Tasuku Honjo speaks at 2016 Kyoto Prize Workshop in Basic Sciences: "From Molecular Immunity to the Suppression of Cancer" (12 November 2016)
22 Dec 2016
On 12 November, Kyoto University hosted the 32nd Kyoto Prize Workshop in Basic Sciences at its Clock Tower Centennial Hall, featuring Visiting Professor Tasuku Honjo as the keynote speaker. Around 350 attended to learn about the cutting edge of cancer immunotherapy research from the 2016 Kyoto Prize Laureate in Basic Sciences as well as from five other world-leading experts.
Professor Honjo uncovered the mechanism responsible for the functional diversification of antibodies by identifying the process involved -- class switch recombination, or CSR -- and the role of activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID). He also discovered the immunoregulatory molecules PD-1 and PD-L1 and elucidated their functions, leading to significant advances in cancer immunotherapy.
In his talk, entitled "Revival of Immunology" and delivered after remarks by Nagahiro Minato, executive vice-president for research, planning, and hospital administration, Honjo described the research basis and impact of these discoveries on life science and medical research as well as on clinical practice.
This was followed by five other researchers presenting on topics of relevance to Professor Honjo's achievements -- elucidation of the mechanism behind the functional diversification of antibodies, and the discovery of immunoregulatory molecules and clinical applications. The five speakers were: Professor Masamichi Muramatsu, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kanazawa University; Lecturer Kenji Chamoto and Professor Seishi Ogawa, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University; Associate Professor Robert A Anders, Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; and Dr Sidonia Fagarasan, RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences.
EVP Minato then moderated a discussion, in which audience questions led to insightful exchanges between the presenters and attendees.
The event offered rare insights into immunology's development and ongoing contributions to human welfare, as well as its future potential.