The International Society for Regenerative Biology

Promoting the Science of Tissue Regeneration

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for early career researchers charting new directions and making novel scientific contributions in regenerative biology research, FOR 2022 is awarded to:

Mayssa Mokalled, PhD 
Assistant Professor of Developmental Biology 
Washington University School of Medicine

Dr. Mokalled had a highly productive graduate career training with Eric Olson at University of Texas, Southwestern in the topic of transcriptional regulation during mammalian development and regeneration. As a postdoctoral fellow with Ken Poss at Duke University, she initiated studies of spinal cord regeneration in zebrafish, finding in a major paper that production of connective tissue growth factor at the injury site is essential for glial bridging and spinal cord regeneration in zebrafish. Dr. Mokalled has run her own lab at Washington University for 5 years. One of her key early studies demonstrated that epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of glial progenitors is an important stage in spinal cord regeneration. Using high-throughput CRISPR-Cas9 mutagenesis and transcriptome comparisons between zebrafish and mice, her group identified an EMT-related gene regulatory network that underlies glial bridging and functional regeneration. Dr. Mokalled's cross-species program is making strong inroads into countering the molecular burdens of spinal cord injury.


Purushothama Tata, PhD 
Assistant Professor of Cell Biology 
Duke University School of Medicine

Dr. Tata received his PhD from University of Ulm for work with Drs. Sirbu and Kuhn on developmental signaling. His first major achievement, as a postdoc with Jay Rajagopal at Massachusetts General Hospital, was to demonstrate that fully differentiated airway epithelial cells can convert into functional stem cells after injury. Soon after starting his own lab at Duke University in 2016, he showed that stem cells of submucosal glands can behave as a reparative population to resurface denuded airways. In the alveolar gas exchange region of the lung, he discovered that the differentiation of cuboidal Type 2 stem cells into large, flat Type I cells involves a novel p53-expressing transitional cell state. These transitional cells produce profibrotic factors, implicating their abnormal persistence in tissue fibrosis, including lethal pulmonary fibrosis. Dr. Tata also solved a longstanding practical problem by identifying culture condition for propagating Type 2 cell stem cells, opening avenues for translational studies, including Sars-Cov-2 infection. Mostly recently, he has identified new cell types and lineage relationships specific to the primate and human distal lung, providing yet another new perspective on human lung biology. Dr. Tata’s innovative work on the lung has broad relevance to other organ systems and to the field of regenerative biology at large. 

The 2022 awards will be presented at the EMBO Workshop“The molecular and cellular basis for tissue regeneration and repair” September 26-30, Barcelona, Spain. Recipients will receive medals and will give an award lecture on Day 2 of the meeting.

Please check back for call outs for 2023 Nominations. Coming soon!

Please combine your nomination materials into a single PDF and submit here.

Nomination Criteria:

1. A single Nomination Letter, cosigned by two nominators, that speaks to the nominee’s scientific contributions, achievements, and impact on the field of regenerative biology.

Nomination letters should:

- explain why the nominee is deserving of a young investigator award

- reference impactful publications and their scientific significance

- illustrate originality of nominee’s research program and independence

Nomination letters are required to include the following consent information: “By submitting this nomination, I consent to the International Society of Regenerative Biology holding my personal data, for the purposes of managing the Society’s awards portfolio and associated review processes, for a period of one year from the date of submission and indefinitely if the nomination is successful.”

2. Nominee’s complete CV

Nominees must be within 7 years of starting an independent research group

Nominators must be ISRB members but nominees need not be ISRB members

Self-nominations are not accepted

Rising Star Award Medal designed by Stephanie Nowotarski Ph.D.

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