Dr. Jeff Biernaskie wins the 2021 Till & McCulloch Award for his outstanding research focused on wound repair and healing

October 13, 2021 (OTTAWA, ON) – Dr. Jeff Biernaskie, Assistant Professor in stem cell biology at the University of Calgary and a Stem Cell Network investigator has been named the 2021 Till & McCulloch Award recipient. He is recognized for his outstanding paper published in Cell Stem Cell entitled, Distinct regulatory programs control the latent regenerative potential of dermal fibroblasts during wound healing.

The Till & McCulloch Award is presented annually to a Canadian-based researcher who has made an exceptional contribution to global stem cell research in that year. Dr. Biernaskie was nominated by his peers and selected by the Program Committee for the Till & McCulloch Meetings to be the 2021 recipient.

Following the notification of his award, Dr. Biernaskie stated, “I am stunned and entirely humbled to have even been thought of in this company. Thank you so much for considering our work and for further highlighting the hard work and creativity of my talented research team.”

In his winning paper, Dr. Biernaskie and his team describe the contributions that stem cells and progenitor populations found in and around hair follicles have on wound repair. The hair follicle had long been thought to be the primary location for the stem and progenitor cells that contribute to wound regeneration. Instead, Dr. Biernaskie’s team demonstrated that a progenitor cell type located outside of the hair follicle makes the largest contribution to wound regeneration. Importantly, the team showed that drugs targeting these progenitor cells could alter wound regeneration, opening the way for new therapeutic approaches to improve wound healing.

Dr. Biernaskie will accept his award for exceptional contributions to global stem cell research and present the Till & McCulloch Award lecture on November 17 at the Till & McCulloch Meetings, taking place online this year.


About the Till & McCulloch Award
The Till & McCulloch Award was created in honour of Canadian scientists and stem cell pioneers Drs. James Till and Ernest McCulloch. For a list of past awardees, visit www.tillandmcculloch.ca.

About the Till & McCulloch Meetings
The Till & McCulloch Meetings are Canada’s premier stem cell research and regenerative medicine conference, attracting attendees from across the country and internationally since 2012. Hosted by the Stem Cell Network, the conference brings together world-class scientists, post-graduate students, industry experts and legal and policy scholars who will share the latest research advances and techniques in the field. To register or learn more about the conference visit www.tillandmcculloch.ca.

About the Stem Cell Network
The Stem Cell Network (SCN) is a national non-profit organization that supports three main objectives: stem cell and regenerative medicine research; training the next generation of highly qualified personnel; and supporting the knowledge mobilization and transfer of stem cell and regenerative medicine research. From the lab to the clinic, our goal is to power science that will benefit Canadians. SCN was created in 2001. With support from the Government of Canada, the Network has grown from a few dozen labs to more than 196 world-class research groups, supporting 200 plus research projects and 24 clinical trials. Since its inception, 21 biotech companies have been catalyzed and more than 4,000 highly qualified personnel have been trained. In 2021, the Government of Canada demonstrated its continuing trust and support in SCN with an investment of $45 million for the 2022–2025 period. For more information visit stemcellnetwork.ca.

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