1st ISTT Young Investigator Award goes to Xiao-Yang Zhao

Prof. Xiao-Yang Zhao, 1st ISTT Young Investigator Award - 2011
Prof. Xiao-Yang Zhao, 1st ISTT Young Investigator Award - 2011

The International Society for Trangenic Technologies (ISTT) is pleased to announce the first ISTT Young Investigator Award, generously sponsored by inGenious Targeting Laboratory. From the four excellent candidates nominated by ISTT Members, the Award Committee chose Prof. Xiao-Yang Zhao, from the State Key Lab of Reproductive Biology (SKLRB), Institute of Zoology (IOZ), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing, PR China, [nominated by Prof. Qi Zhou (ISTT Prize award 2004)]. The Award Committee felt his research was exciting and has great potential to impact the field of animal transgenesis, through his impressive work and publications on induced-pluripotent stem cells (iPS).

Dr. Xiao-Yang Zhao developed a system to generate induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells that showed 100 fold improvement in efficiency over the control method. iPS cells show great promise in applications to develop regenerative medicine applications and generation of experimental animal models. Dr. Zhao’s breakthrough research proved that iPS cells could be used to generate viable mice by tetraploid complementation. This demonstration of complete iPS cell pluripotency was published in Nature in 2009 and received much attention from stem cell biologists and the popular media. Time Magazine named this research as the fifth most important medical breakthrough 2009 in a list of the top ten medical advances.

Dr. Xiao-Yang Zhao was born in 1980, in Southwest China. He received his PhD degree in Developmental Biology from Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academic of Sciences in 2010. After that, he was recommended and awarded to be the Young Principal of Investigator of IOZ, CAS. Dr. Xiao-Yang Zhao and colleagues found that some iPS cells failed to generate iPS mice by tetraploid complementation. However, when their nuclei were transferred to enucleated oocytes, cloned animals could be generated. This combination of using iPS cells from transgenic animals and nuclear transfer technologies will accelerate studies of transgenesis in non-rodent animals, specifically in agriculturally important species.

Award committee:

Dr. Thom Saunders, Univ. Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA, Vice-President of ISTT, Chair
Prof. Francis Stewart, Biotechnologisches Zentrum, TU Dresden, Germany, ISTT Prize award 2010
Prof. Brigid Hogan, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA, ISTT Prize award 2008
Dr. Lisa Aronov, inGenious Targeting Laboratory, ISTT Young Investigator Award Sponsor

Dr. Xiao-Yang Zhao will attend the 10th Transgenic Technology (TT2011) meeting where he will deliver a short talk summarizing his scientific achievements that led him to receive this 1st ISTT Young Investigator Award, sponsored by inGenious Targeting Laboratory.

ISTT Young Investigator Award
ISTT Young Investigator Award