Gladstone's Shinya Yamanaka Wins “Baby Nobel”

Canada's Gairdner Award Often a Precursor to Nobel

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—April 8, 2009—Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD, of the Gladstone Institutes and Kyoto University is one of seven recipients of Canada's prestigious Gairdner Award. The Gairdner is referred to as the “Baby Nobel,” since many winners then go on to win the Nobel Prize.

Dr. Yamanaka was honored “for his demonstration that the key transcription factors which specify pluripotency reprogram somatic cells to pluripotent stem cells.” Other winners of the 2009 award are Dr. Richard Losick of Harvard University, Dr. Lucy Shapiro of Stanford University, Dr. Kazutoshi Mori of Kyoto University, Dr. Peter Walter of UCSF, Dr. David Sacket, McMaster University and Dr. Nubia Munoz of National Cancer Institute, Colombia.

“I'm very honored to receive this award,” said Dr. Yamanaka. “Being included among these outstanding scientists and past winners is truly a great privilege.”

One in four Gairdner winners have won the Nobel Prize. Other Gairdner winners have included Francis Collins, Luc Montagnier, and Robert Gallo.

“Shinya's accomplishments have revolutionized stem cell research,” said Robert W. Mahley, MD, PhD, Gladstone president. “This award is yet another demonstration that the scientific community recognizes the many ways that progress has been dramatically accelerated because of his seminal work.”

A Canada Gairdner Award comes with a cash prize of $100,000 CAD. Recipients also take part in academic and public lectures and forums held across Canada before they receive their awards at a dinner in Toronto on October 29.

About the Gladstone Institutes
The J. David Gladstone Institutes, an independent, non-profit biomedical research organization affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), is dedicated to the health and welfare of humankind through research into the causes and prevention of some of the world's most devastating diseases. Gladstone is comprised of the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology and the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease. More information can be found at