Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Twenty-six Nominated for 2014 Stem Cell Person of the Year Award

A distinguished list of nominees was revealed today for the Stem Cell Person of the Year award, whose cash prize has doubled from last year.  

The contest is the brainchild of UC Davis stem cell scientist Paul Knoepfler, who boosted the award from $1,000 to $2,000 this year, all of which comes out his pocket.

Knoepfler this morning posted the names of the 26 nominees, who ranged from Pope Francis to California patient advocate Don Reed. The names were submitted by readers of Knoepfler’s blog, among others.

Nominees included two executives at the $3 billion California stem cell agency, Ellen Feigal and Pat Olson, which expects to have money down on 10 stem cell clinical trials by the end of this year. (Here is a link to the agency's blog item on the contest.)

The list is larded with other worthy nominees including Michael West, CEO of Biotime, Inc., which resurrected the human embryonic stem cell trial abandoned for financial reasons by Geron.

Voting is now underway to whittle the list down to 12 finalists. There is also an “other” category for additional nominations.  The criteria are broad. Knoepfler says the award should go to the “the most positively influential person” in the stem cell field during 2014.

Deadline for voting is Oct. 22. Knoepfler, however, has the only vote that counts for the final selection of the overall winner. During the past two years, he has selected Elena Cattaneo of Italy
and patient advocate Roman Reed of California. (Roman is the son of Don Reed.)

For rules on voting, see here.

The California Stem Cell Report will carry its recommendation for the award later this week.
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