National Leadership Award: Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm
Governor Granholm is a long-time champion of stem cell research targeting lifesaving treatments to alleviate human suffering. Since taking office, she has effectively promoted Michigan’s biotech industry, which is now one of the fastest growing biotech sectors in the nation. The Governor has specifically targeted the burgeoning field of stem cell commercialization and regenerative medicine as a job creation and growth area for the state.
National Advocacy Award: A. Alfred Taubman
A. Alfred Taubman’s visionary leadership has resulted in the establishment of the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute at the University of Michigan, which is doing innovative stem cell research focusing on developing treatments for ALS, cancer and a host of other medical conditions. His support for Michigan Citizens for Stem Cell Research and Cures and Cure Michigan made the critical difference in ending the restrictive legislation governing stem cell research in the state.
Education Award: Canadian Stem Cell Network
The Network’s extraordinary commitment to public education has made it a model for other stakeholder groups. Some of the projects include the promotion of “Stem Cell Talks” public presentations; the production of a suite of summaries on stem cells, disease and ethics; and scientific support of the web site www.stemcellschool.org.
Grassroots Advocacy Award: Stephen Byer, Barbara Byer and ALS WORLDWIDE
Ben Byer’s ALS diagnosis in 2002 propelled his parents, Stephen and Barbara Byer, to learn about stem cell protocols and other potential treatments for him and many others. After Ben’s death in 2008, they formalized their efforts by launching ALS WORLDWIDE, a not-for-profit organization committed to scientific research interpretation, patient advocacy and care. Their work toward distinguishing legitimate clinical trials from invalid treatments has had far-reaching influence. Thousands ofpatient families have benefited from the support ALS WORLDWIDE provides.
Inspiration Award: Laura Jackson
Paralyzed in a cheerleading accident seven years ago, Laura Jackson has become a tireless and effective advocate for stem cell research. This lovely and articulate young woman has spoken at dozens of events under the auspices of Michigan Citizens for Stem Cell Research and Cures. She is also nationally recognized as a spokesperson on the issue of cheerleading safety.