LOS ANGELES (April 10, 2013)--Stephen Hawking visited a stem cell lab Tuesday in Los Angeles where scientists are researching ways to treat Lou Gehrig's disease, the neurological disorder that affects the British physicist.
Hawking, 71, met with the project's researchers and then addressed an audience of doctors, nurses and staff at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Last year, the hospital received $18 million from California's stem cell agency to study the disease also known as ALS, which gradually affects people's ability to speak or move.
Hawking was diagnosed with the nerve disorder 50 years ago and has been almost completely paralyzed for years.
He communicates through an electronic voice synthesizer.
Hawking is best known for his work on black holes and theories about the universe's origins.
He has authored several books, including some for children.