ELS Celebrates Women’s History Month: Necessity is the Mother of Invention

As we grapple with the devastating impact of COVID-19, we pause to honor women pioneers whose inventions were borne from the necessity of saving lives. Today we recognize the inventor, scientist and stem cell researcher, Dr. Ann Tsukamoto. A vital breakthrough in cancer research, Tsukamoto’s co-patented process of isolating human stem cells found in bone marrow has saved hundreds of thousands of lives since 1991. 

Dr. Ann Tsukamoto is an inventor and stem cell researcher. She does the work needed to advance our understanding of what stem cells are and how they can be used in the future. For years, scientists have theorized that human stem cells could be used to save millions of lives. But isolating the stem cells was critical to develop further research – and no one could figure out how to do it. That’s where Ann Tsukamoto came in.

In the early 1990s, Ann helped discover human blood stem cells and invented a process to isolate them in the body. A blood stem cell (or bone marrow) transplant can replace a damaged immune system in a person with blood cancer.

With her husband, Professor Irv Weissman, as co-patentee, Ann’s patent for stem cell isolation was awarded in 1991. Their discovery gave people with blood cancer another chance at life and has since saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

With a dozen patents under her belt, Ann has committed her life to using science for good. When she was studying for her PhD at UCLA, there was no way she could’ve known just how much of a history-making researcher she’d be. In the late 90s, she joined the first stem cell company, called SyStemix, and later joined another company dedicated to this particular area of research, aptly called StemCells, Inc. Her current work with Stem Cells, Inc. involves the isolation of liver and neural stem cells as they pertain to a variety of diseases.

As Ann and most other researchers can attest, when spending your life discovering the previously undiscoverable, there are highs and lows. The imperative thing is to remember the highs and learn from the lows. By waking up every day with a passion and mission to perhaps save someone’s life, Ann is a reminder that we should do what we can for others.

ELS salutes these and all women who work to save lives every day. 

ELS is a boutique employment law firm powered by seven dynamic women.  Click here to learn more: https://www.theemploymentlawsolution.com/




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