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Journal 'STEM CELLS' Presents 3rd Annual Young Investigator Award at International Stem Cell Symposium
Date:6/19/2008

Dr. Motoda named for fundamental cancer stem cell discovery

DURHAM, N.C. and SEOUL, Korea, June 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The journal STEM CELLS(R) announces that Lena Motoda, M.D., Ph.D. won the 3rd Annual STEM CELLS(R) Young Investigator Award. Co-sponsored by The International Stem Cell Symposium, the $10,000 prize is annually given to a young scientist who is the principal author of a research paper published in STEM CELLS judged to be most important by a worldwide jury. A medical graduate of The University of Tokyo, Dr. Motoda received her Ph.D. degree for her Young Investigator Award winning research conducted at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, National University of Singapore, with the mentorship of Associate Professor Motomi Osato and Professor Yoshiaki Ito. Dr. Motoda is currently in the Department of Pediatrics, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo.

STEM CELLS published Dr. Motoda's landmark paper that describes the importance of "RUNX1" as a molecular guardian of stem cells that produce blood cells. RUNX1, a transcription factor protein, protects these vital cells from cancer-inducing molecular insults by maintaining fail-safe cellular mechanisms. This may offer new therapeutic options for blood cell malignancies like leukemia and lymphoma. The article is freely available online: http://stemcells.alphamedpress.org/cgi/content/full/25/12/2976 .

Professor Miodrag Stojkovic, co-editor of STEM CELLS, remarked that, "Dr. Motoda's discovery demonstrates, once again, why it is essential to understand basic molecular mechanisms since these revelations may both help prevent disease and enable the development of novel and hopefully more effective therapeutic options." To which Professor Donald Phinney, STEM CELLS' other co-editor, remarked, "The manuscript by Motoda and her colleagues is an excellent example of how molecular mechanisms that regulate
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