The University of Western Ontario (London, ON) is pleased to announce this year's recipient of the J. Allyn Taylor International Prize in Medicine is Dr. Rudolf Jaenisch, a founding member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and Professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Robarts Research Institute at Western's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, has been awarding this prestigious international prize to leading scientists since 1985. The award will be presented to Dr. Jaenisch on November 21st at the J. Allyn Taylor International Prize in Medicine Symposium and Dinner.
This year's area of research for the Taylor Prize is stem cells. Dr. Jaenisch is a pioneer in making transgenic mice, leading to some important advances in understanding cancer, neurological and connective tissue diseases, and developmental abnormalities. These mice have been used to explore basic questions such as the role of DNA modification, genomic imprinting, X chromosome inactivation, nuclear cloning, and, most recently, the nature of stem cells. The Jaenisch laboratory has used therapeutic cloning and gene therapy to rescue mice having a genetic defect and, using a technique for turning skin cells into stem cells, have cured mice of sickle cell anemia, the first direct proof that these easily obtained cells can reverse an inherited disease.
Generously supported by the Stiller Foundation, the Taylor Prize acknowledges the significant role J. Allyn Taylor, founding Chair of the Board at Robarts, played in the lives of the Stiller family, as well as his personal and professional commitment to integrity, dedication and distinction. The prize consists of a cash award and a medal bearing the likeness of J. Allyn Taylor.