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Dec. 21, 2012

Kosuke Morita and Piero Carninci win NISTEP Researchers Award

Image of Kosuke Morita
Image of Piero Carninci

Dr. Kosuke Morita (Associate Chief Scientist of the Superheavy Element Laboratory, RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science) and Dr. Piero Carninci (Team Leader of the Functional Genomics Technology Team, RIKEN Omics Science Center) were chosen by the National Institute of Science and Technology Policy (NISTEP), an institute of MEXT, as recipients of the NISTEP Researchers Award. An award in the projects category was given to Dr. Morita in recognition of his team's essentially clinching the discovery rights to element 113 by confirming a new decay path, while Dr. Carninci and his team were recognized within the international exchange and cooperation category for contributing to the international ENCODE project through the contribution of original technology, leading to the discovery that 80% of the human genome is actually functional.

The NISTEP Researchers Award is presented at the end of each year by NISTEP in recognition of significant contributions in science and technology. In 2012, 10 groups and 11 individuals were selected in all the categories of this Award, based on NISTEP's own research and a survey of its network of specialists.

Comment by Dr. Morita

"I am delighted that my team's achievements were given recognition after many years of efforts. I am very grateful to everyone at RIKEN for giving us the support that allowed us to continue this work."

Press Release

Search for element 113 concluded at last


Kosuke MORITA et al. "New Result in the Production and Decay of an Isotope,278113, of the 113th Element". Journal of the Physical Society of Japan, 81 (2012) 103201 DOI: 10.1143/JPSJ.81.103201

Comment by Dr. Carninci

"Scientists at the RIKEN Omics Science Center are particularly pleased with this work because the CAGE technology, developed earlier, was employed as one of the standard technologies for analyzing the output of the genome," Dr. Carninci said. "This international collaboration is in line with OSC's mission to understand the function of the genome. OSC has pioneered the field with the FANTOM project, which provided a first comprehensive annotation of the mouse and human genomes using CAGE, and identified a transcriptional network that controls cell fate. The current ENCODE dataset provides a comprehensive set of data that strengthens and complements our previous and current work, aimed at understanding the function and regulation of the genome in health and disease states. OSC is committed to further characterizing the genome output for a much larger number of cells."

Press Release

Comprehensive transcriptome analysis of human ENCODE cells


  • 1.The ENCODE Project Consortium "An integrated encyclopedia of DNA elements in the human genome" Nature, 2012 doi: 10.1038/nature11233
  • 2.S. Diebali.,et. al, "Landscape of transcription in human cells" Nature, 2012 doi: 10.1038/nature11247

For more information

NISTEP (no information on the awards is available in English, but there is a general introduction to the organization)