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NYSCF awards fellowships to 8 innovative stem cell scientists

NEW YORK, NY (June 1, 2010) The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) today announced the award of eight new NYSCF-Druckenmiller Fellows. These postdoctoral scientists join 15 accomplished stem cell researchers from leading institutions who have been supported by the program since 2006. NYSCF has awarded 23 fellowships to date.

The NYSCF Fellowship Program, which has become one of the most competitive postdoctoral fellowship programs in the world, has so far committed almost eleven million dollars to postdoctoral fellowships for stem cell researchers.

"Through this Fellowship program, NYSCF is ensuring that the next generation of researchers has the expertise in cutting-edge and specialized techniques needed to lead their field as it grows," said Dr Shahin Rafii, Co-Chair of the Fellowship Review Committee and Director of the Ansary Stem Cell Center for Regenerative Medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University.

"These gifted scientists are innovating the stem cell technology that is revolutionizing medicine," said Susan L. Solomon, NYSCF CEO. She also noted that NYSCF Fellows have published scientific papers in the most prestigious scientific journals, including Nature, Nature Biotechnology and Cell Stem Cell, and that four NYSCF Fellows have recently been appointed to professorships at their respective institutions. "Their accomplishments are impressive," she continued.

Each of the scientists will receive funding over a one to three-year period to support their research initiatives. They will have access to NYSCF's specialized stem cell laboratory in Manhattan, where they will be able to conduct their research and receive training in advanced stem cell research techniques. The fellows will also present their work at NYSCF's Annual Translational Stem Cell Research Conference, to be held on October 12 and 13, 2010 at Rockefeller University in New York City.

"The quality of this year's candidates was truly outstanding. I am very proud of the fellows that have been chosen by the committee throughout the years. By supporting the next generation of stem cell researchers, I see the NYSCF Fellowship Program as a flagship for the Foundation's transformative efforts on behalf of stem cell research," said Dr. Ruth Lehmann, Co-Chair of the Fellowship Review Committee and Director of the Helen and Martin Kimmel Center for Stem Cell Biology at NYU School of Medicine.

The New York Stem Cell Foundation Fellows are applying stem cell technologies towards the development of therapeutics for a variety of medical conditions.

The 2010 Fellows:

  • Elisa Cimetta, PhD, working with Dr. Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic at Columbia University, is using advanced technologies to study and direct stem cell differentiation.

  • Natalie Kim, PhD, working with Dr. Lee Rubin at Harvard University, is finding improved ways to generate brain cells from adult cells for the treatment of ALS.

  • Ian Martin, PhD, working with Dr. Ted Dawson at Johns Hopkins University, is generating and characterizing neurons from Parkinson's disease patients.

  • Jae-won Shim, PhD, working with Dr. Lorenz Studer of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, is using stem cells from patients to model Parkinson's disease.

  • Chutima "Noi" Talchai, PhD, working with Dr. Domenico Accili at Columbia University, is turning intestinal cells into functional insulin-producing cells, which is crucial to the development of Type I diabetes therapies.

  • Maya Tevlin, PhD, working with Dr. Shai Shaham at The Rockefeller University, is modeling cell conversion during development to identify strategies for new regenerative therapeutics.

  • George Kai Wang, PhD, working with Dr. Robert Kass at Columbia University, is developing ways to model and treat life-threatening heart conditions and sudden cardiac death using stem cells.

  • Oren Ziv, PhD, working with Dr. Yuval Dor at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, is studying modes of glucose metabolism in the pancreas as they relate to diabetes.


Contact: Nadine Woloshin
New York Stem Cell Foundation

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