20 Stem Cell Person of The Year 2017 Award Nominees

Nominations have closed for the 2017 Stem Cell Person of the Year Award and we have a great group of nominees. I’ve listed them below in alphabetical order, along with a bit of description of who they are, which includes in some cases the language used by the nominator(s). Where possible I’ve included a link to a helpful webpage about them. You can read more about this award here in an archive of posts about it over the years. Note that folks at stem cell clinics or others involved in non-compliant work cannot be nominees for the Stem Cell Person of the Year Award. stem cell person of the year

Soon Internet voting to choose the finalists will begin (the top 1/2 vote getters of the nominees become finalists), from which I will choose the one winner.

Although I have mixed feelings on the Internet voting since some people try to game the system that way and Internet voting has its issues more broadly, I decided to keep the vote to pick finalists for now as I really like that in this way this blog’s community gets to participate in the Stem Cell Person of the Year Award process.

Here are the 20 award nominees.

Alexey Bersenev, Director, Advanced Cell Therapy Lab at Yale University, stem cell researcher and long-time advocate for rigorous, responsible stem cell and cell therapy clinical efforts. Posts on his site here.

Anthony Atala, Professor and Director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and Chair of the Department of Urology at Wake Forest School of Medicine in North Carolina. Stem cell research scholar, working on a number of important areas including tissue/organ transplantation based on stem cells. Advocate for the regenerative medicine field and winner of numerous awards.

Bao-Ngoc Nguyen, Science and Technology Policy Fellow, Senate Health Committee, who was a driving force behind California’s groundbreaking new law on stem cell therapies.

David Bales, Founder of Texans for Stem Cells, which was renamed Texans for Cures, energized stem cell advocate for responsible therapy development.

Dieter Egli, Assistant Professor Columbia University, developmental biologist, pioneer in pluripotent stem cell, embryonic development, and somatic cell nuclear transfer research. Outspoken advocate for the field.

Fabrisia Ambrosio, PhD, MPT, Associate Professor, at the University of Pittsburgh, pioneer in emerging field of Regenerative Rehabilitation.

Frances Verter, Founder & Director, Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation & CellTrials.org. Pioneering stem cell advocate, providing balanced information to patients and the field.

Hossein Baharvand, Director of Royan Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Technology, pioneering stem cell researcher in Iran, working on both pluripotent and mesenchymal stem cells.

Judy Roberson. Very effective, tireless Huntington’s Disease (HD) and stem cell research advocate, who makes concrete positive steps a reality.

Jun Takahashi, Professor at CiRA, Kyoto University. Stem cell scientist conducting cutting-edge research on using IPS cells clinically for neurological disorders including Parkinson’s Disease.

Leigh Turner, Associate Professor, University of Minnesota. Bioethicist, a leader in challenging predatory stem cell clinics who takes risks to make a positive impact.

Madeline Lancaster, Group Leader MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, pioneer in stem cell-based organoid research and in particular in innovative, cerebral organoid (“mini-brains”) technology.

Martin Pera, Professor The Jackson Laboratory, pioneering stem cell and pluripotent stem cell researcher, and one of the discoverers of embryonic stem cells.

Mary Bass, Executive Director, Americans for Cures, very effective stem cell advocate and communicator who makes a strong, positive difference.

Megan Munsie, Associate Professor, Deputy Director of the Centre for Stem Cell Systems and Head of Education, Ethics, Law & Community Awareness Unit, Stem Cells Australia, at University of Melbourne. Leading scientist and advocate of responsible use of stem cell and regenerative medicine technologies.

Michele De Luca, Professor, University of Modena, and Director of Centre for Regenerative Medicine. Stem cell research pioneer and leader of team that recently replaced a boy’s epidermis using an innovative combination cell-gene therapy.

Professor Peter Choong from St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne and Professor Gordon Wallace, ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES). Pioneered the handheld 3D printing pen (joint nomination).

Sally Temple, Scientific Director, Co-Founder, and Principle Investigator at the Neural Stem Cell Institute as well as Past-President of ISSCR and MacArthur Fellow. Innovative stem cell researcher and scholar, also working to make a difference on policy.

Shoukhrat Mitalipov, Professor at OHSU, innovator at the cutting-edge intersection of stem cell and reproductive biology fields.

Susan Solomon, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of NYSCF, innovator, leading positive influencer in the stem cell and regenerative medicine field.

Although only half of these nominees can be finalists and only one can receive the Stem Cell Person of the Year Award, what an amazing group overall. I hope everyone reading this post can via the group of nominees learn about someone new to them who has big impact.

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