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November 8, 2013

QBiC Director Toshio Yanagida named Person of Cultural Merit

On November 5, Toshio Yanagida, director of the RIKEN Quantitative Biology Center (QBiC) was presented an award as a Person of Cultural Merit, a prestigious award given by the Cabinet based on recommendations from the Minister for Education, Science, Sports and Culture.

Dr. Yanagida was given the award for his work to develop high-performance microscopy allowing the observation of single molecules in proteins and the elucidation of the operating principles of molecular motors, which are key to muscular contraction, thus contributing to the understanding of molecular motors which make up biological systems.

Dr. Yanagida said, “I worked with my mentor, Professor Fumio Oosawa, bringing into my research Japanese ideas such as a tempered and balanced approach. Adopting the unique concept of ‘flutter,’ which is not so common in the West, I debated scholars around the world over the years, and am delighted that I have been given recognition for my efforts.”

Dr. Yanagida, as director of QBiC, a RIKEN center dedicated to quantitative biology, while concurrently serving as director of the RIKEN HPCI Program for Computational Life Sciences, has been active in developing the field of quantitative biology, developing models to describe biological phenomena from the molecular level to the level of individual organisms.