A brief report on the activity in Konan University of the JSPS Invitation Award for Eminent Scientists

Hidenari Yoshizawa, President
Haruyuki Sonobe, Professor, Department of Biology
Takahito Nishikata, Associate Professor, Department of Biology

Konan University
8-9-1 Okamoto Higashinada-ku
658-8501 Kobe, Japan

    Konan University invited Professor Emeritus Yoshio Masui of University of Toronto from January 6 to March 31, 2003, for the activity of the JSPS Invitation Award for Eminent Scientists supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. An outline of his activity was reported on a headline of "Professor Yoshio Masui, Challenging the Frontier Research in Biological Science at Konan University" in the university newspaper "Konan Today", issued on March 15th. Furthermore, the positive attitude of Konan University toward the improvement of studies and education abilities by carrying out this activity was introduced in the series of "University Reforms" in the science page of Nihon Keizai Shinbun issued on April 21st.

    The following is the introduction of outlines of educative activities, academic exchanges and cooperative researches:

    (1) Educative activities within the university
    An educative lecture was held for the students and teaching staff of the Faculty of Science and Engineering on January 14th. The title was "Genuine Research and Fake Research", where Professor Yoshio Masui very ardently discoursed us on his experiences on research, the treachery of some researchers and the background of their behaviors, and the problems on the university-industry research collaboration at University of Toronto. He attended the presentation of graduation and master theses held on February 20th under the support of the Department of Biology, where he gave good advice to the students. It was very much appreciated that he attended all seminars in the laboratory held on every Saturday and gave his valuable opinion and advice, especially to graduate students on the progress of their researches and courses of research in the future. Furthermore, he gave us valuable instruction on how to correct English and how to write decent theses in English to the students who were writing theses.

    (2) Academic exchanges with other universities and laboratories
    Professor Yoshio Masui gave a lecture titled "On the Regulation of Cell Cycle Time" at the Riken Institute of Science: Center of Developmental Biology on January 28th, at the Tokyo Institute of Technology on January 29th, at Keio University on February 18th and at JT Research Institute of Biohistory on February 24th. He also gave a lecture titled of "History of My Cell Cycle Research: the Path I Have Come Through" at the Annual Assembly of Japanese Society of Pharmacology on March 27th. He visited Professor Makoto Asashima and Professor Kazumasa Mabuchi at The University of Tokyo for the arrangement and discussion on his research. In most cases, we accompanied Professor Yoshio Masui and participated in those academic exchanges. In addition, a special workshop, "Strategies for the Next Generation of Biology", was held at Konan University Hirao Memorial Seminar House, surrounding Professor Yoshio Masui with more than 60 participants from universities and laboratories nationwide. First, Professor Hidenari Yoshizawa, president of Konan University, greeted the attendees, followed by a special discourse by Professor Yoshio Masui on the subject of "Developmental and Cell Biology; Present and Past", 3 invitation lectures and 32 general lectures.

    (3) Collaborative researches
    The collaborative research titled "cytological analysis of parthenogenetic and amphigonic reproduction in Daphnia" was conducted with emphasis on the analysis of the effects of environmental factors and hormones that determine sex and the formation of resting eggs. This research is now being conducted by a postdoctoral researcher Mika Murata who has been recruited especially for this research. In addition, on the researches of "analysis of hormonal control of cell division in embryos of the Bombyx silkworm" and "analysis of the cell-cycle-control mechanism in the ascidian embryo", being carried out by a postdoctoral researcher Atsuko Yamada, Professor Yoshio Masui had several discussions with researchers and gave them kind and detailed advice.