Loll aside, this is my guess as to the most influential quantum gravity paper of 2005:
Effective 3d Quantum Gravity and Non-Commutative Quantum Field Theory
Laurent Freidel, Etera R. Livine
"We show that the effective dynamics of matter fields coupled to 3d quantum gravity is described after integration over the gravitational degrees of freedom by a braided non-commutative quantum field theory symmetric under a kappa-deformation of the Poincaré group."
This paper (summarizing rapid development during the past year or so) pretty well takes care of the 3D case. In the conclusions Freidel discusses the extension to 4D, and cites a paper by Freidel and Baratin in preparation, called Hidden quantum gravity in Feymnan graphs
but this was also the title of the talk which Aristide Baratin gave at October Loops '05. And we can download the slides. This has a link to the video as well, but i cannot get it to work:
Here are Baratin slides for his talk "Hidden quantum gravity in Feymnan graphs".
Who is Aristide Baratin? Perimeter lists him as one of their grad students. I think Baratin finished Lycee in Paris around 1997 (won an essay prize) and went to Ecole Normal in Lyon (where Freidel works part-time). Perhaps he did his Bac at Lyon and after becoming a grad student moved from Lyon to Perimeter in 2005. I think probably he was born around 1980 and is now in mid Twenties. Anyway he is collaborating with Freidel on the paper where Freidel starts seriously to work on 4D.
There was already some preparation in that paper of Freidel with Artem Starodubtsev, which was also about 4D. I will get some quotes where Freidel gives an idea of what his strategy is.