Columnist There's a lot of hope and hype surrounding stem cells - the latest being the idea of "banking" them -- harvesting and storing your own stem cells for future use.

Pain News Network
05/18/2018
TV Host Tries Stem Cell Therapy for Chronic Back Pain

Reality TV star Tarek El Moussa - host of HGTV'S "Flip or Flop" - recently posted photos on Instagram detailing his experience with stem cell therapy. El Moussa has a history of back injuries causing severe pain. He lost 50 pounds while recovering from one back injury and was tak

PhillyVoice
03/27/2018
New Jersey is about to legalize marijuana. Our own stem cells should be next

New Jersey will soon pass legislation making marijuana legal, or at the very least decriminalizing possession of certain amounts, for three reasons: increase benefits to people's health, decrease administrative costs to the state and moderate impacts on social justice. Stem cell legislation can do the exact same thing.

Pain News Network
03/09/2018
FDA Moves Forward on Stem Cells

By A. Rahman Ford, Columnist The Food and Drug Administration is finally getting the message.

Pain News Network
02/28/2018
Should the 'War on Stem Cells' Be Fought in Court?

By A. Rahman Ford, Columnist A recent article published in the journal Regenerative Medicine suggests that civil lawsuits should be used to protect patients and draw attention to unscrupulous stem cell clinics. The authors, Claire Horner, Evelyn Tennenbaum, Zubin Master and Do

Pain News Network
02/03/2018
How Trump and Congress Can Champion Stem Cells

By A. Rahman Ford, Columnist For the second straight year, President Trump has endorsed making life-saving treatments like stem cell therapies more available to more Americans. In his 2017 Joint Address to Congress, Trump highlighted the case of Megan Crowley, a young woman whose father had to launc

Pain News Network
01/28/2018
Stem Cell Regulation and a Rule Too Many

By A. Rahman Ford, Columnist The New England Journal of Medicine recently published an op/ed rather benignly entitled "Rejuvenating Regenerative Medicine Regulation." The authors, R. Alta Claro and Douglas Sipp, argue that the Food and Drug Administration did not go far enough in regulating stem c

Pain News Network
01/21/2018
How Stem Cells Can Reverse Opioid Tolerance

By A. Rahman Ford, Columnist On January 10, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf declared a disaster emergency to fight the scourge of heroin and opioid abuse in his state, which has one of the highest overdose rates in the country. "Pennsylvania's opioid crisis impacts all areas of the state - including

Pain News Network
01/09/2018
Stem Cells: Signs of Progress in a Rigged Game

By A. Rahman Ford, Columnist The Wall Street Journal recently published an article on the use of stem cell therapies for knee problems, including arthritis. Overall, the perspective of the piece was positive and it has several laudable aspects. Physicians from large academic institutions, such as

Pain News Network
11/18/2017
The FDA Got it Wrong on Stem Cells

By A. Rahman Ford, Columnist In August, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, signaled that his agency would move in the direction of enhanced regulation of stem cell therapies. He said the action was justified because of "unscrupulous actors" who deceive patients with what he described as "dangerou

Pain News Network
10/22/2017
A Promising Solution to Lower Back Pain

By A. Rahman Ford, Columnist As many of us can attest to, lower back pain (LBP) is a debilitating and painful medical condition that severely impacts quality of life.

Pain News Network
10/04/2017
How the FDA Can Help Solve the Overdose Crisis

By A. Rahman Ford, Columnist As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration prepares to issue new guidelines on stem cell therapy, it must give due consideration to the ever-increasing number of Americans who suffer from intolerable chronic pain. According to the National Institutes of Health, over 25 mil

Pain News Network
09/19/2017
NFL Players Tackle Pain with Regenerative Medicine

By A. Rahman Ford, Columnist Several members of the Seattle Seahawks have opted for a regenerative medicine therapy called Regenokine to treat their pain and injuries, and the players believe it has made a big difference. The Seahawks were one of the NFL's healthiest teams last season, ranking 5th

Pain News Network
08/30/2017
FDA Should Tread Carefully with Stem Cell Regulation

(Editor's note: This week FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the agency would crack down on clinics that offer experimental stem cell treatments. While acknowledging that stem cells offer "significant promise" for treating chronic pain and other chronic conditions, Gottlieb said some clinics were

Pain News Network
12/07/2016
Don't Let Them Stop the Stem Cell Movement

By A. Rahman Ford, Columnist Somewhat lost in Donald Trump's presidential victory was the resounding statement made by voters that medical marijuana is here to stay. Those people-driven victories were monumental for millions suffering from painful and debilitating illnesses -- people who could achi

Diverse
04/02/2009
It's Not Just About Racism, But Ableism

by A. Rahman Ford A short time ago, I attended a small panel discussion on diversity in the professoriate. The panel of professors was a diverse one: a woman, a Hispanic, an African-American and a gay man. Those who had come to listen to and participate in the discussion we re likewise diverse.

Masculinities 101
06/13/2016
Dilemma of a Spartan Survivor: War, Disability and Masculinity

The widespread purge of modern artistic expression that occurred upon Adolf Hitler's rise to power in Germany in 1933 was motivated by fear. The Nazi regime was determined to use culture to control the people and they chose to promote a conservative, unadulterated classical Greek and Roman aesthetic within the Reich.

Organics
02/09/2016
Optimal Health as Biopolitics: Revolution Grows from a Barrel of Organic Kale

As a person with an obvious disability, I am always aware of how human bodies are positioned physically in society, and how those positions manifest in highly stratified political configurations. I internalized my own position down at the bottom, which limited my ability to see what I was physically capable of.

Organics
01/25/2016
My Life as a Reverse Samurai: How Eating Organic Saved Me

At the age of three my parents noticed that something was wrong. Because the doctors had no clue what it was, they ignorantly called it "muscular dystrophy," a purportedly incurable genetic disease. The illness left me weak, thin and stunted, both physically and emotionally.

Blavity
The Dangers Of Schools Teaching Kindergartners How To "Properly" Interact With Police

Given the recent coverage of Americans - particularly racial and ethnic minorities - being senselessly killed during interactions with law enforcement, many have searched for solutions to repair the "fractured" trust between the police and the public. Although well-intentioned, New Jersey's proposed solution - a bill requiring schools to teach proper citizen-law enforcement etiquette to kindergartners - is misguided.

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