NYSCF Mourns the Loss of Stem Cell Research Advocate Brooke Ellison


The New York Stem Cell Foundation is deeply saddened to learn about the passing of pioneering stem cell research advocate Brooke Ellison this week. Dr. Ellison was a singular voice for progress whose impact on the entire field cannot be understated. 

Dr. Ellison was an Associate Professor at Stony Brook University, and the Director of Education and Ethics at the Stony Brook Stem Cell Facility. An expert in stem cell research policy and ethics, and longtime patient and disability advocate, Brooke dedicated her professional career to changing the perception of life-saving science. 

Paralyzed from the neck down and dependent on a ventilator since age eleven following an accident, Brooke has surmounted innumerable hurdles to achieve her goals, including serving on the Empire State Stem Cell Board, which designed New York State’s stem cell policy.

In 2020, NYSCF honored Dr. Ellison as a Stem Cell Hero at our annual Gala & Science Fair for her outstanding contributions to science.

“When I first became involved in stem cell research, I did it because I saw it as a critical source of hope for those for whom hope might be hard to find – those like myself who were told that the disease or disability they were experiencing was incurable or unchangeable,” said Dr. Ellison. “Stem cell research has been the beacon of hope that has forced us to rethink those very ideas to redefine those words. But this is not just an idea. It’s an action and an imperative.”

Learn more about Dr. Ellison’s extraordinary life and legacy from:

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation


The New York Times

Cover image credit: Brooke Ellison