Diverse Stem Cell Person of the Year 2014 Award Finalists

Stem Cell Award Poll 2014With more than 4,142 votes cast, the readers of this blog have chosen the top 12 finalists for the Stem Cell Person of the Year Award for 2014 from the 27 nominees.

You can see the final vote tallies at left. The votes came from more than 50 countries with some interesting geographic patterns (I may do a post on that as a follow up).

I’ve pasted the brief bios of the twelve finalists below at the end of this post.

Now comes the tough task for me to pick a single winner from this amazing group. I will announce the Stem Cell Person of the Year 2014 within 1-2 weeks.

The finalists are a diverse group. They include scientists from academia and industry, patient advocates, a blogger, and the Pope. We have six male and six female finalists who live all around the world including in the US, Japan, Sweden, Canada, and Vatican City.

I’m happy to see both some familiar faces from nominees and finalists from past years and new ones too.

Who would you pick as the one winner and why? Post in the comments.

Finalists Bios (including in bold quotes from nominators)

Chris Fasano. A principal investigator at the Neural Stem Cell Institute where he uses stem cells to study early nervous system development. “Chris stands out for his energy, enthusiasm, dedication to the field, creativity and accomplishments.”

Don C. Reed. Long-time stem cell research advocate who played a key role in the success of Prop 71 and the creation of CIRM. “A tireless stem cell advocate always there to make a positive difference.”

Janet Rossant. Professor, University of Toronto. Stem Cell Researcher and Past President, ISSCR. “She works tirelessly to create new opportunities and collaborations…globally respected for her work in early development and embryonic stem cells”

Judy Roberson. Long-time Huntington’s Disease patient advocate. “She makes concrete positive developments happen such as millions of dollars in research funding for HD.”

JuuichiJigen. Japanese blogger who investigates scientific misconduct and played a key role in revealing the STAP scandal. He was the first to investigate and bring to the public of problems with STAP papers. His investigations demonstrated the role of social media and post-publication peer review in rapid self-correction of science.”

Malin Parmar. Associate Professor, Developmental and Regenerative Neurobiology, Lund University. Top neural regeneration scientist. “Young, hard worker who is doing very well”.

Masayo Takahashi. Stem cell researcher leading the team that is doing the first ever clinical study based on human iPS cells. “Creative and courageous clinical stem cell researcher.”

Pope Francis. Leader of Worldwide Catholic Church. “Strong supporter of adult stem cell biotechs and research”.

Robert Lanza. CSO of Advanced Cell Technology, which has multiple ES cell-based clinical trials ongoing. “Visionary and practical so makes the impossible possible with stem cells”.

Susan Solomon. Co-Founder and CEO of The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF). Remarkably effective advocate for stem cell research. “Not many leaders have created their own research laboratories and raised $100 million plus. Seriously, what an accomplishment!”

Ted Harada. Leading stem cell research advocate and very effective ALS patient advocate. “An Energizer Bunny for the ALS community and stem cell advocate”

Tory Williams. Stem cell advocate and author of the 2014 book, Inevitable Collision. Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Alabama Institute of Medicine (AIM). “A true hero who inspires and makes real things happen like AIM”.

11 thoughts on “Diverse Stem Cell Person of the Year 2014 Award Finalists


  1. Christopher Fasano is a dedicated scientist who deserves this honor due to his unbelievable efforts in the study of stem cells. He is a dynamic speaker and brilliant person who always thinks outside the box. I have no doubt that he will discover something life changing and beneficial thru his research.


  2. Chris gives 110% to his work. He is dedicates all “his” time to help others. With his commitment and dedication to Stem Cell Research , Chris will find a cure, someday, for one of the debilitating, neurological diseases.


  3. Christopher Fasano’s bio states that this scientist stands out for his energy, enthusiasm, dedication to the field, creativity and accomplishments. All of these attributes are well documented making him an outstanding role model for the research community. What you may not know is the person, a man who is all in on curing devastating diseases, dedicated to the science of stem cell research and a genuinely nice person. He’s also a great gardener and I fully expect stem cells to be growing in his garden one day soon.


  4. My vote is for Dr. Christopher Fasano. There is no other person in the field that deserves this award more. When we finally hear the great news that some of the world’s worst diseases have become curable, I’m positive Dr. Fasano will be associated with it. He’s so passionate about Stem Cell research that he even takes the time outside of the Lab to talk about it on the Stem Cell Podcast to thousands of scientists. Bravo for earning a top spot as one of the best Science related podcasts out there!

    It’s obvious he’s dedicated his life to this field and he should be recognized for all of his hard work.


  5. My vote is for Dr. Christopher Fasano. There is no other person in the field that deserves this award more. When we finally hear the great news that some of the world’s worst diseases have become curable, I’m positive Dr. Fasano will be associated with it. He’s so passionate about Stem Cell research that he even takes the time outside of the Lab to talk about it on the Stem Cell Podcast to thousands of scientist!
    It’s obvious he’s dedicated his life to this field and he should be recognized for all of his hard work.


  6. I was so happy to see others share my view that Dr Fasano should be the stem cell person of the year. While all the finalists are clearly accomplished in the field, Dr. fasano is the most diverse in terms of his accomplishments. In addition to his awesome, well recognized lab research, Dr. Fasano contributes in many other ways to the field. Technology- Dr. Fasano has created a company and a line of products that help stem cell researchers all over the world grow there stem cells better. Young scientists- Dr. Fasano recognizes that the young scientists are the future of the field so he created a stem cell conference focused on young stem cell scientists. Advocate- To help spread the word about stem cell researcher, Dr Fasano created the stem cell podcast to help educate both scientists and non about all things stem cells. For all these reasons, and for all the others listed in the comments above, Dr. chris fasano, in my opinion, is the stem cell person of the year.


  7. One way to answer the question “How do I choose just 1 from these great finalists for Stem Cell Person of Year?” is to identify people that contributed to the history of the field of stem cells in 2014, if possible. This year with have the chance that this did occur, indeed, and this leads to Robert Lanza or Masayo Takahashi.XXXX
    XXXX = edit


  8. Ultimately, stem cells are about helping people. This year, Lanza’s group showed that pluripotent stem cells are safe and can do that. The Japanese group also put RPE (derived from IPScells) into the eye of a patient. Not to minimize it, but RPE… where did that idea come from?

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