2020 Honorees include Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Emily Whitehead Foundation, Gift of Life Marrow Registry and Ret. Major General Bernard “Burn” Loeffke (US Military)

Miami, FL – January 8, 2019 – The formal ceremony of the 2020 Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Awards will take place at a gala reception and dinner on January 23, during the 15th annual World Stem Cell Summit (WSCS) at the Hyatt Regency in Miami. Since 2005, the nonprofit Regenerative Medicine Foundation (RMF) (formerly Genetics Policy Institute) has recognized the stem cell and regenerative medicine community’s leading innovators, leaders, and champions through its annual awards reception.

Bernard Siegel, Executive Director of Regenerative Medicine Foundation and founder of the World Stem Cell Summit, said, “The 2020 Action Awards will recognize three important organizations that are positively impacting the emerging field of regenerative medicine. We will also honor a retired Major General, who has capped off his military and diplomatic career by promoting the cause of world peace through medicine. All of these distinguished honorees will be recognized for their devotion to improving health and developing cures through advocacy, innovation, leadership and inspiration. In addition, the wounded warrior veterans’ community of South Florida will also receive special recognition at the event. 

Meet the 2020 Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Action Award Honorees:

Innovation Award: With the motto, “We will not rest until we find a cure,” the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is geared towards the successful development and delivery of treatments, therapies and a cure for every person with cystic fibrosis. CF Foundation has added decades to the lives of people with the disease as a direct result of advances in treatment and care made possible through its innovative business model- venture philanthropy. The Foundation recently unveiled its Path to a Cure research agenda aimed at addressing the root genetic cause of the disease and is currently funding industry programs aimed at gene delivery with the goal of progressing into clinical studies in 2021.

Inspiration Award: Emily Whitehead Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to raising funds to invest in the most promising pediatric cancer research. Tom and Kari Whitehead founded EWF in honor of their daughter Emily, the first child in the world to receive CAR T-cell therapy, training her own cells to fight cancer. Her inspiring story focused public attention on the potential for cancer immunotherapy to transform cancer treatment, as well as the need to support lifesaving cancer immunotherapy research. The foundation provides support to pediatric cancer patients and promotes awareness of the disease through education and sharing other inspiring stories.

Advocacy Award: Gift of Life Marrow Registry was established in 1991 by Jay Feinberg and his family after Jay received a life-saving bone marrow transplant. Gift of Life is dedicated to saving lives and facilitating bone marrow and blood stem cell transplants for patients with leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell and other diseases. In 2019, Gift of Life opened the world’s first apheresis center fully integrated within a registry, the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Gift of Life-Be The Match Stem Cell Collection Center. With the collection center and rapidly expanding donor database, Gift of Life will launch a biobank to advance cellular therapies using allogeneically sourced cells in 2020.

Leadership Award: Ret. Major General Bernard “Burn” Loeffke, PhD. (US Military) is a highly decorated Special Forces officer, diplomat and medical officer. He survived two helicopter crashes and was wounded in combat. After the Vietnam War, he served as the Army Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, first Defense Attaché at the  U.S Embassy in Beijing, a staff officer in the White House, and Director of the Commission on White House Fellows. His last command was Commanding General of Army South. After 35 years in the military, he became a medical officer traveling the world on relief missions to third and fourth world countries. Presently, at age 85, he champions the hydrocephalus and wounded warrior communities. He continues to serve as an inspiration and supporter of building peaceful international relations through medical partnerships and played a pivotal role as a keynote speaker at the inaugural 2019 World Stem Cell Summit CHINA. He is called the “Peace General” in Latin America. In China, he is simply known as ”The General, our Friend.”

To learn more about past honorees and details for sponsoring or attending the upcoming 2020 Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Awards dinner, please visit, https://www.worldstemcellsummit.com/stem-cell-action-awards/

About the World Stem Cell Summit (WSCS)
Produced by the non-profit Regenerative Medicine Foundation (RMF), and in its 15th year, the World Stem Cell Summit will take place January 21-24, 2020, in Miami, Florida in partnership with Phacilitate Leaders World, as part of Advanced Therapies Week. The Summit is the most inclusive and expansive interdisciplinary, networking, and partnering meeting in the stem cell science and regenerative medicine field. With the overarching purpose of fostering translation of biomedical research, funding, and investments targeting cures, the Summit and co-located conferences serve a diverse ecosystem of stakeholders. For more information about the upcoming World Stem Cell Summit in Miami, please visit: www.worldstemcellsummit.com.

About the Regenerative Medicine Foundation (RMF)
The nonprofit Regenerative Medicine Foundation fosters strategic collaborations to accelerate the development of regenerative medicine to improve health and deliver cures. RMF unites the world’s leading researchers, medical centers, universities, labs, businesses, funders, policymakers, experts in law, regulation and ethics, medical philanthropies, and patient organizations. We maintain a trusted network of leaders and pursue our mission by producing our flagship World Stem Cell Summit series of conferences and public days, honoring leaders through the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Awards, supporting our official journal partner STEM CELLS Translational Medicine (SCTM), promoting solution-focused policy initiatives both nationally and internationally and creating STEM/STEAM educational projects. For more information about RMF, please visit: www.regmedfoundation.org.

Media Contact:
Joseph Dawson
Communications Director
Regenerative Medicine Foundation
joseph@regmedfoundation.org