Stem cell scientist awarded Taylor Prize

The Robarts Research Institute at The University of Western Ontario’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry has been awarding this prestigious international prize to leading scientists since 1985. The award, which focused on stem cell research this year, will be presented to Jaenisch Nov. 21 at the J. Allyn Taylor International Prize in Medicine Symposium and Dinner.

Jaenisch is a pioneer in creating transgenic mice, leading to some important advances in understanding cancer, neurological /connective tissue diseases and developmental abnormalities. These mice have been used to explore basic questions such as the role of DNA modification, genomic imprinting, X-chromosome inactivation, nuclear cloning, and, most recently, the nature of stem cells. The Jaenisch laboratory has used therapeutic cloning and gene therapy to rescue mice having a genetic defect. Using a technique for turning skin cells into stem cells, these scientists have cured mice of sickle cell anemia, the first direct proof that these easily obtained cells can reverse an inherited disease.

Supported by the Stiller Foundation, the Taylor Prize acknowledges the significant role J. Allyn Taylor, founding chair of the board at Robarts, played in the lives of the Stiller family, as well as his personal and professional commitment to integrity, dedication and distinction. The prize consists of a cash award and a medal bearing the likeness of J. Allyn Taylor.