6th Annual Stem Cell Action Awards to be presented at 2010 World Stem Cell Summit in Detroit

WASHINGTON–The Genetics Policy Institute (GPI) will honor Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm; philanthropist A. Alfred Taubman; the Canadian Stem Cell Network; Stephen and Barbara Byer and the organization they founded, ALS Worldwide; and patient-advocate Laura Jackson at its 6th annual Stem Cell Action Awards dinner, which will be held on Tuesday, October 5, at the Marriott Renaissance Center as part of the 2010 World Stem Cell Summit in Detroit, Michigan.

Here are the 2010 Stem Cell Action honorees:

Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm (National Leadership Award) – Governor Granholm is a long-time champion of stem cell research targeting lifesaving treatments to alleviate human suffering. Since taking office, she has effectively promoted Michigan’s biotech industry, which is now one of the fastest growing biotech sectors in the nation. The Governor has specifically targeted the burgeoning field of stem cell commercialization and regenerative medicine as a job creation and growth area for the state.

A. Alfred Taubman (National Advocacy Award) – A. Alfred Taubman’s visionary leadership has resulted in the establishment of the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute at the University of Michigan, which is doing innovative stem cell research focusing on developing treatments for ALS, cancer and a host of other medical conditions. His support for Michigan Citizens for Stem Cell Research and Cures and Cure Michigan made the critical difference in ending the restrictive legislation governing stem cell research in the state.

Canadian Stem Cell Network (Education Award) – The Network’s extraordinary commitment to public education has made it a model for other stakeholder groups. Some of the projects include the promotion of “Stem Cell Talks” public presentations; the production of a suite of summaries on stem cells, disease and ethics; and scientific support of the web site www.stemcellschool.org.

Stephen Byer, Barbara Byer and ALS WORLDWIDE (Grassroots Advocacy Award) – Ben Byer’s ALS diagnosis in 2002 propelled his parents, Stephen and Barbara Byer, to learn about stem cell protocols and other potential treatments for him and many others. After Ben’s death in 2008, they formalized their efforts by launching ALS WORLDWIDE, a not-for-profit organization committed to scientific research interpretation, patient advocacy and care. Their work toward distinguishing legitimate clinical trials from invalid treatments has had far-reaching influence. Over 5,000 patient families have benefited from the support ALS WORLDWIDE provides.

Laura Jackson (Inspiration Award) – Paralyzed in a cheerleading accident seven years ago, Laura Jackson has become a tireless and effective advocate for stem cell research. This lovely and articulate young woman has spoken at dozens of events under the auspices of Michigan Citizens for Stem Cell Research and Cures. She is also nationally recognized as a spokesperson on the issue of cheerleading safety.

“The Genetics Policy Institute’s Stem Cell Action Awards are presented at the annual World Stem Cell Summit, which is often referred to as the ‘conference of hope.’ We recognize the dedicated individuals and organizations that positively impact the cause of stem cell research. These exemplary heroes, through their actions and inspiration, bring us hope that treatments and cures will come about sooner rather than later,” said Bernard Siegel, Executive Director of GPI.

Past honorees include Michael J. Fox, Brooke Ellison, Bob Klein, Danny Heumann, Don Reed, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, Hadassah, the Parkinson’s Action Network, the National Association of Biology Teachers and many other prominent individuals and organizations.

The 2010 World Stem Cell Summit is presented by GPI and is co-hosted by the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, the University Research Corridor and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

This event has garnered more than 150 sponsors, supporting organizations and media partners. It is the flagship networking conference bringing together the world stem cell community.

For information on how to register for the World Stem Cell Summit or to sponsor and attend the Stem Cell Action Awards Dinner, visit www.worldstemcellsummit.com.

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.