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About Sickkids
About SickKids

June 25, 2013

Janet Rossant receives medal for achievements in developmental biology

By Hillete Warner

Dr. Janet Rossant, Chief of Research at SickKids and Senior Scientist in the Developmental & Stem Cell Biology Program, has been awarded the Ross G. Harrison Medal from the International Society of Developmental Biologists. The award was presented to Rossant at the 17th International Congress of Developmental Biology on June 17 in Cancun, Mexico.

The Congress, held every four years, brings together researchers from around the world working in all areas of developmental biology. This year’s meeting was co-organized by the International Society of Developmental Biologists, Latin American Society of Developmental Biology, Sociedad Mexicana de Biologia del Desarrollo, and the Society for Developmental Biology. The meeting covered topics that were divided into three levels: Molecules to Cells, Cells to Organs and Organs to Organisms.

Preceding the Harrison Medalists awards ceremony, Rossant presented a Harrison Medal Lecture on Embryos and stem cells: Developing together. During the five-day conference she also led a round table discussion on Succeeding in research in a competitive environment: lessons from the Masters.

Rossant is a world leader in developmental biology. She is recognized internationally for pioneering the technique of introducing targeted mutations into genes in mouse embryos. By understanding the underpinning of early lineage development in the mouse embryo, she has contributed to the understanding of human embryo development and stem cell origin. Her interests in the early embryo led to the discovery in 1998 of a placental stem cell type, the trophoblast stem cell.

The Ross Harrison Prize was established in 1981 to recognize scientists whose contributions have significantly advanced the field of developmental biology, and has come to be acknowledged as the premier recognition of achievement in the field. The Harrison Prize is awarded once every four years at the International Society of Developmental Biologists Congress. Previous winners include John Gordon, last year’s Nobel Prize winner in Medicine.