I believe in putting my money where my mouth is. When people in the stem cell field make extraordinary, positive contributions, they deserve major recognition and something tangible. With this goal in mind, I give out an annual Stem Cell Person of the Year Award.
Past award winners have received the recognition and a $1,000 prize that I put up myself.
I’m excited this year to boost the prize to $2,000. It’s part of my way of giving back and supporting the field.
To be clear, to me personally this is a lot of money, but I feel passionately about advocating for the stem cell field so it is worth it to me to support this award.
The point of this prize is to recognize people who are willing to take risks to help others. These are innovators and outside the box thinkers not satisfied with the status quo. Past winners Roman Reed in 2012 and Elena Cattaneo in 2013 both exemplify these attributes.
Nominees and the ultimate winner could be someone from any part of the stem cell arena: patients, advocates, scientists, doctors, policy makers, industry leaders, etc.
On this coming Monday, September 22nd, I will formally open the door to nominations for this award with a blog post. Let me know your suggestions after that. That post on Monday will include the full rules, but there are just a few.
On October 7th at midnight, nominations will close and on October 8, International Stem Cell Day, I will announce the candidates. At that point we will also begin a two-week Internet vote on the candidates for finalists.
The top vote getters–exact number depending on the total number of nominees–will be the finalists.
The Internet poll does not decide the winner, but from that pool I will pick the winner, who will be announced most likely in early November.
Who will win in 2014? Who do you think should? Starting thinking about people you’d like to nominate.