Balzan Prizes 2010: 1 Million Francs to stem cell researcher

23-Nov-2010 - Italy

The Balzan Prizes for 2010 were presented by the President of the Italian Republic. During the ceremony, which took place at the Palazzo del Quirinale, one of the prizes was presented to Shinya Yamanaka (Japan, Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, Kyoto University, The J. David Gladstone Institute San Francisco), for Stem Cells: biology and Potential Applications,

The ceremony took place in the presence of the Chairmen of the International Balzan Foundation "Prize", Bruno Bottai, and "Fund", Achille Casanova. In accordance with the ceremony s usual formalities, each Prizewinner, introduced in turn by Salvatore Veca, Chairman of the General Prize Committee, gave a speech of acceptance and thanks.

According to established tradition reflecting the Italo-Swiss nature of the International Balzan Foundation, the Award Ceremony takes place in alternate years in Rome, in the presence of the President of the Italian Republic, and in Bern, in the presence of a Representative of the Federal Council of the Swiss Confederation, usually the Head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs.

The Balzan Prize 2010 for Stem Cells: Biology and Potential Applications went to Shinya Yamanaka "for the discovery of a method to transform already differentiated cells into cells presenting the characteristics of embryonic stem cells".

The International Balzan Foundation awarded one million Swiss Francs (approx. 750,000 Euros, 1,000,000 USD) for each 2010 prize, a figure which places the Balzan Prize amongst the biggest prize funds in the world of Science and Culture. The winners are each required to allocate half of their prize money to funding research projects carried out preferably by young scholars or scientists in their respective fields.

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