Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD
Director and Professor, Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan; Senior Investigator, Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease; and Professor of Anatomy, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California
The groundbreaking discovery that terminally differentiated somatic cells can be reprogrammed into pluripotent stem cells led to the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for Dr. Yamanaka in 2012. Through painstaking research and literature review, his group announced in 2006 that they identified 4 genes that, when introduced into mouse somatic cells, induce a genome-wide reprogramming that converts them into embryonic-like stem cells, which Dr. Yamanaka termed “induced pluripotent stem cells,” iPS cells. In 2007, his group also reported the successful generation of human iPS cells.
Thanks to diligent colleagues, technicians and students in his laboratory, Dr. Yamanaka eventually revolutionized stem cell research with his seminal work. The ability to generate stem cells from any cell type in a human body has already exhibited great potential in the study of human disease by opening promising new avenues for both drug therapies and regenerative medicine.
2013 Inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine2012 Japanese Order of Culture2012 Millennium Technology Prize2011 Wolf Prize in Medicine2011 Elected Member, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC2010 Imperial Prize, Japan Academy Prize2009 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award2008 Robert Koch Prize2008 Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine2004 Professor, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan1999 Associate Professor, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Nara Prefecture, Japan1993 Postdoctoral fellow, Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, San Francisco1993 PhD, Osaka City University, Osaka, Japan1987 MD, Kobe University, Kobe, Japan