Facing steep competition from a very tough field of competitors of finalists, Jeanne came out as the winner for her exceptional contributions in 2015 and throughout her many years in the field. She not only has made numerous advances scientifically, but also gone the extra mile in many respects as an advocate and educator.
Her scientific contributions include outstanding research on human stem cells and in particular in stem cell epigenetics. See her publications on GoogleScholar. She has been a great mentor to her trainees. You can visit her lab page here.
She has also been a creative leader in producing IPS cells from endangered species, an area with huge potential ecologically and at a societal level in terms of preventing extinctions.
Jeanne has mobilized patient advocates and catalyzed exciting work in the clinical pipeline in a number of areas including most prominently in the last few years for Parkinson’s Disease.
For instance, the patient organization Summit for Stem Cell that Jeanne works on is doing amazing things.
More broadly, Jeanne has often led the way on important, but difficult issues such as on the WARF patent challenge. In addition, she has been a fierce advocate for evidence-based medicine and has been unafraid to challenge predatory stem cell clinics. A video of Jeanne talking about stem cell tourism is pasted above.
Overall, Jeanne has had a transformative positive impact at least in part via taking risks and thinking outside the box, important criteria for the Stem Cell Person of the Year Award.
Jeanne has declined the $2,000 financial component of the Award. I’m currently considering whether to donate the funds to a charity or put them towards a novel educational outreach project in the stem cell field.