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From the Stem cells @20: Celebrating historic discovery series

What research leaders are saying about Jamie Thomson’s stem cell discoveries

“It was apparent right away that this was an incredibly important discovery. Having access to human embryonic stem cells permitted scientists, for the first time, to directly study cellular changes that occur in early human development.”

– Carl Gulbrandsen, retired director, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

“When Jamie’s work came out, it literally changed the world and how we envision taking what we do from a petri dish to a patient.”

– Gordon Keller, senior scientist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, UHN-Toronto

“Jamie never could have done what he did if he wasn’t such a super careful, deep thinker. It was really painstaking work. I and many others have tremendous respect for him over his general approach and appreciation for what he brought the field.”

– Peggy Goodell, lab director and professor, Baylor College of Medicine

“Jamie’s original work shows incredible commitment and dedication to what turned out to be a long haul. Mouse embryonic stem cells were first derived in 1981, and it was 1998 before human embryonic stem cells came to pass. Jamie stuck with it, and that’s a great dedication that we should all recognize.”

– Janet Rossant, senior scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto

“Stem cell research is offering a route both to greater understanding of Parkinson’s disease and its treatment. Dr. James Thomson’s work has provided the tools and directions toward research breakthroughs, and we are grateful for these groundbreaking efforts advancing cell line research.”

– Brian Fiske, senior vice president, research programs, Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research

“Jamie’s style was to look at the science people were doing and talking about and cut it down to its bare properties. And then ask the question, ‘Is this something that’s going to change my world view or not?’ Learning how to assign importance to my own projects was a huge and important lesson.”

– Justin Brumbaugh, research fellow at Harvard Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Thomson Lab alumnus

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