Japanese Cell Biologist Wins 2016 Kihara Prize

Professor Hiroshi Iwasaki from the Tokyo Institute of Technology was recognized for his work into homologous recombination, a biological phenomenon that occurs in all living organisms.

AsianScientist (Sep. 13, 2016) – Professor Hiroshi Iwasaki of the Tokyo Institute of Technology has been awarded the 2016 Kihara Prize by the Genetics Society of Japan.

The highly coveted Kihara Prize was established in honor of Dr. Hitoshi Kihara, whose work on the genetics of wheat were groundbreaking in the fields of genetics and evolution. The prize recognizes researchers who make seminal contributions to the field of genetics, promote progress in this field, and raise public awareness of exceptional research achievements.

Iwasaki is known for his work on homologous recombination, a biological phenomenon that involves the exchange of sequences between two homologous DNA molecules and occurs in all living organisms. It plays important roles not only in generating genetic diversity but also in maintaining genome integrity by mediating DNA repair. Using fission yeast (Schizosaccharomyces pombe) as a model system, Iwasaki analyzed the molecular mechanism by which Rad51 recombinase in eukaryotes catalyzes DNA strand exchange.

“I am very pleased that the Genetics Society of Japan has awarded me with the 2016 Kihara Prize,” said Iwasaki. “I wish to continue devoting myself to research that boldly pursues the answers to unexplained problems, and in doing so I hope that I might instill an enthusiasm for molecular genetics in younger generations through communication and dedicated mentoring.”


Source: Tokyo Institute of Technology; Photo: Shutterstock.
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