Dr Ann Tsukamoto
(Scientist and stem cell researcher)
By Katie Bye, age 12, Lisneal College
“The person I have chosen to write about/who inspires me is Dr Ann Tsukamoto. Dr Tsukamoto is an inventor/scientist who was born in America in 1952. She received her doctorate degree from the University of California in Los Angeles, she is currently the EVP [Executive Vice President] – Scientific and Strategic Alliances at Stem Cells Inc.
Dr Ann Tsukamoto is the co-inventor of a process which allows stem cells to be isolated. Stem cells are found in bone marrow and are needed for the growth of red and white blood cells. Understanding how stem cells grow or how they can be artificially reproduced is vitally important in cancer research. Due to Dr Tsukamoto’s work in isolating these stem cells there have been great advancements in understanding the blood systems of people with cancer – some people say this may even lead to a cure one day.
Dr Ann’s invention of being able to isolate stem cells is said to be extremely complex and difficult to achieve according to the experts. However, to be able to isolate stem cells which Ann made possible has helped in a lot of medical advancements over the years and has helped researchers find out more about cancer. Not only can stem cell isolation help treat cancer but experts hope it will help treat other fatal diseases as well.
I specifically chose Dr Ann Tsukamoto as the person I admire because last year my Granny was diagnosed with Myeloma which is a type of cancer that affects her blood and stem cells it means that the doctors can remove my Granny’s bad ones and hopefully fix them. This means she has a greater chance of surviving. This year my Granny is currently having a treatment called a stem cell transplant, something which may have not been possible without Dr Ann and all the other inspirational women in the past, present and the ones yet to come, that they use their own time to help the lives of others, without Dr Ann I may not have had my Granny quite as long as I hope to.
It is important to say that Dr Ann Tsukamoto is still conducting research into stem cell growth and is also the co-inventor of other inventions. Just because she invented one good thing she still keeps on going trying to make people’s lives better.”
Interested in Dr Tsukamoto’s work? Click here for more information.