|Roman Reed (left) and Paul Knoepfler|
Knoepfler Lab photo
“One of the most notable was catalyzing the TJ Atchison Spinal Cord Injury Research Act in Alabama, which provides $400,000/year in funding for research. Of course, TJ and many others who helped make this possible also deserve great credit and have my admiration, but Roman provided key leadership. Here in California, Roman’s Law supported its 11th year of grants all eligible for all forms of stem cell research. Roman informs me that it funded $749,00 overall and approximately $200,000 in stem cell funding.
“In addition, Roman in 2012 mentored and energized a whole new generation of advocacy from young, energetic leaders: TJ Atchison, Katie Sharify, Richard Lajara and Tory Minus.”
U of Minn photo
“Only 6% behind Roman was the amazing activist Ted Harada followed by Roman’s dad the remarkable Don Reed, the wonderful Judy Roberson, and the super Katie Sharify nearly all tied for third. Next after them was the relative new kid in stem cell town, Leigh Turner.”
“Leigh took the courageous, outside-the-box step in 2012 of contacting the FDA to investigate Celltex when he perceived patients could be at risk. As “thanks” for his action, he was put under enormous pressure and there was talk of possible litigation against him. Pressure was applied to his employer, the University of Minnesota. We’ll never know for sure, but from everything that I know I believe that Leigh’s actions directly led to prompt FDA action, which otherwise might not have happened at all or until much later. In my opinion, Leigh’s act of courage, helped make hundreds of patients safer in a direct way and indirectly may have set a higher standard for the field of stem cell treatments.”