Woltjen Lab

Stem Cells and Genome Engineering

Written by: on October 8, 2012 @ 20:00

Our Institute Director, Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, now shares the 2012 Nobel Prize in Medicine with Dr. John B. Gurdon “for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent”.
Congratulations Dr. Yamanaka!
Read more:
The Official Press Release
The announcement on the CiRA Homepage

In the last 3 years, the beginning of October has been a period of anticipation at CiRA. While Dr. Yamanaka waits with characteristic patience in his office, the students, staff and PIs are on the edges of their seats, eyes glued to their computer screens, frantically refreshing the page in expectation of the online announcement from the Nobel Foundation.

For two years prior the night has ended quietly, with the announcement that others have been chosen for the Award (Dr. Edwards in 2010 for developing the in vitro fertilization (IVF) technique; Drs. Beutler, Hoffman, and Steinman in 2011 for discoveries concerning innate and adaptive immunities), not Dr. Yamanaka. Yet, since award of the Lasker to Dr. Yamanaka and Dr. John B. Gurdon in 2009, we have all had hope the that the Nobel would come soon.

This year, the night ended differently for Dr. Yamanaka – he and Dr. Gurdon will share the 2012 Nobel Prize for Medicine. Whisked away by the media, Dr. Yamanaka is on every news channel in Japan tonight.
Honestly, considering the time it took for IVF to be recognized as a major medical contribution (nearly 30 years), I considered that a similar timeframe might delay the award for reprogramming. I’m glad to discover this was not the case; the announcement is more than welcome!

Shinya, we are all very proud of you! It is a great honor to be a Faculty member of CiRA, and work side-by-side with such an outstanding researcher.

Tomorrow will certainly be an exciting day at work!!

Categories: Awards, CiRA, Current Events