Madeline Lancaster Receives the 2021 Dr. Susan Lim Award for Outstanding Young Investigator

  • 26 January, 2021
Madeline Lancaster

Skokie, IL—The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) will award the Dr. Susan Lim Award for Outstanding Young Investigator to Madeline Lancaster, PhD, The Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology, UK. The prize recognizes the exceptional achievements of an investigator in the early part of his or her independent career in stem cell research. Dr. Lancaster will present her science at a special lecture on 22 June at 1:15 p.m. EDT (13:15 EDT) during ISSCR 2021 Virtual, the world’s leading meeting of global innovators in stem cell science and regenerative medicine. The award is supported by the Dr. Susan Lim Endowment for Education and Research Ltd.

Dr. Lancaster is a pioneer in the field of stem cell biology and was the first scientist to develop cerebral organoids as a model to study human brain development and disease. Her seminal breakthrough as a postdoctoral fellow inspired others and opened up a new area of research. “Madeline’s discovery fundamentally changed how we model brain diseases and has the potential to revolutionize the drug discovery process,” said Christine Mummery, ISSCR President. “Dr. Lancaster has made important discoveries as an independent researcher, for example by developing choroid plexus organoids to model the blood brain barrier, and study disruption of this barrier by SARS-CoV-2, work also presented as part of the ISSCR COVID-19 Networking Meeting series for members.”

Dr. Lancaster has published findings that demonstrate her combined knowledge of development, neuroscience, bioengineering, and application of new technology to generate more mature brain organoid models with impressive properties of long-distance connectivity. These models are needed in order to transition the field into investigation of human neuronal circuits and move the field forward in compelling ways.

“This award means the world to me and to my lab,” said Madeline Lancaster. “It’s a recognition of all the hard work of the dedicated Ph.D. students, postdoctoral fellows, and researchers in the lab. I am truly honored to join the ranks of prestigious past awardees and I look forward to what the future will hold!”

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

About the International Society for Stem Cell Research (

With nearly 4,000 members from more than 65 countries, the International Society for Stem Cell Research is the preeminent global, cross-disciplinary, science-based organization dedicated to stem cell research and its translation to the clinic. The ISSCR mission is to promote excellence in stem cell science and applications to human health. Additional information about stem cell science is available at A Closer Look at Stem Cells, an initiative of the Society to inform the public about stem cell research and its potential to improve human health.