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GPI "Stem Cell Action Award" Honorees Announced for 2015

ATLANTA, Oct. 27, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Five distinguished honorees have been selected for the 2015 Stem Cell Action Awards. For 11 years, the Genetics Policy Institute (GPI) has honored the stem cell and regenerative medicine community's top innovators, leaders, and champions. The honorees are recognized at a gala dinner on Thursday, December 10 during the 11th annual World Stem Cell Summit at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia.

This year's Stem Cell Action Award Honorees include a courageous scientist, dedicated science publisher, a bioengineering leader and impactful patient advocacy organizations and inspiring advocates. The honorees are trailblazers in their respective fields.

Some of the previous Stem Cell Action awardees have included Michael J. Fox, Brooke Ellison, Robert Klein, Sherry Lansing, Susan Solomon, Mary Ann Liebert, Research!America, National Association of Biology Teachers, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), Parkinson's Action Network, the Huntington's Disease "grassroots" advocacy community, ALS Worldwide and philanthropists like A. Alfred Taubman and T. Denny Sanford.

The 2015 Stem Cell Action Awards Dinner is underwritten by the nonprofit Americans for Cures Foundation (A4CF) that serves as a "Science & Education" partner of the 2015 World Stem Cell Summit.

Meet the 2015 Stem Cell Action Award Honorees:

Leadership Award: Robert M. Nerem, PhD –Bob has a long and distinguished career in engineering for medicine. A giant in the field of cellular and tissue engineering, Bob began at Georgia Tech in 1987 as a Professor and Parker H. Petit Distinguished Chair for Engineering in Medicine. He is the founder of the Georgia Tech/Emory Center for the Engineering of Living Tissues which has evolved into the Center for Regenerative Engineering and Medicine (REM), a joint collaboration between Emory University, Georgia Tech and The University of Georgia, with a mission to fundamentally transform the treatment of human diseases and injuries through the development and translation of new technologies that enhance the body's ability to heal itself. The integration of engineering technologies, biological discoveries, and clinical expertise and infrastructure will establish Georgia as a national leader in regenerative clinical therapies.

Education Award: Ann Murphy, PhD- Ann co-founded AlphaMed Press in 1983 and launched STEM CELLS, the first journal devoted entirely to the subject. With offices in Durham, NC, San Francisco, CA, and Belfast, NI, Ann publishes and is the managing editor of two other international peer-reviewed journals with globally recognized editorial boards dedicated to advancing research and education in their focused disciplines: The Oncologist and STEM CELLS Translational Medicine (the official journal partner of the Regenerative Medicine Foundation). In 2000, Ann co-founded the Society for Translational Oncology to fill the gap between discovery of new cancer treatments and their global translation into oncology practice. The Oncologist is its official journal.

Advocacy Award: Tory Williams & the Alabama Institute of Medicine– Born and raised in the small town of Millry, Alabama, Tory Williams is a proud mother or 4. She co-founded with Roman Reed the nonprofit Alabama Institute of Medicine (AIM). She played a leadership role in the passage of the TJ Atchison Spinal Cord Injury Act, also known as "TJ's Law" which provided over $800,000 in funding for spinal cord injury in Alabama. Even while battling polycystic kidney disease (PKD), Tory found time and strength to author a compelling book, Inevitable Collision- The Inspiring Story That Brought Stem Cell Research to Conservative America.

Advocacy Award: Jeanne Loring, PhD- Jeanne is Professor and founding Director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine at The Scripps Research Institute. She is a bold and outspoken advocate, educator and gifted scientist. Her research team studies genomics and epigenomics of hESCs and iPSCs. As part of the "Frozen Zoo" project her lab generated the first reprogrammed cells from endangered species. Her translational projects include stem cell applications for Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, autism, Alzheimer disease, and addiction. Under her guidance, her lab is creating collections of cell lines for disease modeling and ethnicity-associated drug toxicity studies. Jeanne is also involved in the societal issues associated with stem cell research, including the ethics of stem cell generation and clinical use, the legal implications of stem cell patents, and educating the public about the dangers of unregulated stem cell treatments. She has served on the ethics boards of Merck KGaA and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and is a long-standing member of the GPI Science Advisory Board.

Inspiration Award: CURE CPCerebral palsy (CP) is a broad term used to describe a group of chronic "palsies" -- disorders that impair control of movement due to damage to the developing brain. CP is one of the most common causes of chronic childhood disability, affecting 1 in 323 children (second only to autism). Cure CP, a nonprofit organization, undertakes and supports initiatives at leading, American research institutions developing therapeutic methodologies for the treatment of CP. Through passionate, grassroots advocacy and fundraising, Cure CP undertakes and supports forward-thinking research, including current, ongoing clinical trials at Duke University School of Medicine and UTHealth. Founded by two Atlanta-based families with children affected by CP, Cure CP and its dedicated volunteers seek a better life and future for children and adults with cerebral palsy.

ABOUT WORLD STEM CELL SUMMIT:

The World Stem Cell Summit & RegMed Capital Conference (WSCS15) is the flagship meeting of the international stem cell and regenerative medicine community. The Summit aims to accelerate the discovery and development of lifesaving cures and therapies, bringing global stakeholders together to solve global challenges. The 2015 Summit Organizing Partners are: Genetics Policy Institute /Regenerative Medicine Foundation (GPI), Mayo Clinic, Kyoto University Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS), BioBridge Global, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Georgia Center for Regenerative Engineering & Medicine (REM) and New York Stem Cell Foundation. More than 225 speakers and panelists will discuss the latest scientific discoveries, funding opportunities, translational issues, legal and regulatory solutions, and best practices. The event is expected to attract more than 1,200 attendees from 40 nations, with 200 sponsors, media partners and endorsing organizations. The 2015 World Stem Cell Summit will be held December 10-12, 2015, at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia. To learn more, visit worldstemcellsummit.com and follow @WSCSummit on Twitter. For information about sponsoring or attending the World Stem Cell Summit and the Stem Cell Action Awards, contact Alan Fernandez at (650) 847-1640 or email alan@genpol.org.

ABOUT GENETICS POLICY INSTITUTE:

Genetics Policy Institute (GPI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports stem cell research to develop therapeutics and cures. GPI pursues its mission by producing the World Stem Cell Summit & RegMed Capital Conference, honoring community leaders through the Stem Cell Action Awards, publishing the World Stem Cell Report with AlphaMed Press, organizing educational initiatives and fostering strategic collaborations. GPI maintains offices in Florida, California and Washington, D.C. In 2015, GPI is completing a merger of operations with the Regenerative Medicine Foundation. For more information about GPI, visit genpol.org.

CONTACT: Alan Fernandez Associate Director Genetics PolicyInstitute/Regenerative Medicine Foundation 888-238-1423 alan@genpol.org

Source:Genetics Policy Institute