An Aberaeron resident has been given one of the world's top awards for excellence in biomedical research.

Retired biomedical research scientist Dr Raymond Schofeld has been given the Wiley Foundation Annual Biomedical Sciences Prize along with two others who carried on with his pioneering work. He will share the $50.000 prize with Dr Judith Kimble and Dr Allan Spradling who work at American institutions.

Dr Schofield discovered what he termed the Stem Cell Niche and published a paper his work on it in 1978 - 46 years ago - having presented it at a symposium in San Francisco the year before.

His work was opposed by many of his peers at the time with some institutions especially in North America openly hostile to it.

He was told to stop that work and concentrate his efforts elsewhere.

Some 30 years after his discovery he received an apology from one institution and his work was built on becoming the paradigm for stem cell research and the innovations in stem cell treatments that we see today.

His work his since been cited more than 3,300 times in scientific publications.

Mr Schofield is formerly of the Paterson Laboratories, the Christie Hospital and the Holt Radium Institute, Manchester, England.

Dr Titia de Lange of Rockefeller University, Chair of the Wiley Prize awards jury said: “"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 naïve 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.

Deborah Wiley, Chair of the Wiley Foundation, said: “The Wiley Foundation honors research that not only offers breakthrough solutions to existing problems in biomedical sciences, but also fuels future discoveries.

“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.”

Among the recipients of the Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences, 13 have gone on to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and two have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

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