Earlier this month, Shinya Yamanaka, of the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease in San Francisco, won the March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology for his groundbreaking work on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells). Yamanaka was the first to generate iPS cells from somatic cells – first from mouse fibroblasts and later from human fibroblasts – showing that it was possible to create pluripotent cells without relying solely on embryonic stem cells. He received his award on May 3 at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in Vancouver.
The March of Dimes Prize, worth $250,000, has been awarded since 1996 to developmental biologists whose work contributes to the prevention and treatment of birth defects and other diseases. Five of the past recipients have gone on to win Nobel Prizes.
Here is a video about the award, showing past winners (until 2007)
(image from Wikimedia commons)