Hiroshi Hamada Wins 2014 Keio Medical Science Prize

Two neuroscientists have been awarded this year’s Keio Medical Science Prize: Professors Hiroshi Hamada and Karl Deisseroth.

AsianScientist (Oct. 23, 2014) – Dr. Hiroshi Hamada, professor at the Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University, has been designated as a Keio Medical Science Prize Laureate. The award ceremony and commemorative lectures will be held on November 27, 2014 at the School of Medicine, Shinanomachi Campus, Keio University, Tokyo.

The Keio Medical Science Prize is given in recognition of researchers who have made an outstanding contribution to the field of medicine or life sciences. It is the only prize of its kind awarded by a Japanese university and six laureates of this Prize have later won the Nobel Prize.

The establishment of body axes is central to the organization of the body in vertebrates. However, the molecular basis of the left-right asymmetry was unknown. In 1996, Prof. Hamada discovered the gene called Lefty that determines the differences between left and right, a breakthrough which enabled subsequent studies.

“I am grateful to the selection committee for awarding me the Keio Medical Science Prize, by which I was greatly honored. This award recognizes our 20 years’ effort to understand how morphological asymmetries develop in the mouse embryo,” Hamada said.

“I have been fortunate to share a number of exciting findings with many talented colleagues in Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science and Osaka University. Also collaborations with many scientists all over the world were essential. My thanks go to those colleagues and collaborators.”

This year’s other Keio Medical Science Prize Laureate is Professor Karl Deisseroth, who has been selected for his contributions to the development of optogenetics, a tool that enables unprecedented study of the brain.


Source: Osaka University.
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