The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) named six of the most promising scientists as its 2012 NYSCF - Robertson Investigators.
Each Investigator will receive a $1.5 million award disbursed over the next five years to foster his or her innovative research by expanding laboratories and by training other scientists. Three of the scientists were named NYSCF - Robertson Stem Cell Investigators, a program in its third year, and three were named NYSCF - Robertson Neuroscience Investigators, a program in its second year.
"These young Investigators truly undertake the most daring yet rewarding stem cell research. We are all honored to support the future investigations of these promising talents," said Susan L. Solomon, Chief Executive Officer of NYSCF.
The Investigators were announced at NYSCF's Seventh Annual Translational Stem Cell Research Conference, held at The Rockefeller University in Manhattan.
Designed to support scientists engaged in novel neuroscience and cutting-edge translational stem cell research, the two Investigator programs aid these researchers as they move beyond postdoctoral work and establish their own laboratories.
The Investigator award builds on the previous success of NYSCF's Postdoctoral Fellowship program, which is the largest program of postdoctoral support for stem cell researchers in the United States, and has provided funding for 35 postdoctoral researchers to date.
Marc Tessier-Lavigne, President of The Rockefeller University, chaired the NYSCF - Robertson Neuroscience Investigator program's selection committee.
"With such an outstanding group of young scientists, we had an exceptionally difficult decision to make. We are thrilled to be able to give these awards to such a talented group of scientists," remarked Tessier-Lavigne. "We are confident they will become leaders in the field of neuroscience."
Tessier-Lavigne was joined on the jury by Anders Bj-rklund, MD, PhD, Professor of Histology at the Wallenberg Neuroscience Center, University of Lund in Sweden; Catherine Dulac, PhD, Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator at Harvard University; and, Lorenz Studer, MD, Director of Sloan-Kettering Center for Stem Cell Biology.
The NYSCF - Robertson Stem Cell Investigator program's selection committee consisted of Christine Mummery, PhD, Chair of the Department of Anatomy and Embryology at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands; Lorenz Studer, MD, Director of the Sloan-Kettering Center for Stem Cell Biology; Irving Weissman, MD, Director of the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at the Stanford School of Medicine; and, Pete Coffey, DPhil, Co-Executive Director of Translation UC Santa Barbara's Center for Stem Cell Biology and Engineering and Director of the London Project to Cure Blindness, UCL.
"It is such a pleasure to award the critical research undertaken by these young scientists that has the potential to completely revolutionize modern medicine," said Coffey.
The new NYSCF - Robertson Stem Cell Investigators are: