Regenerative Medicine Foundation Announces 2019 "Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Award" Honorees

Awards to be presented at Gala Dinner at the 14th World Stem Cell Summit in Miami, January 23, 2019#WSCS2019

MIAMI, FL, Dec. 14, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Five remarkable bridge-building healthcare heroes will be honored by the Regenerative Medicine Foundation (RMF) 2019 Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Awards. For 14 years, the nonprofit RMF has selected the stem cell and regenerative medicine community's top innovators, leaders, and champions. The honorees will be recognized at a gala reception and dinner on January 23 during the 14th annual World Stem Cell Summit (WSCS) at the Hyatt Regency Miami in Miami, Florida, January 22-25, 2019.


“The 2019 Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Award honorees are global bridge builders, creating connections and solutions in the fight to improve human health and wellness. They have advanced 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 the Regenerative Medicine Foundation and Founder of the World Stem Cell Summit. “The 2019 honorees unite the diverse world of regenerative medicine and stem cell research with their advocacy and leadership. Their talent, energy and action accelerate our field. I am thrilled to celebrate their achievements this January at the 14th annual Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Awards dinner.”


The 2019 Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Award Honorees:


Inspiration Award: Doug Oliver and the Regenerative Medicine Outcomes Foundation

Doug Oliver is an incredible patient advocate and change maker. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Mr. Oliver has had an extensive career in medical social work, health care regulatory compliance consulting, grant writing, program development, gerontology, and therapeutic case advocacy. At age 32, Mr. Oliver was diagnosed with macular degeneration, a disease that attacks the retina, causing blindness. He became legally blind at age 45. In 2015, after undergoing autologous bone-marrow stem cell therapy in both eyes, he regained much of his lost vision. His story reached millions of people, and this led to his advocacy in Washington D.C. to help craft key patient provisions in the 21st Century Cures Act. As a result of the Cures Act passing with record bipartisan support in December of 2016, millions of patients will soon have cellular therapies, like the one that he received, available to them. He created The Regenerative Outcomes Foundation to continue his advocacy. His passion, combined with his effective leadership as a patient advocate have advanced U.S. policy and will lead to new treatments and cures. Learn more at


International Advocacy Award: Desirée Cox, MD, PhD

Dr. Desirée Cox ( was born in The Bahamas and has spent her career in The Bahamas, North America and UK building bridges to advance healthcare. Her vast experience includes clinical medicine, academia, research and development, regulatory sciences, design and consultant to biotech companies, governments and major pharmaceutical companies. Educated at McGill University, Oxford University and Cambridge University, she is a Rhodes scholar, medical doctor, creative artist, inventor, and global thought leader in stem cell and regenerative medicine. Dr. Cox is rigorous in promoting safety, equity, diversity and inclusion in healthcare. As the founder of The HEALinc and the HEALinc Future Health Innovation Summit ( she is creating new knowledge and advancing innovation in The Caribbean, Latin American region of The Americas. Her work is advancing research in chronic non-communicable disease (cNCDs) affecting the Caribbean Region and Latin America. The HEALinc is making strides to help entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders from local, regional and diaspora communities access the resources they need to improve the health and well being of people in the Caribbean and the Americas. Learn more at


International Diplomacy Award: Robin L Smith, MD MBA

Dr. Robin L. Smith is a global thought leader in regenerative medicine. As a doctor, former CEO and foundation leader, she is building bridges across sectors, culminating in the April 2018 Unite to Cure event at the Vatican. Her international non-profit Cura Foundation launched the global health movement Unite To Cure, which builds bridges between doctors, health systems, patients, business leaders, regulators, investors, politicians, philanthropists, and leaders of faith to collaborate and speed the development of cures, impact human health and save lives. Pope Francis personally participated in this event, which was moderated by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Dr. Oz, Meredith Vieira and Dr. Max Gomez; and featured an array of international celebrities, political leaders and patients. Attendees included Dr. Francis Collins, Former Vice President Joe Biden, Katy Perry, Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra and Peter Gabriel, and over 300 of the world’s leading doctors, scientists, philanthropists, ministers of health, ethicists and thought leaders from countless industries. Dr. Smith received her MD from the Yale School of Medicine and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business. She has co-authored two books: Cells Are the New Cure (2017) and The Healing Cell: How the Greatest Revolution in Medical History Is Changing Your Life (2013). She has received many awards and recognition for her work and serves in executive and board level capacities for medical enterprises and healthcare entities. As a business leader, entrepreneur, doctor and philanthropist, Dr. Smith is uniquely positioned to advance the global healthcare industry. Learn more at


International Achievement Award: Lu Daopei Medical Group

Lu Daopei Medical Group is a top hospital group in China, specializing in hematology, including blood disorders like leukemia, aplastic anemia, lymphomas, immune deficiency disorders, bone marrow-/cord blood-derived hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and cellular immunotherapy (such as CAR-T, NK, DC, CIK). Founded by Professor Daopei Lu, the hospital group is building bridges with many international collaborations and partnerships. The Lu Daopei Medical Group is the first Chinese organization to be honored with a Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Award. The growing  Lu Daopei Medical Group consists of Beijing Lu Daopei Hospital, Hebei Yanda Lu Daopei Hospital, Shanghai Lu Daopei Hospital, Wuhan Biolake Hebei Provincial Stem Cell Bank, Beijing Lu Daopei Hematology Research Institute and Tsinghua University School of Medicine for hematology and hematologic malignancies. Professor Lu’s prolific career is a triumph of firsts and major milestones. In his early years, in the 1960s, he successfully completed the first syngeneic bone marrow transplantation in Asia. Throughout the years, he completed the first allogeneic bone marrow transplantation and the first major ABO-incompatible bone marrow transplantation in China, proved that arsenic sulfide has a significant effect on some leukemias, established the Chinese cord blood bank and completed the first allogeneic umbilical cord blood transplantation in China. As a researcher, editor and writer, his career led to the publication of over 400 papers and books. Professor Lu is a true healthcare hero, and his legacy is strengthened by the impressive work of the Lu Daopei Medical Group. It is highly significant that the Lu Daopei Medical Group represents the first Chinese organization to be honored with a Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Award.  Their progress in advancing cancer treatments represent an ambitious and philanthropic mission equivalent to the "Cancer Moonshot Initiative" in the United States, for which former Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden were honored by RMF in 2018. Learn more at


Leadership Award: The International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory

The International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory is enabling a new era of research in space aimed at improving life on Earth. As a platform in space for education and research in the life and physical sciences, remote sensing, and technology development, the ISS National Lab seeks to accelerate innovation and discovery to benefit humanity. This year’s Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Leadership honoree is launching a mission to the future though extraordinary research conducted while orbiting Earth. The ISS National Lab is advancing stem cell and regenerative medicine research through grants such as Impact of Microgravity on Fundamental Stem Cell Properties and Microphysiological Systems for Organs-on-Chips Research. In the past two years, ISS National Lab has made major investments in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health to support research into human physiology and treating disease. The first flight project of this new collaboration called “Microgravity as a Model for Immunological Senescence and its Impact on Tissue Stem Cells and Regeneration,” launched on SpaceX’s 16th commercial resupply mission to the station. Also in 2018, the National Science Foundation (NSF) partnered with the ISS National Lab to issue new grants in the area of tissue engineering. The entire Regenerative Medicine community benefits as we learn how living cells behave in microgravity, advancing our understanding of basic cell biology. Learn more at


The 14th World Stem Cell Summit, produced by RMF, is the original, translation-focused, international and partnering conference. The Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Award ceremony at a gala dinner is one of the highlights of this extraordinary event. Past honorees include Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden, Michael J. Fox, Robert Klein, Sherry Lansing, Susan Solomon and the The New York Stem Cell Foundation, Shelley Ross and the Cure Alliance, National Association of Biology Teachers, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), Huntington’s Disease (HD) Advocacy Community and philanthropists including Bernie Marcus, Dr. W.E. “Ed” Bosarge, Don Soffer, and T. Denny Sanford, among many other pioneering visionaries.


The World Stem Cell Summit is expecting 2,000 attendees from more than 40 nations, 200+ organizations, and 200+ speakers. For the second year, WSCS will be co-located with the industry's premier partnering event: Phacilitate Leaders World. WSCS is led by the Regenerative Medicine Foundation and Organizing Partners including the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund, The Cure Alliance, Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute at the University of Miami, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and Weill Cornell Medicine. The combined conferences are the world's largest interdisciplinary event dedicated to Advanced Therapies and Regenerative Medicine, the one meeting on the global calendar attended by all of the critical decision-makers from both inside and outside of the field.


To register and learn more, please visit:  World Stem Cell Summit (WSCS). For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please call 1-888-238-1423 or email

About the Regenerative Medicine Foundation (RMF)

The nonprofit Regenerative Medicine Foundation fosters strategic collaborations to accelerate the development of regenerative medicine to improve health and deliver cures. RMF pursues its mission by producing its flagship World Stem Cell Summit; honoring leaders through the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Awards; publishing The World Stem Report with our journal partner, Stem Cells Translational Medicine; and promoting policy and educational initiatives. For further information about RMF please visit:


About the World Stem Cell Summit

Produced by the nonprofit Regenerative Medicine Foundation (RMF) for 14 years, the World Stem Cell Summit 2019 is co-located with Phacilitate Leaders World. It is the most inclusive and expansive interdisciplinary, networking, and partnering meeting in the stem cell science and regenerative medicine field. With the overarching purpose of fostering biomedical research, funding, and investments targeting cures, the Summit is the single conference serving the diverse ecosystem of regenerative medicine stakeholders. For more information about the 14th World Stem Cell Summit (WSCS), please visit:



2018 Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Action Awards Bernard Siegel, Executive Director of the Regenerative Medicine Foundation and Founder of the World Stem Cell Summit

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