Time Magazine names Derrick Rossi to 2010 list of 'People Who Mattered'

December 20, 2010

NEW YORK CITY (December 20, 2010)--The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) extends congratulations to Derrick Rossi, PhD, a member of the inaugural class of NYSCF-Robertson Investigators, who was named one of Time Magazine's 2010 "People Who Mattered" in the December 27, 2010 Person of the Year Issue.

Dr. Rossi, an Assistant Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School, was lauded for his discovery of an innovative method for reprogramming skin cells back into stem cells - pluripotent stem (iPS) cells - that uses messenger molecules, instead of viruses, to eliminate risks, such as cancer, posed by previous methods. Dr. Rossi's work was featured in Time Magazine (September 30, 2010) "A Stem Cell Breakthrough May Ease the Way to Human Treatments."

"We are delighted that a member of our inaugural class of NYSCF-Robertson Investigators has been selected by Time Magazine as a 'Person who Matters,'" said Susan L. Solomon, NYSCF's CEO. "Dr. Rossi's important work will help us realize the potential of stem cell research to treat diseases such as cancer, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and diabetes. We are thrilled to support Dr. Rossi's critical research, which has the potential to accelerate the path from bench to bedside. He is well on his way to a fabulous career."

NYSCF named Dr. Rossi as one of six NYSCF Investigators at its Fifth Annual Translational Stem Cell Research Conference last October as an expansion of its ongoing efforts to promote the next generation of stem cell scientists. Each of the NYSCF-Robertson Investigators receive $1.5 million over the next five years to expand their own laboratories, train other scientists and foster innovative high-risk/high reward research to explore the therapeutic potential of stem cells derived from humans and model organisms. This funding will support the most promising and creative scientists whose research projects have the potential to accelerate the path from bench to bedside.

Dr. Rossi heads his own lab at the Immune Disease Institute at Harvard Medical School, where he leads a group of researchers who focus on hematopoietic stem cell biology - mechanisms that regulate self-renewal and multi-potency - as well as reprogramming the cellular identity of a number of cell types to pluripotency or into clinically useful cell types. Dr. Rossi began his career at the Mount Sinai Research Institute at the University of Toronto, and did postgraduate work with Dr. Irving Weissman at Stanford University. His work has been published in numerous scientific journals, including Nature, Science, PNAS, and Cell Stem Cell.

He received his Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science degrees from the University of Toronto, and his PhD. from the University of Helsinki, Finland in 2003. Since November 2007, he has been a faculty member of the Immune Disease Institute (IDI), and an Assistant Professor in the Pathology Department at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Rossi was awarded a K99/R00 Pathways to Independence (PI) award from the NIH and the National Institutes of Aging in 2006.

The Time Magazine list of "People Who Mattered" included three scientists: Dr. Rossi; J. Craig Venter, PhD, co-mapper of the human genome and founder of the J. Craig Venter Institute; and FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg, MD.
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The NYSCF Investigator Program builds on NYSCF's Postdoctoral Fellowship program that has provided funding to 23 stem cell researchers. The NYSCF Investigator Program will award 19 Investigators over the first five years thanks to grants from the Robertson Foundation and The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

About The New York Stem Cell Foundation:

The New York Stem Cell Foundation was founded in 2005 to accelerate cures for debilitating diseases through stem cell research. The Foundation conducts cutting edge research at its own independent laboratory and provides grants to outstanding investigators at other research institutions. NYSCF also invests in the next generation of stem cell researchers through The NYSCF Fellowship Program, The NYSCF Investigator Program, which support exceptionally promising early career scientists doing innovative translational stem cell research, and The NYSCF - Robertson Prize. The Foundation plays a vital role in educating both scientists and the public about stem cell research through an active annual program of conferences and symposia. For more information, visit www.nyscf.org

New York Stem Cell Foundation

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