GPI's "Stem Cell Action Award" Honorees Announced

10th Annual Stem Cell Action Awards to be presented at World Stem Cell Summit #WSCS14, December 3, in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO, TX, TEXAS, Sept. 18, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Five honorees have been selected for the 2014 Stem Cell Action Awards. For 10 years, the Genetics Policy Institute (GPI) has honored the stem cell community's top innovators, leaders, and champions. Today's announcement in Texas by GPI Executive Director Bernard Siegel to leaders and supporters of San Antonio's biomedical sector renews San Antonio's commitment to the 2014 World Stem Cell Summit at the Marriott Rivercenter, San Antonio, Texas, December 3-5. The honorees will be formally announced tonight at BioMed SA's annual Julio Palmaz Award Dinner in San Antonio. Each year the honorees are announced in advance of the Summit, then presented at a gala dinner on Wednesday, December 3 during the World Stem Cell Summit.

This year's Stem Cell Action Award Honorees are a passionate group of innovative scientists, philanthropists and advocates, seeking an end to human suffering by charting the future of this burgeoning field. Previous Stem Cell Action awardees have included Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, Michael J. Fox, Brooke Ellison, Robert Klein, Sherry Lansing, Susan Solomon of The New York Stem Cell Foundation, National Association of Biology Teachers, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), and philanthropists like A. Alfred Taubman and T. Denny Sanford.

"The Stem Cell Action Award honorees are working every day to advance research, funding and advocacy in regenerative medicine, creating the foundation needed for new cures and the alleviation of human suffering," said Bernard Siegel, Executive Director of GPI. "The 2014 honorees embody the energy and action needed to propel our field forward. I am delighted to have the opportunity to celebrate their efforts this December at the 10th annual Stem Cell Action Award dinner." Cord Blood Registry®, the newborn stem cell company, is generously sponsoring a reception before the Stem Cell Action Award Dinner.

Meet the 2014 Stem Cell Action Award Honorees:

Leadership Award: Henry Cisneros – Henry Cisneros' recent accomplishments in the development of the San Antonio biosciences community are the latest chapter in an extraordinary life in politics, service, business and advocacy. In 1981, he was elected mayor of San Antonio, becoming the first Hispanic-American mayor of a major U.S. city. In 1992, President Clinton appointed Mr. Cisneros Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In the following years, Mr. Cisneros was president and chief operating officer of Univision Communications, served as president of the National League of Cities and as deputy chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. He is the author and editor of several books. He is currently a member of the advisory boards of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Broad Foundation and an officer of Habitat for Humanity International. Today he is Chairman of the CityView companies, working with urban homebuilders to create homes priced within the range of average families. In his work as Chairman of BioMed SA, an organization working to accelerate San Antonio's health care and biosciences sector, Mr. Cisneros is a champion of research and innovation.

International Leadership: Japanese Society for Regenerative Medicine (JSRM) – Japanese Society for Regenerative Medicine has made incredible strides in developing regenerative technology to advance medical research and contribute to human health. JSRM gathers knowledge from different fields to encourage cutting-edge, creative approaches and groundbreaking research. In 2012, JSRM's director, Professor Shinya Yamanaka, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. JSRM is campaigning for the relaxation of Japanese government regulations concerning studies, clinical trials, and clinical applications related to regenerative medicine. As a result, new laws, including the Act for the Promotion of Regenerative Medicine, Revised Japanese Pharmaceutical Law, and Act to Ensure Safety in Regenerative Medicine were approved in 2013. The first clinical trial using iPS cells on human cells is scheduled to start this autumn in Japan. JSRM is part of the reason that Japan is at the forefront of stem cell science.

Education Award: Texans for Stem Cell Research – The volunteer-led Texans for Stem Cell Research (TSCR) is creating a stronger environment for new research and hope by educating the people of Texas and their policymakers on the promise of stem cell research and therapies so those suffering from chronic diseases or terminal illnesses will enjoy healthier lives. TSCR is an energetic fundraiser of FDA approved clinical trials, raising tens of thousands of dollars and bringing positive attention to stem cell research. They host public events and research symposiums uniting Texas's world-class scientists and clinical researchers across institutions.

Advocacy Award: Mostyn Foundation – For more than 50 years as an independent grantmaker, Mostyn Foundation has invested in causes with a deep-seated commitment to improving the human condition. Mostyn Foundation is a long-standing partner with Genetics Policy Institute in the advancement of the pro-cures movement.

Inspiration Award: Huntington's Disease Advocacy Community – For the first time, GPI is awarding a Stem Cell Action Award to a grassroots network of groups and individuals. Huntington's disease (HD) is a genetic neurodegenerative and fatal brain disease. The HD Community includes some of the most tireless, passionate and effective advocates for stem cell research and regenerative medicine. Each child born to a parent with HD has a 50/50 chance of inheriting the same fate, so the HD community has watched this disease devastate generation after generation of their families. Today, advocates are fighting for their children and grandchildren, pushing for regenerative medicine trials in order to bring about treatments, therapies and a cure in the future. A national grassroots network of organizations including Help 4 HD International, the Joseph P. Roberson Foundation and HD CARE is building momentum and support for new, promising research.


The World Stem Cell Summit (WSCS14) is the flagship meeting of the international stem cell community. The Summit aims to accelerate the discovery and development of lifesaving cures and therapies, bringing global stakeholders together to solve global challenges. The 2014 Summit Organizing Partners are: Genetics Policy Institute (GPI), The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Mayo Clinic, Kyoto University Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS), Baylor College of Medicine, Regenerative Medicine Foundation (RMF) and BioBridge Global. More than 200 speakers and panelists will discuss the latest scientific discoveries, business models, translational issues, legal and regulatory solutions, and best practices. The event is expected to attract more than 1,200 attendees from 40 nations, with 200 sponsors, media partners and endorsing organizations. The 2014 World Stem Cell Summit will be held December 3-5, 2014, at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter in San Antonio, Texas. To learn more, visit and follow @WSCSummit on Twitter. For information about sponsoring or attending the World Stem Cell Summit and the Stem Cell Action Awards, contact Alan Fernandez at (650) 847-1640 or email


Genetics Policy Institute (GPI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports stem cell research to develop therapeutics and cures. GPI pursues its mission by producing the World Stem Cell Summit, honoring community leaders through the Stem Cell Action Awards, publishing the peer-reviewed World Stem Cell Report with Mary Ann Liebert Publishers, organizing educational initiatives and fostering strategic collaborations. GPI maintains offices in Florida, California and Washington, D.C. For more information about GPI, visit


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