Dreams and Due Diligence: Till & McCullochs Stem Cell Discovery and Legacy


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The research of Drs.

If Canada's game is hockey, its science is stem cells

Till and McCulloch created the field of stem cell biology, which quickly allowed scientists to better treat leukemia, lymphoma and other cancers. Their work has led to the new field of cellular therapies, including regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, immunotherapy and gene therapy.

Her sculptures have also been juried into exhibitions in Ireland, the United States, Australia and China. She recently received royal approval for a statue of Queen Elizabeth II seated on the Throne of Canada, to be unveiled in Toronto in Particularly in this last decade of excitement about the role of stem cells in cellular biology and the possibility of great breakthroughs in regenerative medicine, expectations of Nobel glory for Till and McCulloch mounted each autumn until the awards were announced.

The prizes are not given posthumously. The book has the merit of showing why the Canadian scientists may have been overlooked even as he argues that they should not have been, and that they should be much more famous in our country today.

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According to Sornberger, their paper went largely unnoticed. Stem cells in general only really became a hot issue after the isolation of embryonic, universal stem cells by James Thomson at the University of Wisconsin in That was the motherlode; decades earlier the Canadians had stumbled on a venous outcropping.


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Without quite understanding how insulin had emerged and been honoured in the early s, Sornberger laments that Till and McCulloch are not as famous in Canada as Banting and Best. In fact, Banting and Best had done little more than fumble around incompetently with pancreatic extracts. Without the help of Macleod and the great biochemist J.

Collip, their work would have led nowhere and they would have disappeared from history.

Dreams and Due Diligence: Till and McCulloch's Stem Cell Discovery and Legacy

The same would have happened to Alexander Fleming if Howard Florey had not taken up his work on penicillin. On their own, McCulloch and Till were not able to bring home the promise and glory of stem cells. On the other hand, Sornberger describes how important their work was in the understanding of blood, in the development of bone marrow transplants and in creating a local stem cell—oriented research effort that has made the field somewhat of a Canadian specialty. The discovery of neural stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells, and cancer stem cells, as well as important advances in human embryonic stem cell research, are all Canadian discoveries.

And, in fact, they did receive major international prizes, both Gairdner and Lasker awards, the next best to Nobels. On the matter of horn tooting, it is surely a sign of new times how often we are beginning to see advertisements from Canadian universities, hospitals and research institutes celebrating the achievements of their personnel.

How two Canadian scientists stumbled upon a landmark discovery.

When I ask if there are not better ways for public institutions to spend their money, my medical friends tell me that it is important for us to do this to keep up with the Americans, who deliberately and systematically trumpet their work and consequently are well rewarded with applause and honours. I am not so sure we should jump on this bandwagon.

Making a noble case for Till and McCulloch - Europe PMC Article - Europe PMC

First, the noisy advertising may not be as effective as we think. Second, such campaigns may become counterproductive if, as is very possible, they generate a sense that nationalist enthusiasm outweighs sound scientific judgement. This is a fine line, that Sornberger himself zigzags erratically and puzzlingly across.

Dreams and Due Diligence: Till & McCullochs Stem Cell Discovery and Legacy Dreams and Due Diligence: Till & McCullochs Stem Cell Discovery and Legacy
Dreams and Due Diligence: Till & McCullochs Stem Cell Discovery and Legacy Dreams and Due Diligence: Till & McCullochs Stem Cell Discovery and Legacy
Dreams and Due Diligence: Till & McCullochs Stem Cell Discovery and Legacy Dreams and Due Diligence: Till & McCullochs Stem Cell Discovery and Legacy
Dreams and Due Diligence: Till & McCullochs Stem Cell Discovery and Legacy Dreams and Due Diligence: Till & McCullochs Stem Cell Discovery and Legacy
Dreams and Due Diligence: Till & McCullochs Stem Cell Discovery and Legacy Dreams and Due Diligence: Till & McCullochs Stem Cell Discovery and Legacy
Dreams and Due Diligence: Till & McCullochs Stem Cell Discovery and Legacy Dreams and Due Diligence: Till & McCullochs Stem Cell Discovery and Legacy
Dreams and Due Diligence: Till & McCullochs Stem Cell Discovery and Legacy Dreams and Due Diligence: Till & McCullochs Stem Cell Discovery and Legacy
Dreams and Due Diligence: Till & McCullochs Stem Cell Discovery and Legacy Dreams and Due Diligence: Till & McCullochs Stem Cell Discovery and Legacy
Dreams and Due Diligence: Till & McCullochs Stem Cell Discovery and Legacy

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