WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Genetics Policy Institute will honor individuals and organizations that have positively impacted the advancement of stem cell research at the 7th Annual Stem Cell Action Awards Dinner on October 4, 2011 at the Pasadena Convention Center. The award ceremony, to be held as part of the 2011 World Stem Cell Summit, will recognize those who have helped foster understanding of stem cell research and its benefits, and supported its progress towards the development of medical treatments and cures.

“There are many individuals and institutions impacting the forward movement of stem cell research, and who inspire the community to continue to promote the benefits that can be attained from this scientific field,” said Bernard Siegel, Executive Director of Genetics Policy Institute (GPI). “This year’s honorees have demonstrated their profound commitment and exemplary leadership in education and the public support of stem cell research, and through their action and inspiration, bring us hope that treatments and cures will come sooner rather than later.”

This year, GPI will be honoring individuals and organizations for their leadership, advocacy, education, public outreach and their ability to inspire hope in stem cell research. Award honorees for 2011 are:

Leadership Award: Sherry Lansing

Sherry Lansing is the former chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, current chairman of the Board of Regents of the University of California and CEO of The Sherry Lansing Foundation. She also serves on the Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and has made an immeasurable contribution to its success.

National Advocacy Award: Research!America

Research!America is the largest not-for-profit public education and advocacy alliance committed to making research focused on improving health a higher national priority. This organization motivates public support and funding for stem cell research.

Education Award: Let’s Talk Science

Let’s Talk Science is a Canadian national, charitable organization delivering science learning programs and services that turn children and youth on to science. This organization has taken a multi-pronged approach to help students and educators gain insight on topics surrounding stem cells, including a high school symposium called “StemCell Talks!,” hands-on classroom workshops, teacher resources that include a national biotechnology learning continuum, and CurioCity, an online program for teens.

Public Advocacy Award: University of Minnesota Stem Cell Institute

When the Minnesota legislature passed a bill criminalizing certain types of stem cell research, scientists at the nation’s first established stem cell institute at the University of Minnesota effectively led a successful advocacy effort to defend this valuable research which led to a veto, and the continuation of stem cell research in Minnesota.

Inspiration Award: Grant Albrecht

Since having developed a spinal myelopathy in 1996, Grant Albrecht has become a determined patient advocate. He has pursued countless avenues of treatment from the traditional to the alternative, and inspires others to chart their own course to rehabilitation and recovery. A highly sought after speech writer and strategic communications coach, Grant worked with Americans for Cures advancing the Prop 71 initiative, and presently serves on the Genetics Policy Institute’s strategic advisory board. He has spoken to many educational and community groups in his impassioned effort to promote a greater understanding of stem cell science, and to help mobilize the Pro-Cures community.