Congratulations to my new friends Paolo Bianco, M.D., of Sapienza University of Rome (pictured at left), Elena Cattaneo, Ph.D., of University of Milan and Michele De Luca, M.D. of University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (photo in the middle of the post), for receiving the 2014 ISSCR Public Service Award.
Drs. Bianco, Cattaneo, and De Luca are all great members of the stem cell community who have worked very hard for evidence-based medicine in Italy. Their efforts particularly resonate to the crisis surrounding the Stamina Foundation, but have had broader positive impact as well.
Award recipients Bianco, Cattaneo and De Luca were selected for their recent involvement in public debate and policy-making in Italy, championing rigorous scientific and medical standards and stringent regulatory oversight in the introduction of new stem cell treatments into the clinic.
Readers of this blog may recall that Cattaneo was also the recipient of my Stem Cell Person of the Year Award for 2013 so I have to admit that it’s pretty cool that ISSCR was of the same general mindset.
I also found it great that ISSCR took somewhat of a pioneering step, compared to past years’ awards, with this year’s public service award by giving it to scientist advocates! Way to go ISSCR! Of course the past recipients of this award are incredible in their own right, but I just think it is outstanding that ISSCR chose to give the award this year to scientists who go the extra mile to make a difference in the wider stem cell community, often requiring great courage and burning the midnight oil as advocates.