Annual Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Action Awards for 2021 TBA

2021 Honorees Will Be Announced Soon

The 2021 Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Awards is planned with an internet broadcast of the virtual awards ceremony. Stay tuned for more information about this important event planned to take place during the 2021 World Stem Cell Summit — June 14-18, 2021

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

Miami, FL – January 8, 2020- The formal ceremony of the 2020 Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Awards took 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 also honored 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 were 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 also received special recognition at the event. 

View the Video Presentations About Our Honorees

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.”

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:

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:

Past Honorees

2019 Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Awards
(Click here to read about 2019 honorees)
  • Inspiration Award: Doug Oliver, MSW
  • International Advocacy Award: Desirée Cox, MD, PhD
  • International Diplomacy Award: Robin L Smith, MD MBA
  • International Achievement Award: Lu Daopei Medical Group
  • Leadership Award: The International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory


2018 Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Awards
(Click here to read about 2018 honorees)

  • Advocacy Award: Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden
  • Leadership Award: Dr. W. E. “Ed” Bosarge
  • Leadership Award: Norio Nakatsuji
  • Advocacy Award: Shelley Ross and the Cure Alliance
  • Advocacy Award:Adrienne Bell-Cors Shapiro

2016 Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Awards
(Click here to read about 2016 honorees)

  • Leadership Award: Bernie Marcus
  • Leadership Award: Don Soffer
  • Advocacy Award: Camillo Ricordi, M.D
  • Inspiration Award: Sandy Barker and The Gold Rush Cure Foundation

2015 Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Awards
(Click here to read about 2015 honorees)

  • Leadership Award: Robert M. Nerem, PhD
  • Education Award: Ann Murphy, PhD
  • Advocacy Award: Tory Williams & the Alabama Institute of Medicine
  • Advocacy Award: Jeanne Loring, PhD
  • Inspiration Award: CURE Cerebral palsy (CB)

2014 Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Awards

(Click here to read about 2014 honorees)

  • Leadership Award: Henry Cisneros
  • Hero Award: William R. Brinkley
  • International Leadership: Japanese Society for Regenerative Medicine (JSRM)
  • Education Award: Texans for Stem Cell Research
  • Advocacy Award: Mostyn Foundation
  • Inspiration Award: Huntington’s Disease (HD) Advocacy Community

2013 Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Awards
(Click here to read about 2013 honorees)

  • Leadership Award: Denny Sanford
  • Leadership Award: Malin Burnham
  • National Advocacy Award: Dr. Paul Knoepfler
  • Education Award: Mary Ann Liebert
  • Inspiration Award: Roman Reed

2012 Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Awards

(Click here to read about 2012 honorees)

  • Leadership Award: Susan Solomon
  • Media Integrity Award:60 Minutes
  • National Advocacy Award: Alliance for Regenerative Medicine
  • Public Outreach & Education Award: Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures
  • Inspiration Award: Sabrina Cohen


2011 Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Awards
(Click here to read about 2011 honorees)

  • Leadership Award: Sherry Lansing
  • National Advocacy Award: Research!America
  • Education Award: Let’s Talk Science
  • Public Advocacy Award: University of Minnesota Stem Cell Institute
  • Inspiration Award: Grant Albrecht


2010 Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Awards
(Click here to read about 2010 honorees)

  • National Leadership Award: Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm
  • National Advocacy Award: A. Alfred Taubman
  • Education Award: Canadian Stem Cell Network
  • Grassroots Advocacy Award: Stephen Byer, Barbara Byer and ALS WORLDWIDE
  • Inspiration Award: Laura Jackson

2009 Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Awards

  • National Leadership Award: Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley
  • International Advocacy Award: The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (JDRF)
  • Education Award: Michigan Citizens for Stem Cell Research & Cures (MCSCRC)
  • Grassroots Advocacy Award: Cure Michigan
  • Inspiration Award: Margaret Conn
  • Inspiration Award: John L. Kellermann, III

2008 Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Awards

  • National Leadership Award:Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle
  • National Advocacy Award: Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation
  • Education Award: National Association of Biology Teachers
  • Inspiration Award: Brooke Ellison
  • Grassroots Advocacy: Ben Kaplan


  • Michael J. Fox
  • Parkinson’s Action Network
  • Dr. Ralph Dittman
  • Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures


  • Bob Klein
  • Hadassah
  • Don Reed
  • Student Society for Stem Cell Research
  • Luca Coscioni Association


  • Danny Heumann
  • Coalition for Advancement of Medical Research
  • Texans for Advancement of Medical Research