Claudio Stern,

Established in 1981, the Ross Harrison Prize commemorates the life and work of the American biologist Ross Granville Harrison, one of the pioneers of experimental embryology who developed and applied tissue culture techniques to the study of embryonic tissue development and axon outgrowth. The prize is awarded once every four years at the ISDB Congress in recognition of an individual’s outstanding contributions to developmental biology. The first Harrison Prize was awarded jointly to Donald D. Brown and Victor Hamburger – more recent recipients include Janet Rossant (2013) Eddy De Robertis (2009) and Elliot Meyerowitz (2005).
It is my great pleasure to announce that this year, the Prize is to be awarded to Claudio Stern, J Z Young Professor of Anatomy at University College London (UCL) and a past President of the ISDB. Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, Claudio graduated in Biological Sciences at the University of Sussex in England where he also gained his PhD under the supervision of Brian Goodwin. Following postdoctoral research at UCL and a brief spell as a university demonstrator in Cambridge, he took up a lectureship in anatomy at Oxford University, before being appointed Chair of Genetics and Development at Columbia University Medical School, New York in 1994. In 2001 he returned to the UK to take up his current post at UCL, where he also served as Head of the Department of Anatomy until 2011.
As one of the world’s leading chick embryologists, Claudio’s research had focused on the processes that establish cell diversity and pattern in the early embryo, and particularly on understanding how complexity is established and how the “programme” for embryonic development is encoded in the genome. He has made a number of landmark discoveries in the course of his distinguished career: with Roger Keynes, he showed that somites are subdivided into anterior and posterior halves and that this governs segmentation of the peripheral nervous system; with Cliff Tabin, he discovered the first genes found to regulate left-right asymmetry; and he and his colleagues have uncovered several aspects of the molecular basis of neural induction and of the mechanisms of gastrulation in higher vertebrate embryos.
Claudio is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society, the UK Academy of Medical Sciences and the Latin-American Academy of Sciences, as well as a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of EMBO. In 2006 he was awarded the Waddington Medal by the British Society for Developmental Biology. It seems particularly fitting that he is now the recipient of the Ross Harrison prize, commemorating as it does the achievements of another great experimental embryologist.

Philip W Ingham FRS
President of the ISDB
Chair of the Ross Harrison Prize Committee of Electors


ISDB 2017 will be awarding prizes for the best oral and poster presentations. All awards are only open to PhD students and Post Docs.

Poster Prizes

First place PhD Award = S$250 Sponsored by ELSEVIER

Second place PhD Award = S$150

Third place PhD Award = S$100

First place Post Doc Award = S$250 Sponsored by BMC Biology

Second place Post Doc Award = S$150 Sponsored by BMC Biology

Third place Post Doc Award = S$100 Sponsored by BMC Biology

Oral Prizes

Best Oral = S$200 Sponsored by ELSEVIER