JSPS awards for eminent scientists
 

Report of JSPS Award for Eminent Scientists in Academic Year 2004

Host Researcher
Occupation and Institution: Professor, Osaka City University
Name: Kazuhiro Iwai

The report of the JSPS award for an eminent non-Japanese scientist is as follows:


  1. Non-Japanese guest researcher: Name (Institution, Occupation, and Nationality)

    Institution and Occupation: Professor at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology Faculty of Medicine
    Name: Aaron Ciechanover
    Nationality:  Israeli


  2. Period

    30 January 2005 to 26 March 2005 (56 days)


  3. Details of Stay

    Lodgings: Osaka City University Guest House
    Laboratory: Dept. of Molecular Cell Biology, Graduate School of Medicine
    Status at Department:  Visiting Professor
    Other: None


  4. Schedule during Stay

    Date Destination and Details of Visit (Research Discussions, Lectures, Tours, etc.)
    30 January 2005 Arrive in Japan
    31 January Courtesy call to the President of Osaka City University
    1 February Joint research with the Department of Molecular Cell Biology at Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine
    2 February Courtesy call to mayor of Osaka City and head of Osaka City council (Osaka City Hall)
    Presentation of Osaka City mayoral special award and Sakura award for excellence
    Banquet with Osaka City mayor (at mayor’s official residence)
    3 to 5 February Joint research with the Department of Molecular Cell Biology at Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine
    6 February Transfer to Tokyo
    7 February Courtesy call on President of JSPS
    Lecture at Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science
    8 February Courtesy call on chairman of the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
    Lecture at the University of Tokyo
    Courtesy call on the Senior Vice-Minister for Education
    9 February Lecture at the International Conference on Fatigue Science 2005 (Karuizawa)
    10 February Courtesy call on the President of Hokkaido University and chair of the Graduate School of Medicine
    Lecture at Hokkaido University
    11 February Transfer to Osaka
    12 to 14 February Joint research with the Department of Molecular Cell Biology at Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine
    15 February Lecture at Osaka City University
    Award of Osaka City University President’s Special Award and Honorary Degree
    16 to 20 February Joint research with the Department of Molecular Cell Biology at Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine
    21 February Seminar at Japan Israel Chamber of Commerce
    22 February Courtesy call on President of Kyushu University
    Lecture at Kyushu University
    23 February Transfer to Osaka
    24 to 28 February Joint research with the Department of Molecular Cell Biology at Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine
    1 March Courtesy call on the President of Tokushima Bunri University
    Lecture at Tokushima Bunri University
    2 March Transfer to Osaka
    3 March Joint research with the Department of Molecular Cell Biology at Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine
    4 March Lecture at Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine
    5 to 7 February Joint research with the Department of Molecular Cell Biology at Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine
    8 March Lecture at Osaka Bioscience Institute
    9 to 25 February Joint research with the Department of Molecular Cell Biology at Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine
    26 March Leave Japan


  5. Guest Welcome, and Lecture Tour Success

    Professor A. Ciechanover was welcomed as per the initial plan for academic year 2004. The purpose of this invitation was to promote international academic exchange and joint research, continuing on from the previous academic year. Professor Ciechanover was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2004 during which the visiting program was carried out, for his work into the ďdiscovery of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation", and having him come to Japan less than two months after being awarded the Nobel Prize is a great honor for Osaka City University, considering his hectic schedule. Consequently, although different from the original objective, he was honored during his visit to Japan by Osaka City, which is a leading facilitator for visiting research bodies. Further, considering his major contributions to visiting research bodies in the past academic year, Professor Ciechanover was awarded an honorary PhD by Osaka City University. Professor Ciechanoverís academic exchanges and joint research are described separately below.

    1. Academic Exchange
      During his stay, Professor Ciechanover visited lecture groups and academic societies across the region with gusto. He also attended an international academic conference, where he gave the keynote speech. Professor Ciechanover also gave lectures at seven research institutes: Osaka City University, Hokkaido University, University of Tokyo, Kyoto University, Kyushu University, Tokushima Bunri University, Osaka Bioscience Institute, and Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science. At all the lectures, in addition to deepening significantly the understanding of many Japanese researchers regarding the biological and pathological importance of the ubiquitin conjugation system and the chain of events leading to the discovery of the ubiquitin ubiquitin-dependent protein degradation system, for which Professor Ciechanover won the Nobel Prize, many diverse opinions were also exchanged between Professor Ciechanover and the researchers who had sponsored the lecture concerning research and research body management. Particularly noteworthy was that Professor Ciechanover had only just won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry last year, and there were many questions concerning his winning the prize, such as the reasons why he started the experiments, which were not at all popular at the time, the chain of events that led to his accomplishment in a small laboratory in Israel in addition to his working as a graduate student with his mentor. Further, there were also comments that these research successes were never published in popular magazines, causing much deep thought on the nature of research that leads to winning the Nobel Prize. Professor Ciechanover is also scheduled to visit Japan again next academic year through the auspices of JSPS, so he will give many lectures then, too, and it is hoped that he will enlighten many Japanese researchers then as well. Further, he paid courtesy calls to the presidents of Osaka City University, Hokkaido University, Kyushu University, Tokushima Bunri University, and the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the chair of Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, the director emeritus of the Osaka Bioscience Institute, and the deputy chairman of the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, with whom he exchanged views on promoting research and the management of research bodies, etc.


    2. Joint Research
      The researchers who received Professor Ciechanover have continued their research with him since 1998, but during the Professorís visit on this occasion, they proposed a joint research project to approach the unresolved issues of the ubiquitin conjugation system, and started experimentation. In future, research will be pursued as a joint venture between Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and Osaka City University.


  6. Contributions of the Guest Researcher to the Host
    (To inspire young researchers, and internationalize the host body, etc.)

    On 31 January, Professor Ciechanover paid a courtesy call on the president of Osaka City University, and exchanged views on the Israeli policy on university management and its differences from the current state of Japanese universities, and gave important hints on the path needed to promote Osaka City University, including internationalization and the issue of its transformation into an Independent Administrative Institution. Further, many students, teachers, and researchers participated in the lecture held on campus on 15 February, and in addition to significantly deepening the understanding of the biological and clinical importance of the ubiquitin conjugation system and the chain of events leading to the discovery of the ubiquitin-dependent protein degradation system, for which Professor Ciechanover was awarded the Nobel Prize, the participants listened attentively to the lecture and the researchers, including the young researchers, were highly stimulated. After the lecture, there was an opportunity for many medical researchers, including the chairman of the Graduate Medical School, to exchange opinions with Professor Ciechanover, and in addition to deepening the debate on research, opinions were exchanged regarding internationalization and the nurturing of young researchers, with the Professor offering many useful hints.


  7. Other

    On 7 February, Professor Ciechanover paid a courtesy call to Mr. Ono, president of the JSPS, whom he thanked profusely for this opportunity to visit Japan. Further, the two men exchanged opinions on a wide variety of subjects, including the nurturing of young researchers and research promotion policies in various countries, starting with Japan and Israel. In addition, on 8 February, Professor Ciechanover paid a courtesy call to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, and exchanged views with the Senior Vice-Minister, Mr. Kojima, regarding the promotion of research in Japan and the internationalization of research.

 
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