Susan L. Solomon
Before she was leading one of the top stem cell research laboratories, Susan L. Solomon , held an impressive array of positions including being an attorney, CEO of Sothebys.com, chairman and CEO of Lancet Media Productions, and President of Sony Worldwide Networks; to name a few. Becoming a health-care advocate when her son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at a young age she has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, New York Chapter and is a founding member and current president of New Yorkers for the Advancement of Medical Research.
After her parents’ deaths Solomon began to look at treatments available and how there haven’t been many changes and how options are very limited for many diagnoses. In learning where the cutting edge work in being done Solomon saw the potential of change found in stem cell research. So in 2005 she co-founded the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) with three key priorities: get young researchers into the field, provide a forum for researchers to discuss their work, and provide facilities and funding to enable research to move forward.
Within these priorities is also the goal of the NYSCF to help bridge the gap between academic research and the work of pharmaceutical companies in order to foster the development of new treatments and cures for diseases. As the largest privately funded independent stem cell laboratory in the United States NYSCF is able to pursue advanced stem cell research without many of the political constraints other facilities are held within. Seeing the need to move away from the time consuming and variable practice of creating human stem cell lines by hand NYSCF designed the hardware and software to create an automated robotic technology that has the capacity to produce thousands of genetically arrayed stem cell lines that can include all genetic subgroups needed. By using this technology they hope to be able to be at the forefront of understanding how diseases work in the human body and to help usher in an era of personalized medicine.
Written by Angela Goad