Something very unusual and positive just happened at this year’s ISSCR meeting.
Every year in December I give out an award for the Stem Cell Person of the Year to the individual with the strongest positive impact in the stem cell field generated specifically from outside-the-box thinking and actions.
Dr. Jeanne Loring was the recipient in 2015. The award comes with a $2,000 prize that I pay myself. Jeanne declined it, but that money is now going to support an innovative Parkinson’s patient research group called Summit for Stem Cell.
Jeanne and her lab work with Parkinson’s Disease patient advocates together as the overall Summit for Stem Cell team toward the goal of IPS cell-based therapies for Parkinson’s. This is a very exciting area of research. Part of the reason Jeanne got the Stem Cell Person of the Year Award is her unique combination of great translational science and a bigger picture sense of how to make stem cell therapies become a reality.
Putting our heads together regarding the $2,000 prize from last year, Jeanne and I decided along with Summit for Stem Cell leader Jenifer Raub that the money would go to that group to support their outstanding efforts.
The three of us just met up a few hours ago at ISSCR 2016 for me to give a $2,000 check to Jenifer (see picture above with me, Jeanne, and Jenifer from left to right).
I encourage you to learn more about Summit for Stem Cell and their mission.
Other past recipients of the Stem Cell Person of the Year Award include an amazing group of deep thinkers and risk takers in the stem cell field:
- Dr. Masayo Takahashi in 2014.
- Dr. Elena Cattaneo in 2013.
- Top stem cell advocate and leader, Roman Reed in 2012.
It’s not too early to start thinking about your ideas for nominations for the 2016 Stem Cell Person of the Year. Let me know.