Young Investigator award makes it a three-peat for stem cell agency

Shinya Yamanaka (L) presents Marius Wernig (R) with the ISSCR 2013 Outstanding Young Investigator Award

Stanford University stem cell researcher Marius Wernig, MD, PhD, was awarded the Outstanding Young Investigator Award at the annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) on Saturday.

The award recognizes the exceptional achievements of a stem cell researcher who is in the early part of their career. In a stem cell agency news release Wernig said he is deeply honored to receive it.

It is one of the most wonderful moments in the life of a scientist to be recognized by your colleagues for the contributions you made to the field.

Wernig is part of a CIRM disease team working on a therapy for a deadly childhood skin disease called epidermolysis bullosa. He also has a Tools and Technologies award to study neurological disorders by converting skin cells directly into nerve cells.

The ISSCR recognized Wernig for his work showing that it’s possible to directly change specialized adult cells into other kinds of cells without having to go through the intermediary stage called induced pluripotency.

The ISSCR said this work is helping to “transform he field of cellular reprogramming”

This is the third time a CIRM-funded researcher has won the award. Previous winners include UCSF’s Robert Blelloch, MD, PhD in 2011 and Stanford’s Joanna Wysocka, PhD, in 2010.


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