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CiRA Director Shinya Yamanaka selected as a Person of Cultural Merit

October 26, 2010

Prof. Shinya Yamanaka, the Director of the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, was selected as one of the Persons of Cultural Merit in 2010.

He was awarded this for his outstanding achievements in research and education in the field of Stem Cell Biology. The research group led by Prof. Yamanaka succeeded in preparing induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) with which various cells (including those from nerves and hearts) can be created with skin cells, a world first. The research group announced their success with the establishment of iPS cells from mouse fibroblast cells in 2006 and human ones in 2007.

iPS cells are expected to help in clarifying the causes of diseases, test for side effects and the toxicity of drugs, develop more effective and safer drugs and enable regenerative medicine such as cell transplantation.

The award ceremony will take place in Tokyo on November 4, 2010.

Message from Director Shinya Yamanaka

I am extremely honored to be selected as a Person of Cultural Merit and would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the many individuals who have shown their continued support. I very much appreciate the fact that this award is an encouragement for us to make further significant progress in iPS cell research, still in its infancy, and to make its medical applications reality for a large number of patients. In the future I will commit myself to even further research activities, in order to contribute to the advancement of regenerative medicine and to aim at the earliest practical application of iPS cell technologies, in collaboration with many other researchers.