The cutoff date is this Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. PDT (0659 Greenwich Mean Time). For those of you who aren't up to speed on this event, it is backed by Paul Knoepfler, a UC Davis stem cell researcher and blogger who initiated the award in 2012. He personally coughs up $1,000 for the winner. He also decides who the ultimate winner will be. This week's ballot is to decide the final 12 out of a field of 30 nominees.
We asked Paul to give us an update today (Sunday) on the state of the balloting. About midday, he sent along the following.
“We now stand at 3,300 valid votes with 3 1/2 days of voting left for picking the top 12 finalists.
“ I've added a countdown timer clock to the deadline at the top of the blog. That's kind of fun.
“Robert Lanza and Chris Centeno are vying back and forth for the top vote spot.
“Patient advocate Ted Harada is steady at 3rd place and Don Reed at 4th place. Followed now by the Pope at 5th place.
“Italian scientist and advocate Elena Cattaneo is next followed by Jeff Sheehy(a governing board member) of CIRM (the California stem cell agency) and bioethicist Leigh Turner.
“Then Sabrina Cohen, advocate, and Pat Olson (executive scientific director) of CIRM.
“The last two spots at the moment in the top 12 are Mitalipov, who did human therapeutic cloning this year, and Masayo Takahashi, running the first iPS cell human clinical study.
“About 1,000 votes in total had to be removed because a few voters broke the rules of 4 votes per day.
“When the time is up, the top 12 vote getters will move on as finalists.”Our recommendation: Vote for Pat Olson, who has served the stem cell agency since 2006. She is a fine representative of the staff of the agency, which has labored mightily this year and over the last nine years, pumping out about $300 million a year for stem cell research. Thousands of applications have been evaluated, and 570 awards handed out with many more to come – not to mention the critical monitoring of the publicly funded grant work.
As we all know, science is a collaborative enterprise. Making good things happen is the business of more than one person. And it is fair to say that the staff of the California stem cell agency has been an important key in maintaining the vitality of the stem cell field research as it has traversed some rocky roads since 2004.
Rules for voting can be found here.