Dr. Peggy Goodell, one of Baylor College of Medicine's leading stem cell researchers, will be presented with the 2011 Edith and Peter O'Donnell award in medicine at the annual meeting of The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas Jan. 6-7, 2011, in Austin.

The O'Donnell Awards are bestowed annually to Texas researchers who are addressing the essential role that science and technology play in society, and whose work meets the highest standards of exemplary professional performance, creativity and resourcefulness.

Goodell is director of the Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Center (STaR) at BCM, professor in the departments of pediatrics and molecular and human genetics and a member of the BCM programs for cell and molecular biology; developmental biology; translational biology and molecular medicine; the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy and the NCI-designated Dan L Duncan Cancer Center.

Exceptional leader

"Dr. Goodell has contributed remarkable achievements in stem cell biology," said Dr. Paul Klotman, president and CEO of BCM. "This honor is well-deserved. She is an exceptional leader in her field and at the College."

"Through rigorous and creative use of the tools of genetics, biostatistics, and molecular biology, the Goodell lab has brought insights from stem cell biology to bear on the immune response to infection and the loss of epigenetic regulation in aging," said Dr. Arthur L. Beaudet, chair and professor of molecular and human genetics at BCM. Beaudet nominated Goodell for this award.

Hematopoietic stem cells

Goodell's research focuses on the molecular regulation of hematopoietic stem cells – the cells that initiate the formation of different kinds of blood and immune cells. A major goal of her research is to identify genes that are responsible for keeping hematopoietic stem cells in a dormant state as well as those that initiate cell division.

Additional winners

In addition to Goodell's O'Donnell Award for medicine, O'Donnell Awards were presented for engineering, science and technology innovation. The award winners this year include:

  • Dr. Jung-Chih Chiao, professor of electrical engineering at The University of Texas at Arlington, for engineering.
  • Dr. Kim Orth, associate professor of molecular biology at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, for science.
  • Mr. Duncan G. Hudson, III, director of LabVIEW Core R&D, and Mr. David W. Fuller, III, director of LabVIEW Platform R&D, both of National Instruments for technology innovations.