GPI 2012 “Stem Cell Action Award” Honorees Announced

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Palm Beach, Fla., September 18, 2012 Today, the Genetics Policy Institute (GPI) announced the 2012 Stem Cell Action Award Honorees. Since 2005, GPI has honored the stem cell community’s top innovators, leaders, and champions at the Stem Cell Action Awards Dinner at the annual World Stem Cell Summit. 

The 2012 Stem Cell Action Award honorees are Susan Solomon, CEO of the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF); “60 Minutes;” Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM); Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures; and Sabrina Cohen, founder of the Sabrina Cohen Foundation. The awards will be presented at the 8th Annual Stem Cell Action Awards dinner, Tuesday, December 4, during the 2012 World Stem Cell Summit at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.
 
“We recognize the dedicated individuals and organizations that positively impact the cause of stem cell advancement aimed at finding cures and alleviating human suffering,” said Bernard Siegel, Executive Director of GPI. “Through their positive actions, our honorees have moved the regenerative medicine needle, bringing closer the day when patients will be safely treated through these innovative technologies.” Previous Stem Cell Action awardees have included Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, Research!America, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), Michael J. Fox, Robert Klein, Sherry Lansing, A. Alfred Taubman and the National Association of Biology Teachers.
 
Meet the 2012 Stem Cell Action honorees:
 
Susan Solomon (Leadership Award) – Susan Solomon is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF), which was established in 2005 to accelerate cures through stem cell research. Utilizing her wide-ranging experience as a leading patient advocate and her extraordinary business acumen as a top executive and technology entrepreneur, Susan has catapulted NYSCF into a research juggernaut. Under her leadership, NYSCF is supporting over 100 leading researchers at top laboratories around the world including NYSCF's own laboratories. She has raised approximately $100 million in the quest for cures, enabled important global research initiatives and established the NYSCF Research Institute, laboratories staffed with over 40 top-flight scientists, doing cutting-edge research aimed at finding treatments for previously incurable medical conditions. In a recent TEDGlobal talk, Susan explains how NYSCF scientists and software developers are creating new stem cell technology to accelerate research. Breakthroughs by NYSCF Scientists have twice been named #1 medical and scientific research breakthroughs of the year by Time magazine.
 
“60 Minutes” (Media Integrity Award) Stem cell research is hugely promising, but paradigm-shifting science takes time to translate into safe treatments and cures. Unfortunately, some offshore clinics are making outrageous claims and luring desperate patients to pay large sums to undertake dubious, possibly dangerous, unproven “treatments.” CBS News’ hard hitting television news program “60 Minutes” has twice tackled the controversial issue of unproven stem cell treatments and has provided an invaluable contribution to public awareness exposing risks and rip-offs foisted upon vulnerable patients and their families. The two-part broadcast of “21st Century Snake Oil” has changed the way the public looks at stem cell therapies, and launched an investigation by both the FDA and FBI. By exposing unscrupulous purveyors of “false hope” and outright criminal activity, the viewing public now has a realistic understanding as to how to separate actual beneficial treatments from expensive and potentially damaging “snake oil.”
 
Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM) (National Advocacy Award) With more than 120 members, the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM) is a Washington, DC-based multi-stakeholder advocacy organization that develops and advocates for legislative, regulatory and reimbursement initiatives necessary to facilitate research and commercialization of regenerative medicine products. ARM increases public understanding of the field and its potential to transform healthcare, as well as provides business development and investor outreach services to support the growth of its member companies and research organizations. Prior to the formation of ARM in 2009, there was no advocacy organization operating in Washington, DC to specifically represent the interests of the companies, research institutions, investors and patient groups comprising the entire regenerative medicine community.
 
Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures (Public Outreach & Education Award) The grassroots Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures (NCLC) includes business, education, community leaders and citizens who support stem cell research in Nebraska. Since 2000, NCLC, formerly known as Nebraskans for Research, has supported the efforts and accomplishments of Nebraska-based medical researchers, science educators and young collegiate scientists. It accomplishes its mission through robust educational outreach, both in-person and online. The NCLC is recognized as one of the best-organized and effective grassroots advocacy groups in the United States.
 
Sabrina Cohen (Inspiration) Sabrina Cohen leads the Sabrina Cohen Foundation (SCF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to building a global network of top scientists and clinicians in the field of Regenerative Medicine, while simultaneously funding cutting-edge research and innovative therapies that will reverse paralysis and effectively treat other impairments of the Central Nervous System. Sabrina endured a severe spinal cord injury in 1992 at the age of 14 in a car accident. She has been confined to a wheelchair ever since. With her magnetic personality, she has become a national advocate for stem cell research, while she also serves as a mentor to many affected by paralysis. SELF magazine recently named Sabrina a 2012 “Women Doing Good” Honoree along with celebrity award winners Jessica Alba, Kerry Washington and Jenna Dewan-Tatum. Sabrina has been featured in many media outlets, including NBC, FOX, CBS, ABC, CNN Headline News, Good Morning America, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, and most recently NBC’s Today show.
 
The Stem Cell Action Awards Dinner is open to the public. For information about sponsoring or attending the Stem Cell Action Awards, or to register for the World Stem Cell Summit, visit www.worldstemcellsummit.com.
 
ABOUT GPI: The Genetics Policy Institute (GPI) supports stem cell research to develop therapeutics and cures. GPI pursues its mission by honoring leadership through the Stem Cell Action Awards, producing the World Stem Cell Summit, publishing the World Stem Cell Report, organizing educational initiatives and fostering strategic collaborations. For more information about GPI, visit www.genpol.org.
 
ABOUT THE WORLD STEM CELL SUMMIT: The 2012 World Stem Cell Summit is presented by GPI and is co-organized by the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute (ISCI) at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Diabetes Research Institute, Beckman Research Institute at City of Hope, Karolinska Institute (home of the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine), International Translational Regenerative Medicine Center (ITRC) and the Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) at Kyoto University. The Summit is the flagship meeting of the world stem cell community. The 2012 Summit will be held at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, December 3-5, 2012. For more information, visit www.worldstemcellsummit.com.
 
Media Contact: Mara Leventhal, Communications Director, mara@genpol.org, 561-578-5975.
 
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