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May 06, 2011

CiRA Director Shinya Yamanaka elected to the National Academy of Sciences

The United States' National Academy of Sciences (NAS) announced on May 3 the election of new members including CiRA Director Shinya Yamanaka for his distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

In 2006, Yamanaka, who also serves as a senior investigator at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease in San Francisco, announced that his group discovered a way to turn mouse adult skin cells into cells that act like embryonic stem cells and named the cells induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. He also reported the generation of human iPS cells the following year. iPS cells have great potential for applications in drug discovery, and as a resource in regenerative medicine.

This time, the NAS elected 72 new members and 18 foreign associates from 15 countries, including two Japanese scientists - Yamanaka and Akira Endo, director of Biopharm Research Laboratories Inc. Those elected brought the total number of active members to 2,113 and the total number of foreign associates to 418. The private organization was founded in 1863 and is an honorific society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the advancement of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare.

The National Academy of Sciences:

The Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease:

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