March of Dimes awards $250K prize to stem cell research, reproductive biology pioneers

TORONTO, CANADA, MAY 7, 2007 Two internationally renowned experts in mouse development have been chosen by the U.S. -based March of Dimes Foundation to receive the 2007 March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology.

Janet Rossant, Ph.D., FRS, FRS(C) and Anne McLaren, DBE, D.Phil, FRS, FRCOG, will share the March of Dimes Prize for their remarkable contributions to science's understanding of the entire cycle of mammalian reproduction and development, using the mouse as a model system. The March of Dimes Prize will be presented here on May 7.

This is the first time the March of Dimes Prize will be shared by two women, and brings to four the total number of women who have received this honor in 12 years.

The March of Dimes Prize is a $250,000 cash award and a silver medal in the design of the Roosevelt dime, in honor of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who founded the March of Dimes.

Prof. Rossant, chief of research at the Hospital for Sick Children and University professor in the Departments of Medical Genetics & Microbiology and Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Toronto, is one of Canada's top stem cell researchers. She was among the first to identify placental stem cells and the genes that make them different from embryonic stem cells. "Her work on stem cell development and cell differentiation in mouse embryos has provided unique insight to the study of human birth defects and genetic predispositions to various human disorders, such as cancer," said Dr. Michael Katz, MD, acting medical director and senior vice president for Research and Global Program at the Foundation.

Prof. McLaren is principal research associate at the Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute at the University of Cambridge, In 1958, she and a fellow scientist reported in the journal Nature that they were the first to successfully grew a mouse embryo in a test tube and then implant it into a mouse u

Contact: Elizabeth Lynch
March of Dimes Foundation

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