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James Thomson receives 2008 Massry Prize honoring stem cell researchers
Date:12/18/2008

MADISON James Thomson, director of regenerative biology at the Morgridge Institute for Research and John D. MacArthur Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, has received the prestigious Massry Prize for 2008. The award recognizes Thomson for his groundbreaking discovery made a decade ago of human embryonic stem (ES) cells and his subsequent work in developing induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.

The Meira and Shaul G. Massry Foundation established the Massry Prize in 1996 to recognize outstanding contributions to the biomedical sciences and the advancement of health. Founded by Shaul Massry, professor emeritus of medicine at the University of Southern California (USC), the nonprofit foundation promotes education and research in nephrology, physiology, and related fields. The Massry Prize includes a substantial honorarium and eight of its recipients have gone on to receive the Nobel Prize.

As the first to successfully isolate and culture human embryonic stem cells, Thomson's early work launched the field of stem cell science and was essential to the development of human iPS cells. "We are extremely proud of Dr. Thomson's accomplishments and his selection for the Massry Prize," states Sang Kim, executive director of the private, nonprofit Morgridge Institute for Research, part of the new Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery on the UW-Madison campus. "We are fortunate he has chosen to continue his breakthrough research on stem cells at the Morgridge Institute as the first member of our interdisciplinary scientific team."

Thomson shares the 2008 prize with two fellow stem cell researchers, each honored for contributions to stem cell science that led to the 2007 discovery of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. "I am honored to be among the scientists selected for the Massry Prize," states Thomson, who believes stem cell science is moving forward even faster now.

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Contact: Terry Devitt
trdevitt@wisc.edu
608-262-8282
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Source:Eurekalert

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