Stem Cell Person of the Year 2017 Award: Nominations Open

stem cell person of the year

Nominations are now open for the 2017 Stem Cell Person of the Year Award, which will be our sixth such award. You can leave nominations as comments on this post or email them to me (see my email on our Contact page).

The Stem Cell Person of the Year Award is an honor I give out to the person in any given year who in my view has had the most positive impact in outside-the-box ways in the stem cell and regenerative medicine field. I’m looking for creative risk-takers.
stem cell person of the year

The winner receives international recognition and a $2,000 prize that I provide myself out of pocket. It’s part of the way that The Niche gives back to our community.

Nominations for the 2017 award will close one week from today on November 21st at midnight.

People from around the world can be nominated who has had positive impact in this arena ranging from patient advocates to academic, industry, or governmental scientists to students to policy makers, etc. I keep an open mind on who might have had the most impact so it could be anyone. Be creative.

Once I have the nominations, I’ll post them and we’ll move on to the next phase of selecting the subset of finalists. Then ultimately I’ll pick the winner.

Past winners include diverse, positive impactors in our field:

  • ALS and stem cell patient advocate Ted Harada won posthumously in 2016.
  • Top stem cell scientist Jeanne Loring received the award in 2015. Note that Jeanne deferred getting her $2,000 prize money, which I then donated to Summit for Stem Cell, an amazing patient-based stem cell organization.
  • Pioneering vision and pluripotent stem cell clinical researcher, Masayo Takahashi, won in 2014.
  • Neural stem cell scientist and Italian politician Elena Cattaneo was the winner in 2013.
  • Super stem cell patient advocate Roman Reed received the first award in 2012.

Unlike some other science awards out there that shall remain nameless, the Stem Cell Person of the Year prize is not an insider kind of thing, but more of an anti-old boy’s club award. It’s not about who you know, but what you do to help science, medicine, and other people.

Send me your nominations!

14 Comments


  1. I nominate Professor Peter Choong from St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne and Professor Gordon Wallace, ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) for the handheld 3D printing pen, which can successfully print living cells in surgery to repair cartilage defects in sheep


    • Dr. Hossein Baharvand who dedicated his life to stem cell science and its clinical application. He is the head of Royan Institute for stem cell biology and technology.


  2. I nominate Shoukhrat Mitalipov is an American biologist who heads the Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. He is known for discovering a controversial genetic therapy that may be a way to prevent mitochondrial diseases, as well as a new way of creating human stem cells from skin cells.

    Honors and awards:

    2013 – Recognized by journal Nature as top 10 people who mattered in 2013
    2010 – Recipient of the 2010 Discovery Award, The Medical Research Foundation of Oregon
    2010 – Recipient of 2010 Women’s Health Research Award, the Center for Women’s Health, Circle of Giving
    1995 – Fellowship award, Exchange Visitor Program “Cooperation in Applied Sciences and Technologies (CAST)”. Development of culture system to maintain pluripotency of bovine embryonic stem cells. Utah State University.

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