Stem Cell Person of Year Award 2015 Top 12 Finalists

The voters have “spoken” and below is the list of the top 12 vote getters from the larger pool of nominees for Stem Cell Person of the Year in 2015. These are some amazing people.

Look for more information, such as mini-bios, soon on some of the top finalists.

There were nearly 4,700 votes in total.

Now I have the tough task of picking from this dozen just one winner, who will receive the recognition as the top stem cell outside the box innovator of 2015 and of course the $2,000 prize.Stem Cell Person of the Year 2015 Award Nominees


Top 12 Finalists for Stem Cell Person of the Year 2013

Stem-Cell-SymbolThe voting is over and we have our top 12 finalists for the 2013 Stem Cell Person of the Year Award. You can see the final votes results below. It’s definitely an intriguing list that reflects the range of important areas in the field today.

I can say without any hesitation that all 12 of them have had major impacts on the stem cell field and I believe are likely to continue doing so. Keep in mind that the voting up until now was simply to chose the top 12 finalists. Any of the 12, regardless of vote total in the previous stage, could be picked to receive the Award.

I’m going to have a challenge picking just one from these finalists. I plan to announce the Award recipient within a week or so. Stay tuned for more details. Meantime, here are the finalists.

Robert Lanza, Scientific Leader of Advanced Cell Technology with its ongoing FDA-approved embryonic stem cell-based clinical trials for macular degeneration.

Chris Centeno, a physician provider of stem cell treatments. A leading proponent of changes in the regulation of adult stem cell therapies.Stem Cell Person of the Year 2013 Finalists

Ted Harada, a patient advocate for ALS and the stem cell field, who is advocating for changes in stem cell clinical trials and compassionate use.

Don C. Reed, a long time patient advocate instrumental in the passage of Prop 71, the creation of CIRM, and continuing success of the stem cell field.

Pope Francis, the leader of the global Catholic Church and an advocate for adult stem cell therapies.

Jeff Sheehy, an active Member of the CIRM Governing Board and an HIV/AIDS and stem cell patient advocate.

Leigh Turner, a Professor at UMN and Bioethicist active in promoting evidence-based medicine and appropriate regulation of stem cell commercial ventures to protect patients.

Elena Cattaneo, a leading stem cell researcher in Italy who stood up against the Stamina Foundation pushing for use of their nebulous stem cell product.

Sabrina Cohen, an educator and inspirational, long-time leading patient advocate for stem cells and spinal cord injury research.

Patricia Olson, a stem cell scientist who has been a major driving force in CIRM’s success and the agency’s continuing positive evolution over the years.

Masayo Takahashi, the stem cell scientist leading the team conducting the first ever in human study of an iPS cell-based therapy, which happens to also be for macular degeneration.

Shoukhrat Mitalipov, the scientist whose team performed the first ever successful human SCNT (therapeutic cloning) to produce patient-specific human ES cells and investigating oocyte-based strategies for treating mitochondrial disorders.

Vote For Stem Cell Person of the Year 2013 to Determine Finalists

Stem Cell SymbolHappy Stem Cell Day!

I’m using this occasion to introduce today an important element of my new book, Stem Cells: An Insider’s Guide, and that is a new international stem cell symbol and logo (see at right).

More on that later this week.

Also on this day, online voting begins on a great group of nominees for the Stem Cell Person of the Year 2013.

Please vote in the poll below on your choice from the list as to who should be the semifinalists.

You can vote up to 4 times in any 24-hour period.

Voting will close in 2 weeks on Wednesday October 16 at 11:59PM PT.

The top group of 12 vote getters will move on in the process as Finalists.

You can read a bit about each nominee in alphabetical order by first name with one or two sentences about them, often taken from the nominator(s) here. 

Feel free to post comments on your favorites.



Nominees for Stem Cell Person of the Year 2013: scientists, advocates, physicians, and the Pope

Nominations for Stem Cell Person of the Year 2013 closed last night.

stem cell logo

I ended up with a remarkable list of 30 nominees.

I have included a few sentences about each one below, often taking verbiage directly from the nominator.

The online voting on these nominees will start soon. The top vote getters will move on as finalists.

Stay tuned!

Nominees in alphabetical order by first name.

Alexey Bersenev. Leading blogger, expert, and global educator about clinical applications of stem cells. Thoughtful, knowledgeable, and balanced approach to the field.

Beth Brinkmann. Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the US who led the administration’s successful case in Sherley v. Sebelius, the case challenging the legality of federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

Chris Centeno. Physician doing stem cell treatments, founder of predecessor to ICMS, and a leader in efforts aimed at FDA reform to broaden the use of stem cells.

Don C. Reed. Tireless spinal cord injury and stem cell research advocate instrumental in the creation of CIRM and promotion of innovative stem cell research. An unsung hero. Blogger and frequent speaker at stem cell meetings.

Duane Roth (posthumous). Energetic Vice Chair of CIRM Board and leader of CONNECT, an organization promoting entrepreneurship in the San Diego area. Passed away at age 63 on August 4, 2013 from injuries sustained from a cycling accident during a fund raising event.

Elena Cattaneo. Professor of Pharmacology and Director of UniStem, the Centre for Stem Cell Research at the University of Milano, Italy. Took a courageous stand on the Stamina case and is the driving force behind UniStem Day. A “Senator for life” member of Italian Senate, meaning appointed for the rest of her life as a Senator.

George Q. Daley. Leading stem cell researcher, Professor at Harvard, Director of Stem Cell Transplantation Program HHMI/Children’s Hospital Boston, and former ISSCR President. Outstanding voice for the stem cell field.

Hideki Taniguchi. Scientist who led the team that made the first bioengineered micro-liver like structures that have functional properties with huge clinical implications for the future treatment of liver disease, an enormous growing problem in the world.

Hongkui Deng. First stem cell researcher to achieve all chemical cellular reprogramming to make iPS cells, which may lead to safer iPS cell-based therapies.

Jacob Hanna. His lab at the Weizmann Institute has reported the first essentially perfect reprogramming efficiency to make iPS cells with big clinical implications.

Jeff Sheehy. Member of CIRM Governing Board. HIV/AIDS patient advocate. Communications Director of UCSF AIDS Research Institute. Very effective, wise advocate for stem cell research.

Joanne Kurtzberg. Professor and Co-Director of Stem Cell Laboratory at Duke. Pioneering stem cell researcher in the area of clinical application of stem cell technology.

Juergen Knoblich.  Scientist who led the team that made first human “mini-brains” from stem cells, a discovery that could have far-reaching medical implications.

Lee Buckler. Global stem cell and cellular therapy expert who is also a dedicated educator and advocate for advancing the field. Makes real things happen in the stem cell field.

Leigh Turner. Bioethicist who has been leading efforts for appropriate FDA regulation of stem cell therapies. A powerful advocate for ethical stem cell research and protection of patients.

Manuel Serrano.  Scientist who led the team that conducted in vivo reprogramming to make iPS cells in living mice. This innovative work could help make in vivo reprogramming-based medicines a reality in human patients.

Marion (Joe) Riggs. Founder of Student Society for Stem Cell Research (SSSCR). Scientist and advocate who is strongly dedicated to educational outreach and inclusivity in the stem cell field.

Masayo Takahashi. Scientist leading the first ever in human iPS cell-based clinical trial. Vision researcher who may help develop new treatments for blindness and vision impairment.

Patricia Olson. Executive Director of Scientific Activities at CIRM and active in CIRM scientific leadership from day 1. A driving force in the stem cell field.

Pope Francis. Leader of Worldwide Catholic Church. Strong supporter of adult stem cell researcher.

Robert Klein. Visionary stem cell advocate. Leader of successful Prop. 71 effort that led to formation of CIRM and now Chair Emeritus of CIRM ICOC Board.

Robert Lanza. CSO of Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) and top global stem cell thought leader. The man who will make regenerative medicine a household word.

Robin Smith. CEO of NeoStem, biotech company focusing on therapies developed using adult stem cells including VSELs. Innovator and pioneer in the stem cell field.

Sabrina Cohen.  Spinal cord injury patient and stem cell research advocate for more than a decade as well as amazing educator and motivational speaker.

Shoukhrat Mitalipov. Scientist whose lab published the first successful human somatic cell nuclear transfer-based human therapeutic cloning to make human ES cells, the most important research development in stem cells of 2013. Also pursuing research into oocyte transfer-based therapies for mitochondrial disorders.

Sonia Vallabh. Incredibly brave advocate for stem cell research. Stem cell scientist at Mass General Hospital. Co-Founder of Prion Alliance and

Sonia Skarlatos (posthumous). Long-time scientific leader at NIH with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute where she was a tireless supporter of stem cell research. Passed away at age 59 on August 6, 2013.

Susan Solomon. Co-Founder and CEO of The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF). Remarkably effective advocate for stem cell research.

Ted Harada. Leading stem cell research advocate and very effective ALS patient advocate. Brings unmatched energy and enthusiasm to the field. Promoting intelligent reforms to the FDA process for stem cells.

Ulrich Mueller. Stem cell researcher and Chair, Dept. of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience at Scripps.

Disclosures. Only those nominees listed above will be voted on starting this week. Some other nominations were also sent to me that I chose for various reasons not to move forward on and hence those nominees are not listed. It is also important to note that I do not endorse any specific nominee and just because someone is a nominee does not mean I support all of their specific efforts. I also do not necessarily agree with all the language used to describe the candidates.