Tuesday, November 20, 2012

'The Knoepfler Award:' Recognizing Risk and Those Who Make a Difference

A UC Davis stem cell researcher-blogger has announced a “stem cell person of the year” award complete with a $1,000 cash prize that he is putting up himself.

Paul Knoepfler, who may be the only stem cell scientist in the U.S. actively blogging on the subject, said he has decided to put his money where his mouth is. 

Since announcing the contest in a Nov.13 blog item, Knoepfler has already received eight nominations, including one for a scientist. Three days after the item aappeared, UC Davis featured Knoepfler in a press release that included a video of Knoepfler explaining the effort.

Paul Knoepfler
UC Davis photo
He said he wanted to go beyond “old fashioned awards” given by “stodgy committees.” Knoepfler said he is seeking to recognize that stem cell research is “transcending the lab.”

The goal of the award, Knoepfler said, is “to advance the stem cell field and give credit to those who make a real difference.”

Knoepfler wrote,
“The criteria are that the person made a truly outstanding difference in the stem cell field for 2012. The winner could be a scientist, a patient advocate, someone in industry, a student, a physician…really anyone who has made the field better. For non-scientist nominees I’m particularly interested in those who took personal risks or gave of themselves to help others. For scientists I am looking for outstanding scientific achievement and in particular out-of-the-box thinking. Folks in any country are eligible.”
Deadline for nominations is Dec. 17. Self-nominations are permissible. Knoepfler plans to pick five finalists and interview them by phone. He also plans an online vote that he said  “may” influence his decision.

Complete details are available on Knoepfler's blog

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