Arthritis Ruins Lives.  Arthritis is a silent, insidious, and painful joint disorder that ruins many lives. In the United States, it’s the most common cause of disability. Around 50 million adults in the US have some form of arthritis. That’s 1 in 4 adults. By 2030, an estimated 67 million American adults are projected to have physician-diagnosed arthritis. 

Our mission is to pioneer new orthopaedic treatments that accelerate healing, enabling people to stay active through research, development, innovation and education.

The Stone Research Foundation is an independent, 501(c)3 non-profit research institute pioneering regenerative orthopedic treatments to stimulate the body's own healing properties to reduce the suffering of sports injuries and arthritis.

We leverage small amounts of capital into important clinical and translational research and education. In our clinical research, we conduct outcome studies to measure the effectiveness of the biologic surgical techniques developed and utilized at The Stone Clinic. We conduct translational research to prove the scientific merit of new biologic approaches.  We disseminate of the results of this research through presentation, publication, and education in order that others may benefit, and advance the standard of care in orthopedics.


Our Core Team

Mani Vessal, MA, Ph.D., Director of Research & Operations

Dr. Mani Vessal has a background in medical anthropology and neurological sciences. He holds a doctorate in medical science and trained in neuroanatomy focusing on epilepsy at the University of Toronto, Canada. In 2008 he completed his fellowship at the Stanford School of Medicine in spinal cord injury and regenerative medicine and continued his research as a Sr. Scientist at Stanford. In 2010 Dr. Vessal joined the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the stem cell agency, as a Sr. Scientific Officer, where he managed a large portfolio in translational and clinical programs in regenerative medicine. He is an entrepreneur at heart and has founded two startup companies.

As the director of research for the Stone Research Foundation, he will oversee all current and future research programs and will contribute to the growth of future funding streams to expedite the foundation’s mission to advance therapies for treating and preventing arthritis. He is an avid fitness enthusiast and enjoys traveling in his spare time.

Tom Turek, Senior Scientist

Thomas focuses his research on orthopedics, biomaterials, and product development. Prior to his affiliation with The Stone Clinic, he served with the Genetics Institute of Cambridge Massachusetts and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Chemical Engineering. Thomas' research publications include bone graft substitutes and advanced research into growth factor delivery for orthopedic, oral, and maxillofacial indications. He is also contracted to the Stone Research Foundation where he directs a cartilage shell graft + stem cells study which may offer the world’s first minimally-invasive total biologic joint replacement.

Ann Walgenbach, RN, FNP, MSN, RNFA, ON, Nurse Practitioner

Ann is a nurse practitioner, surgical assistant, and clinical researcher. She attended the UCLA Graduate School of Nursing and has been a registered nurse for more than 30 years. Prior to joining The Stone Clinic, Ann worked at the UCLA Medical Center where she experienced a wide range of medicine including five years in critical care. Ann has two rough-and-tumble sons, Jake and Joe, a funny husband and lots of animals.

Kevin R. Stone, MD, Founder and Chairman

Dr. Kevin Stone is an orthopedic surgeon at The Stone Clinic and the Chairman of the Stone Research Foundation. He has lectured around the world as an expert in cartilage and meniscal growth, replacement, and repair and holds over 40 U.S. patents on novel inventions to improve healthcare.

Dr. Stone was trained at Harvard University in internal medicine and orthopedic surgery and at Stanford University in general surgery. His fellowship was in research at the Hospital for Special Surgery and in knee surgery in Lake Tahoe. He is a physician for Smuin Ballet and has served as a physician for the U.S. Ski Team, the U.S. Pro Ski Tour, the Honda Ski Tour, the Jeep 48 Straight Tour, the Old Blues Rugby Club, Lawrence Pech Dance Company, Marin Ballet, the modern pentathlon at the U.S. Olympic Festival, and at the United States Olympic Training Center. Dr. Stone enjoys skiing, windsurfing, and biking and especially enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters.

John Crues, III, MD, PHD, Radiologist

John V Crues, III, MD, PhD, is a world-renowned radiologist, and he plays a significant role as a musculoskeletal specialist for many of The Stone Clinic’s patients. Dr. Crues received his MD at Harvard University, completed his internship at the University of Southern California in Internal Medicine, and completed a residency at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Internal Medicine and Radiology. He has authored numerous publications while continuing to actively participate in radiological societies such as the Radiological Society of North America, American College of Radiology, California Radiological Society, the International Society for Magnetic Resonance Medicine, and the International Skeletal Society. Dr. Crues currently has ongoing research projects in orthopedic and rheumatologic MRI. He has published over 100 articles, 20 textbook chapters, and eight textbooks in the medical literature 

Stone Research Foundation Technology Partner

Stone Research Foundation outcome data is captured by Lynxcare, an AI-driven outcome data platform for healthcare providers