JSPS awards for eminent scientists

Report on the JSPS Award for Eminent Scientists FY2010

  1. Host Researcher

    Name: KOBAYASHI Yuji
    Osaka University of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Professor

  2. Invited eminent scientist (name, title and affiliation, nationality)

    Ada E. Yonath
    Weizmann Institute for Science, Professor of Department of Structural Biology and Director of The Helen and Minton A. Kimmelman Center for Biomolecular Structure and Assembly

  3. Duration of the stay

    From Wednesday, March 2, 2011 to Sunday, March 13, 2011 ( 12 days)

  4. 4. Schedule during the stay (date, research activities, name of the places to visit, and description of the visits )

    Year/Month/Day Visiting place/Contents
    March 2 (Arrival in Japan)
    Arrived at Kansai Airport.
    Moved to Hilton Hotel Osaka by taxi.
    Checked into hotel.
    March 3 Moved to Hiroshima
    Delivered a lecture "Synergism for combating resistance to ribosome antibiotics” at Hiroshima University”
    Retuned to Osaka
    March 4 Attended “The Open Symposium with  Prof. Ada Yonath, the 2009 Nobel  Laureate of Chemistry, of the High-tech Researh Center, Osaka University of Pharmaceutical Sciences” titled “Frontier of Drug Design” at Keizo Saji Memorial Hall in Nakanoshima Center of Osaka University and delivered a lecture, “From Basic Research to Improved Drugs”.
    March 5 Free
    March 6 Free (visited “Kampou Museum” in Kyoto)
    March 7 Moved to Tokyo
    Checked in Grand Prince Hotel Shin-Takanawa
    Delivered a lecture titled  “From Basic Science to Advanced Antibiotics” for “The Special
    Lecture Meeting of RIKEN” at RIKEN Wako Institute.
    Participated a reception party of HOPE Meeting at Grand Prince Hotel Shin-Takanawa
    March 8 Attended at  HOPE Meeting at Grand Prince Hotel Shin-Takanawa
    Morning: Delivered a lecture
    Afternoon: Participated at a group discussion with the young researchers.
    March 9 Paid a courtesy call to The President of JSPS.
    Evening: Participated a dinner party at The Official Residence of the Ambassador of Israel to Japan
    March 10 Delivered a lecture titled “Three decades of ribosome crystallography: Selected take-home insight” at the symposium, “Women in Science, The Special Lecture Meeting of Prof. Ada Yonath” at Koshiba Hall in Hongo Campus of The University of Tokyo.
    Participated at a get-together at the Foyer of Koshiba Hall.
    March 11 Moved to Tsukuba.
    Delivered a lecture, “Antibiotics paralyzing ribosome” at the Center for Tsukuba Advanced Study Alliance of University of Tsukuba
    Could not return to Tokyo because of the massive earthquake.
    Stayed overnight at the lounge of Narita International Airport.
    March 12 Stayed at Hotel Nikko Narita
    March 13 Departed from Narita International Airport at 10:25 am
    (Left Japan)

  5. Description of and results from the invitation

    Osaka University of Pharmaceutical Sciences invited Professor Ada E. Yonath (Weizmann Institute of Science, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, 2009) from March 2 to March 13 for the JSPS Invitation Award for Eminent Scientists supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. The outlines of educational activities, academic exchanges and cooperative research are as follows.
      When we planned to invite her, we asked her to deliver lectures at various places (1) to provide us with the latest information of structural biology, (2) to deepen academic exchange to contribute the development of science in our country and (3) not only to inspire researchers in academic and public institutions but also to stimulate and motivate young scientists and female students to be scientists in view of the fact that young people are turning away from science. On her last visit, we asked her to deliver her lectures mainly in the western area in Japan regarding (1) and (2). Thus this time, we asked her to visit mainly the eastern area. Regarding (3), we organized unique seminars for high school students and for female students. This time, in order to inspire people widely, we organized the lecture meeting, “Frontier of Drug Design” as an open symposium of the High-tech Research Center of our university to introduce the present situation of the research of drug design in Japan laying stress on the perspective of rational design of new antibiotics which was the reason for the Nobel Prize given to her. This symposium was held in the business center of Osaka city for the convenience of public participants. Consequently this symposium successfully inspired researchers of both of academic institutions and industry and students.
      Furthermore, another purpose of the invitation this time was to attend the HOPE meeting organized by JSPS held from Mar. 7 to 10. In this meeting, she influenced primarily on young researchers from various countries to contribute to the promotion of science by delivering a lecture and joining the group discussion. In addition, she gave lectures and deepened academic exchange in the University of Tokyo, University of Tsukuba and Riken as listed above.
      In conclusion, it should be said that this project succeeded to contribute the development of science in Japan by disseminating the scientific research of Prof. Yonath, and by discussing it intensively with many scientists who attended her lectures and so forth.

  6. Contributions to the Host Institute
      The visit of Dr. Ada Yonath helped to promote and inspire a great deal the science of the researchers who are engaged in structural biology at the host university. Furthermore, it is noteworthy that, although it is rare at a small collage to hear the ideological background directly from researchers working at the scientific front, the experiences of making contact with a Nobel laureate at lunch had a big impact on not only faculties and staffs but also young researchers and students.
      Owing to her friendly personality, she agreed to give many lectures in various places in this short span of time. Because our situation is similar to other small universities, which rarely have rare the chance to host eminent foreign scholars, we deeply appreciated this project.
      In conclusion, this kind of project which provides all expenses, including travel and accommodation fees, is precious for the institutions which cannot afford to invite such scholars.