Wolf Prize Laureate in Medicine 2011
Affiliation at the time of the award:
Whitehead Institute, USA
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA
“For demonstration that iPS cells can be used to cure genetic disease in a mammal, thus establishing their therapeutic potential”.
Professor Rudolf Jaenisch (born 1942, Germany) of the Whitehead Institute, and MIT, Cambridge, USA, is widely recognized as a world leader in manipulating the mouse genome.
Immediately after the 2006 publication of the iPS cell experiments by Prof. Yamanaka, in 2007, Prof. Jaenisch´s laboratory showed that iPS cells derived from a mouse with sickle cell anemia could be converted to hematopoietic progenitors. Following the correction of the defective gene by homologous recombination, autologous iPS cells were converted to hematopoietic progenitors and transplanted back into the mouse, ameliorating the disease. These experiments unequivocally demonstrated the therapeutic potential of iPS cell technology, offering hope and confidence that this technology will have a major impact on human health.
Collectively, the groundbreaking contributions by Dr. Yamanka and Dr. Jaenisch form the basis for work on regenerative medicine currently performed in hundreds of laboratories around the world.