The first global awards ceremony for the Boyalife, Science & Science Translational Medicine Award in Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, which was jointly established by China’s Boyalife Group and US-based Science magazine, was held at the Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco on the evening of June 23rd Pacific Time. Chinese female scientist Li Qian was the grand prize winner and Israeli scientist Yosef Buganim was the runner-up. The essay of the grand prize winner’s and the runner-up’s brief abstract had earlier been published in full in the June 17 issue of Science.
At 7pm local time, Dr. Xiaochun Xu, chairman & CEO of Boyalife Group, first gave a speech welcoming all guests and winners to the ceremony in San Francisco. More than 60 life science leaders from around the world, including Dr. Deepak Srivastava, member of the National Academy of Medicine and director of the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, Bill Moran, publisher of Science magazine, Dr. Beverly Purnell, Senior Editor of Science Magazine, Dr. Orla Smith, managing editor of Science Translational Medicine, Dr. Zhihong Xu, academician at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and former president of Peking University, Dr. Qi Zhou, academician at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and professor at the Institute of Zoology (IOZ), Dr. Duanqing Pei, president of the Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lisa Li, president of Boyalife Group, Mou Wang, vice-president at Boyalife Group and Zhiping Yuan, vice-president at Boyalife Group, as well as scientists and researchers from renowned local universities including Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco, attended the event and witnessed the presentation of the awards.
Dr. Qian, the Chinese female scientist, stood out from more than 50 applicants from 19 countries. Her winning paper, Hope for the brokenhearted: Cellular reprogramming improves cardiac function in a mouse model of myocardial infarction, shows that cellular reprogramming, the conversion of one type of somatic cell into another, has significantly impacted the field of stem cells and regenerative medicine in the past decade. Today, it holds great promise as a novel approach for the treatment of various human diseases, and as a tool for disease modeling to advance personalized medicine. The runner-up Yosef Buganim won the award for his paper Refined nuclear reprogramming techniques yield higher quality stem cells. Drs. Qian and Buganim shared details of their research at the event.
The two winning scientists have injected innovative vigor into the field of stem cells and regenerative medicine. Drs. Qian and Buganim expressed their gratitude to Boyalife Group, Science and Science Translational Medicine which jointly established the award. They said that the award can help and encourage more young scientists to conduct in-depth research on stem cells and regenerative medicine and achieve breakthroughs in the area. The establishment of the award significantly promotes the research on and clinical applications of stem cells worldwide. Meanwhile, the two scientists said they are happy to have had to the opportunity to become acquainted with their many excellent peers and engage in in-depth discussions with them at the ceremony.
Dr. Srivastava, the member of the National Academy of Medicine, was also Dr. Qian’s post-doctorate tutor. He said at the award ceremony: “Li was informed about the award just before speaking at a symposium celebrating the 20 year anniversary celebration of my laboratory and featuring former trainees from our lab. I was so proud of her and nothing makes me happier than seeing the “offspring” from the lab succeeding and independently advancing our field in significant ways.” Dr. Srivastava gave high appraisal to Dr. Qian’s achievement and the Boyalife award, saying the award represents a significant milestone for Dr. Qian’s pioneering efforts following her doctoral graduation while the Boyalife platform provides excellent opportunities for outstanding scientists to showcase their innovative research results and encourages and facilitates science researchers to move towards clinical application.
In addition to congratulating the two award winners, Dr. Xu also expressed appreciation of their research results. Successful tissue regeneration has always been the dream of many medical scientists, especially under the scenario where a large number of cells die non-reversibly in the body. Every year millions have suffered myocardial infarction that results in loss of cardiac function. The new method of converting cardiac fibroblasts inside the body directly by reprogramming clearly presents an innovative and new concept for the treatment of the disease. Many can potentially benefit from such research should such technology be further developed. Dr. Xu said that as a technology innovation-oriented and model innovation-centered biotechnology company, Boyalife Group aims to create a cross-boundary cooperation platform for life science that brings together the companies, the universities and the research organizations involved in the field. Boyalife Group has, for seven years, been committed to cooperating with scientists and providing strong support for their research. The Boyalife award is designed to pave the way for the application of innovative technologies in clinical settings.
Mr. Moran, the publisher of Science magazine, delivered a speech at the ceremony, during which he explained that Science magazine was born as a result of academic exchanges, which involves the cooperation of companies and researchers. Support given to young scientists is the foundation of future technologies as well as the reason why the award was established. Boyalife Group was chosen due to its authoritative position in the life sciences industry, especially in the field of stem cells and regenerative medicine, as well as its significant contributions to the industry, which is of significance to its development.
Since its establishment, Boyalife Group has been an advocate of innovation in technology. Boyalife Group’s establishment of the award together with Science and Science Translational Medicine aims to encourage and facilitate the translation of the technology into application, especially technologies concerning stem cells and regenerative medicine. In addition, as a Chinese firm with social responsibility, Boyalife Group is an active contributor to the fast development of biotechnology worldwide with the aim of appealing to more scientists to join hands for better healthcare for all of mankind.