The votes are in and the community has picked its top 10 Stem Cell Person of the Year Award finalists.
Both the 20 nominees and now the 10 finalists are a diverse group. The finalists include six women and four men, from five countries and four different continents.
We also got votes from readers of the blog from 32 different countries spanning every continent, which is exciting.
This year’s finalists are mostly scientists, but it’s a diverse group that also includes advocates and the top vote getter, Bao Nguyen, had impact at the legal level leading the push for a stem cell therapy law that was ultimately passed here in California. And many of the stem cell and regenerative medicine scientists are known not only for their great, innovative research, but also for being advocates and taking a stand for good science. Sometimes taking that stand brings real risks with it and that should be acknowledged. Some of the scientists are more clinically-oriented while others are basic scientists who have translational work ongoing.
Certain names are likely familiar to you, but others maybe not so much. Part of the point of the Stem Cell Person of the Year Award is to spread the word about people doing interesting things the stem cell and regenerative medicine world. You can read a bit about the 10 finalists and 20 overall nominees here. You can also Google them.
Now, the tough task turns to me to pick just one winner from these top 10 finalists.
Who had the biggest, positive impact with outside-the-box thinking and risk taking? Who gets the Award and the $2,000 prize?
I’m going to ponder this question for a few days and then announce the winner.
Our past winners of Stem Cell Person of the Year are a great bunch:
- 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.