Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the most influential of them all?

Shinya Yamanaka (1), Alan Trounson (7), Bob Klein (21), Paul Knoepfler (50), Jan Nolta (39), and Fred Gage (40) are all among the top 50 most influential people in stem cell science

The question is: Who are the most influential people in the global stem cell and cell therapy field?

The answer is: we are.

A little background is in order here. The question was posed by Terrapinn, an international business conference and exhibition organizer. They polled all their contacts around the world, asking who they thought were the 50 most influential people in stem cell work.

The results show that the stem cell agency has a huge influence over the field and is clearly a leader on the global stem cell stage.

For instance our President, Dr. Alan Trounson, was named the seventh most influential person for his leadership of the agency and for his pioneering work in human in vitro fertilization. You can see the full list of influential people here.

And of the other 49 most influential people – in the world remember – 16 are either CIRM funded or have some affiliation with CIRM:

  • #1 is Shinya Yamanaka, the Nobel prize winner and Gladstone Institutes’ researcher
  • #2 is James Thompson, a researcher in a CIRM-funded facility at UC Santa Barbara
  • Michael West, CEO CIRM-funded BioTime (8)
  • Mahendra Rao, expert reviewer on Grants Working Group (GWG) from NIH Center for Regenerative Medicine (9)
  • Thomas Okarma, executive at BioTime (12)
  • Randall Mills, President Osiris Therapeutics, GWG member (13)
  • Stephen Minger, GE Healthcare, GWG member (16)
  • Martin McGlynn, President CIRM-funded StemCells, Inc. (18)
  • Bob Klein, the author of Proposition 71 that created CIRM (21)
  • Anthony Atala, editor CIRM supported journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine (36)
  • Jan Nolta, CIRM researcher at UC Davis (39)
  • Fred Gage, CIRM researcher at Salk Institute (40)
  • Susan Solomon, CEO New York Stem Cell Foundation, CIRM collaborative funding partner (42)
  • Paul Laikind, CIRM-funded ViaCyte (43)
  • Alan Lewis, CEO of Medistem, was CEO of CIRM funded Novocell, now Viacyte (44)
  • Paul Knoepfler, CIRM researcher at UC Davis (50)

All in all it’s a pretty impressive performance.

In our press release, Dr. Trounson was suitably modest when asked about the poll, saying, “This is a delightful, and unexpected surprise. It’s always flattering to be singled out by your peers, but to be named number seven in a list that contains so many extraordinary scientists and individuals is really quite humbling.”

And our Chairman Jonathan Thomas summed it up neatly saying; “This is not just great news for Alan, but for everyone associated with the stem cell agency. It’s a reflection of the influence we are having on the entire field of regenerative medicine, and a tribute to the people of California and their faith in the power of this approach to change the face of medicine.”


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