One of Canada’s leading educators and an Officer of the Order of Canada, Dr. Martha Piper said the realization that the science of stem cells is “not well known and not well understood by the public at large” led her to join the Board of Directors of the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation. “I absolutely see the need for an association that makes the case to the public and policy makers about the absolutely critical nature of this science.”
“I personally believe that the discovery of stem cells 50 years ago in Canada is one of the most singularly important scientific advances of the 20th century and now the 21st century. It will transform the way we treat many human diseases. And it has the maple leaf right on top of it.”
It’s also a pity, she contends, that more Canadians aren’t aware that the existence of stem cells was proved here in Canada in 1961 by Drs. James Edgar Till and Ernest Armstrong McCulloch, who went on to lead the field in its early days and establish a critical mass of excellent researchers across Canada.
“When you think about science, it really is an international game that knows no geographic boundaries. But we have a few – not many but a few – claims that are Canadian. This is one of them – and it’s a big one.”
What’s your reason for supporting stem cell science?
(Excerpted from an interview conducted by Joe Sornberger for an article on the Foundation in the annual report of the Stem Cell Network)