The 2021 Achievement Award of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) has been awarded to the British development biologist Professor Janet Rossant. She is given the award as a recognition of the major impact her work has had on stem cell research and regenerative medicine.
Prof Rossant’s research is currently focused on the cellular and genetic manipulation of early mouse embryos for the purposes of studying both normal and abnormal development, as well as developing new methodology. For example, her lab recently developed a technique for inserting large DNA fragments into the mouse embryo genome using CRISPR/Cas9. However, she is perhaps most famous for establishing new stem cell lines from the blastocyst, an early developmental structure in mammals which houses the cells that eventually become the embryo.
Originally educated as a zoologist at the University of Oxford, Prof Rossant quickly entered the field of mammalian development with her PhD at the University of Cambridge. At the moment she holds multiple positions: she is Senior Scientist and Chief of Research Emeritus at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), President and Scientific Director at the Gairdner Foundation and Professor in the Molecular Genetics department at the University of Toronto.
The ISSCR Achievement Award is just the latest in a long list of awards: Prof Rossant was the recipient of the 2013 Ross G. Harrison Medal, the 2015 Gairdner Wightman Award and one of the five 2018 L’Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science Awards.
“I am truly honored to receive this award from the ISSCR,” Prof Rossant said in a press release, “the society that has made such important contributions to supporting the field of stem cell science and its applications to human health.” She will give a lecture on her work later this year at the ISSCR 2021 Virtual. (© AcademiaNet)