Judith Kimble Awarded 2024 Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences

Professor Judith Kimble was awarded the 22nd annual Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences with Allan Spradling and Raymond Schofield for their discovery of the stem cell niche, a localized environment that controls stem cell identity.

Judith Kimble
Professor Judith Kimble.

First awarded in 2002, The Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences is presented annually to recognize contributions that have opened new fields of research or have advanced concepts in a particular biomedical discipline.

“It is a privilege to receive the Wiley Prize with Ray Schofield, who proposed the concept of a stem cell niche, and Allan Spradling, who discovered a variety of stem cell niches in Drosophila. My contribution was discovery of the first stem cell niche in any organism, made possible with help from the pioneers who launched Caenorhabditis elegans to elucidate fundamental principles of neurobiology and developmental regulation. We now know that niches govern stem cells in all organisms, including humans,” said Kimble.

Kimble is a Vilas Professor and the Vannevar Bush Professor of Biochemistry at UW–Madison and also serves as Investigator Emeritus at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Spradling is Director Emeritus, Carnegie Institution for Science, and Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Schofield is formerly of the Paterson Laboratories, the Christie Hospital and the Holt Radium Institute in Manchester, England.

“I am thrilled that Drs. Schofield, Kimble, and Spradling have been selected to receive the Wiley Prize for their discovery of the stem cell niche. This niche is a cellular microenvironment that maintains stem cells in their naive state and prevents them from differentiating. Their pioneering discovery, made by studying bone marrow stem cells and stem cells in the reproductive organs of C. elegans and Drosophila, has revealed how stem cells are regulated during human development and tissue maintenance,” said Professor Titia de Lange of Rockefeller University and Chair of the Wiley Prize awards jury.

Among the many distinguished recipients of the Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences, thirteen have gone on to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, and two have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

“The Wiley Foundation honors research that not only offers breakthrough solutions to existing problems in biomedical sciences, but also fuels future discoveries,” said Deborah Wiley, Chair of the Wiley Foundation. “The work of the 2024 Wiley Prize recipients truly upholds this mission, laying the foundation for today’s life-changing discoveries in the field of stem cell biology.”

This year’s award will be presented at the Wiley Prize lecture on April 5, 2024.

Read the original press release.