A pioneer in biochemistry and cancer research, Dr. Sugimura’s research has been centered in his belief that cancer is a disease caused by alteration of DNA. He first studied carcinogenicities of mutagens, 4nqo and mnng. His work using the Ames test, an in vitro assay for mutagens using Salmonella typhiminium perfected by Dr. Bruce N. Ames, established that many carcinogens were mutagens. Dr. Sugimura isolated and identified many mutagens with a structure of heterocyclic amine from foods cooked under ordinary conditions. He showed that tumors induced by these heterocyclic amines had genetic alterations. He further developed his studies to analyze multiple-step carcinogenesis at molecular levels to promote effective primary prevention of cancer.
Dr. Sugimura’s group co-identified the novel polymer poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). He also discovered the cognate catabolic enzyme poly (ADP-ribose) glycohydrolase (PARG). His work has had a profound effect on establishing new mechanisms of chemical carcinogenesis and new tumor promoters.
1997 Japan Prize for Biotechnology in Medicine
1994 Elected Foreign Associate, Institute of Medicine
1992 Tomizo Yoshida Prize, Japanese Cancer Association
1987 Elected Foreign Member, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
1987 Elected Foreign Member, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
1984-1991 President, National Cancer Center, Tokyo, Japan
1982 Elected Foreign Associate, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.
1981 Charles S. Mott Prize, General Motors Cancer Research Foundation
1981 The Order of Cultural Merits of the Japanese Government
1980 Honorary Member, American Association for Cancer Research
1978 Outstanding Work Award, Environmental Mutagen Society of the United States
1977 Fogarty Scholar in Residence, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
1976 Japan Academy Prize and Imperial Prize
1970-1985 Professor, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo
1949 MD, University of Tokyo