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April 19, 2012

Dr. Shinya Yamanaka selected as a Millennium Technology Prize laureate

Technology Academy Finland announced on April 19 that CiRA Director Shinya Yamanaka has been selected as one of the two Millennium Technology Prize laureates. The other recipient is Linux operating system inventor Linus Torvalds.

Yamanaka successfully generated the induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS cells by introducing four genes into somatic cells for the first time in the world. The selection committee recognized that his discovery ''has great impact on research in medicine and biotechnology.''

Yamanaka said; "It's a distinct honor for me to be selected as one of the laureates of the 2012 Millennium Technology Prize. The discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells could not have been achieved without tremendous efforts by students and technicians in my laboratory. My mission now is to advance iPS cell research in cooperation with many researchers around the world and bring the technology to medicine as early as possible.''

TAF awards the prize every two years to those who have made significant achievements that can benefit humanity and improve quality of people's lives.  

The awarding ceremony will be held in Helsinki, Finland, on June 13, when the Grand Prize winner will be announced.

Technology Academy Finland: http://www.technologyacademy.fi/

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