ISSCR Momentum Award

The ISSCR Momentum Award recognizes the exceptional achievements of an investigator whose innovative research has established a major area of stem cell-related research with a strong trajectory for future success.

Current Winner

  • 2022 ISSCR Momentum Award

    Joanna Wysocka

    Joanna Wysocka, Ph.D., Lorry Lokey Professor and Professor of Developmental Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine and HHMI Investigator, USA, is the 2022 ISSCR Momentum Award honoree. The prize recognizes the exceptional achievements of an investigator whose innovative research has established a major area of stem cell-related research with a strong trajectory for future success.

    Dr. Wysocka’s early work identified chromatin signatures of enhancers that define pluripotency, as well as those that are “poised” to become activated or repressed as cell fate emerges. In early human blastocysts, she showed that endogenous retroviruses are reactivated and regulate gene expression prior to silencing. Remarkably, she then worked with chimpanzee and human iPSCs to identify species-specific enhancers in neural crest that control facial morphogenesis. Most recently, she discovered that neural crest spontaneously dedifferentiates toward pluripotency prior to forming mesenchymal tissues of the head and neck. These contributions place her at the forefront of stem cell research and molecular development.

    Dr. Wysocka was recognized and presented her research during ISSCR 2022 San Francisco + Virtual, the world’s leading meeting of global innovators in stem cell science and regenerative medicine. More.

     

Criteria

  • Nominees must be independent investigators conducting original research in basic science or clinical development and translation in the field of stem cell research.
  • Nominee(s) will ordinarily be 10-25 years out from the start of their first full -time independent position in an academic, industrial or clinical research setting.
  • Nominations that reflect the full diversity of the membership of ISSCR are strongly encouraged.
  • Nominees must be ISSCR members in good standing.
  • Nominees must be nominated by two (or more) ISSCR members in good standing.
  • Nominees must be available to attend the ISSCR Annual Meeting if selected as the award recipient.

Award

The winner will receive a cash award in the amount of $5,000 USD and a complimentary registration for the Annual Meeting. The award recipient will be honored and give a featured presentation during a plenary session at the ISSCR Annual Meeting.

Nomination Process

Nominations must be sponsored by two or more people. Nomination letters may be submitted individually or as a single, co-signed letter. Nomination letter(s) (up to two pages) should provide the following:

  • a statement of up to 100 words highlighting the body of work for which the nominee is being nominated

  • an overview of the contributions of the nominee to the field of stem cell research.

A copy of the nominee’s CV and listing of up to five of their most relevant publications must also accompany the nomination letter. Include an electronic version of these publications where possible. 

Past Winners

  • 2021 ISSCR Momentum Award

    Valentina Greco

    The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) will present this year’s ISSCR Momentum Award to Valentina Greco, PhD, Carolyn Walch Slayman Professor of Genetics at Yale School of Medicine and member of the Yale Stem Cell Center, USA. The prize recognizes the exceptional achievements of an investigator whose innovative research has established a major area of stem cell-related research with a strong trajectory for future success.

    Studies from Dr. Greco’s lab are redefining scientific understanding of the complex mechanisms that organize and regulate the skin stem cell niche and the behavior of normal and mutant cells in the epidermis under physiologic challenge and with aging. Her group’s body of work exploring cell biology in vivo determined that the niche, rather than the stem cells, are required for tissue growth, that location in the niche dictates stem cell fate, that the niche exploits stem cell plasticity to maintain homeostasis, and that homeostatic correction battles disease emergence. These breakthroughs pave the way for new concepts in mammalian regenerative biology. More.

  • 2020 Winner

    Mitinori Saitou

    The ISSCR 2020 Momentum Award winner is Mitinori Saitou, MD, Ph.D, Kyoto University, Japan. Dr. Saitou has focused his career on understanding mammalian germ cell development in vitro. His laboratory was the first to succeed in reconstituting the mouse germ-cell specification pathway in culture and to generate functional male and female gametes from pluripotent stem cells. He has since expanded on these groundbreaking achievements by improving germ-cell technology, dissecting the molecular mechanisms, and providing fundamental insights on human germ cell development and reproduction.