The ISSCR Congratulates Yamanaka and Gurdon on Nobel Prize

  • 8 October, 2012

Skokie, IL USA, October 8, 2012 — The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) congratulates its 2011 McEwen Award recipient and current president Shinya Yamanaka, and fellow stem cell pioneer, Sir John Gurdon, on winning the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, announced today.

The 2012 award was given for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become immature cells capable of developing into all tissues of the body. By altering the way we think about the process of development, these studies have provided new methods for studying the formation and growth of tissues and opened the door to discovering new mechanisms for the diagnosis and treatment of disease.

“I am so pleased that the Nobel Prize was awarded to Drs. Gurdon and Yamanaka. The reprogramming of adult cell types to reactivate an embryonic network of genes was so remarkable that it challenged decades of scientific work that tissues were fixed in their state,” said ISSCR Founder Leonard I. Zon, MD, Children’s Hospital Boston, USA. “The findings unleash tremendous opportunities for basic discovery about the development of a variety of organisms, including the manipulation of normal tissue function and the understanding of human diseases. I look forward to the day when [reprogrammed] cells have therapeutic use for many human disorders.”

“We are extremely excited that ISSCR President Shinya Yamanaka and longtime leader in the field, Sir John Gurdon, have been recognized with this award. This underscores the enormous impact of their paradigm-shifting work that we have seen on the field of stem cell research and for all of ISSCR’s members. We have eagerly watched the rapid and widespread adoption of reprogramming technologies by our community, driving technological advances and the broad application of induced pluripotent stem cells to the study and treatment of human disease,” said ISSCR Executive Director and CEO Nancy Witty.

Additional Accompanying Media:

A brief audio statement is available with Leonard I. Zon, MD, Children’s Hospital Boston and Founding President of the ISSCR. Additional ISSCR leaders are available for comment and to discuss these developments in stem cell research.

Upcoming Opportunity:

Drs. Yamanaka and Gurdon will be participating in the ISSCR – Roddenberry International Symposium on Cellular Reprogramming, October 24-25, at the Gladstone Institutes, San Francisco, CA USA.

ISSCR Resources:

ISSCR website:
A Closer Look at Stem Cells:
Stem Cell Facts Brochure:

Additional Story Angles:

Stem Cell Tourism – the proliferation of unproven stem cell therapies.
The Future of Stem Cell Research and Advances
Translation of Therapies into the Clinic

Read the Nobel Prize press release.

The ISSCR is an independent, nonprofit 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. Founded in 2002, the ISSCR has grown to more than 3,500 stem cell research and regenerative medicine professionals from around the world.