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Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD

Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD

University of California
San Francisco, California

Class of 2013

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.

Career Highlights

2013 Inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences
2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
2012 Japanese Order of Culture
2012 Millennium Technology Prize
2011 Wolf Prize in Medicine
2011 Elected Member, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC
2010 Imperial Prize, Japan Academy Prize
2009 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award
2008 Robert Koch Prize
2008 Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine
2004 Professor, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
1999 Associate Professor, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Nara Prefecture, Japan
1993 Postdoctoral fellow, Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, San Francisco
1993 PhD, Osaka City University, Osaka, Japan
1987 MD, Kobe University, Kobe, Japan