The ISSCR Announces 2017 Award Recipients: McEwen Award for Innovation, ISSCR Dr. Susan Lim Outstanding Young Investigator Award, ISSCR Tobias Award Lecture, and ISSCR Public Service Award

  • 23 January, 2017

Awardees will be recognized at the ISSCR 2017 Annual Meeting, 14-17 June, 2017

CHICAGO, 23 January, 2017 — The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) today announces the recipients of its 2017 awards, to be presented at the society’s annual meeting, 14-17 June in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.

  • McEwen Award for Innovation: Elaine Fuchs,PhD, Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor at The Rockefeller University, and Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, U.S.;
  • ISSCR Dr. Susan Lim Outstanding Young Investigator Award: Jayaraj Rajagopal, MD, Department of Internal Medicine, Center for Regenerative Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School, Howard Hughes Faculty Scholar, U.S.;
  • ISSCR Tobias Award Lecture: John Dick, PhD, FRS, Canada Research Chair in Stem Cell Biology and Senior Scientist, University Health Network of Canada, Professor, University of Toronto, Canada, and Director, Program in Cancer Stem Cells, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research;
  • Public Service Award: George Daley, MD, PhD, Dean, Harvard Medical School, and Professor, Stem Cell Transplantation Program, Boston Children's Hospital & Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, U.S.

The McEwen Award for Innovation, supported by the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine, recognizes original thinking and groundbreaking research pertaining to stem cells or regenerative medicine that opens new avenues of exploration toward the understanding or treatment of human disease or affliction.

Elaine Fuchs’ research has transformed understanding of skin stem cells and their application to regenerative medicine, genetic syndromes and cancers. She has developed many innovative approaches to analyze skin stem cells and their niches, and to dissect the complex controls that orchestrate how stem cells make and repair tissues and what goes awry in genetic conditions and malignancies.

“Fuchs has made extraordinary contributions to skin stem cell research throughout her career,” said ISSCR President Sally Temple. “Her work continues to provide new and important insights into all facets of skin and stem cell biology, and the advances she has made extend to the broader scientific and medical community,” she said.

Fuchs will present her research in Plenary VI, Tissue Regeneration and Homeostasis, on Saturday 17 June, 09:00-11:20.

The ISSCR Dr. Susan Lim Outstanding Young Investigator Award recognizes exceptional achievements by an ISSCR member and investigator in the early part of their independent career in stem cell research.

The 2017 recipient, Rajagopal, has established himself as a young leader in the field of lung stem cells and lung repair, working with both mouse and human models. As a physician-scientist, Rajagopal has done genetic studies and lineage tracing in the mouse lung, and established a strong research program focused on the repair and regeneration of human lung tissue. His research has provided new insights into the progression of diseases such as asthma, Cystic Fibrosis, COPD, and lung cancers.

“Rajagopal and his lab have already made important contributions to the understanding of cell biology in the lung, which have implications for treatment of lung cancer and respiratory disease,” said ISSCR CEO Nancy Witty. “He is also known for his support of young investigators and physician-scientists, which is a great testament to Rajagopal’s commitment to the field. We look forward to involving him in ISSCR leadership in the future,” Witty said.

Rajagopal will present his research in Plenary VI, Tissue Regeneration and Homeostasis, on Saturday 17 June, 09:00-11:20.

The ISSCR Tobias Award Lecture, started in 2016, is supported by the Tobias Foundation, and recognizes original and promising basic hematology research and direct translational or clinical research related to cell therapy in hematological disorders. The winner presents the Tobias Lecture at the ISSCR Annual Meeting.

Award winner Dick has been a leader in the areas of normal stem cell and cancer stem cell biology over the last 30 years, and his discoveries have led to significant advances in cancer biology that have opened new areas of inquiry. By isolating human hematopoietic stem cells, Dick was able to study cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate their function, and his method is now widely used by researchers around the world. Notably, Dick achieved a breakthrough finding that there are intrinsic differences in tumorigenic potential among cancer cells from the same tumor, and he expanded his work to include common solid cancers.

"Dick has had a tremendous impact on the field of cancer research,” said Temple. “Through his intellectual leadership, his high standard of scientific inquiry, and creative insight, he has generated discoveries and approaches that have forever changed the way that researchers approach the development of cancer treatments,” she said.

Dick will present his research in Plenary IV, Chromatin and RNA Biology, on Friday 16 June, 09:00-11:20.

The ISSCR Public Service Award is given in recognition of outstanding contributions of public service to the fields of stem cell research and regenerative medicine.

An outstanding physician-scientist and leading public advocate for the responsible ethical oversight of human stem cell research, Daley has long been involved in promoting and upholding rigorous standards for the field. He initiated and played key roles in the formulation of three sets of ISSCR guidelines, for the Conduct of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research (2006), the Clinical Translation of Stem Cells (2008), and Stem Cell Research and Clinical Translation (2016), which are in use around the world.

“Daley’s unwavering commitment to the ethical conduct of research and the integrity of the field is unparalleled,” said Temple. “He continues to advocate on policy issues affecting the field, and is widely respected for his insights, experience and accomplishments,” she said.

Daley will present in Plenary Session III, Stem Cells and Cancer, Thursday 15 June, 09:00-11:20 and in Concurrent Session IVD, Ethics and Regulatory Considerations, Friday 16 June, 13:15-15:15.

About the International Society for Stem Cell Research (

The International Society for Stem Cell Research is an independent, nonprofit membership organization established to promote and foster the exchange and dissemination of information and ideas relating to stem cells, to encourage the general field of research involving stem cells and to promote professional and public education in all areas of stem cell research and application.


Anne Nicholas, Senior Communications Manager

International Society for Stem Cell Research


Award-winner biographies and photos are available upon request, as are interviews with ISSCR President Sally Temple.