The NYSCF − Robertson Stem Cell Prize has been awarded annually since 2011 to an outstanding young stem cell scientist in recognition of significant and path breaking translational stem cell research. Each NYSCF − Robertson Prize winner receives a cash award as well as a sculpture from The New York Stem Cell Foundation, designed for the prize by the architect Frank Gehry, recipient of the 2009 NYSCF Humanitarian Award.
2012 NYSCF – Robertson Stem Cell Prize Recipient
Kazutoshi Takahashi, PhD
Kyoto University, Japan
Dr. Takahashi is currently a Lecturer at the Center for iPS Research and Application at Kyoto University in Japan. He received his PhD from the Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Japan in 2005. After receiving his PhD, Dr. Takahashi completed two postdoctoral fellowships at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology and Kyoto University in the laboratory of Shinya Yamanaka, where Dr. Takahashi was lead author on a series of groundbreaking papers that first described reprogramming adult cells into induced pluripotent stem cells, cells that can become any cell type in the body. This work also led to Dr. Yamanaka's 2012 Nobel Prize in Medicine.
2011 Inaugural NYSCF – Robertson Stem Cell Prize Recipient
Peter J. Coffey, DPhil
University of California, Santa Barbara
Dr. Coffey is Professor of Cellular Therapy and Visual Sciences at the Institute of Ophthalmology in London, UK. Professor Coffey is internationally recognized as the leading expert in human embryonic stem cells and their potential use to cure blindness. Dr. Coffey was awarded the prize for his pioneering work focusing on the use of human embryonic stem cells to cure Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), a common form of blindness. Dr. Coffey’s research has demonstrated that stem cell-based therapy halted visual deterioration in models of AMD, a currently untreatable form of blindness affecting millions of people across the globe.