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Fred H. Gage, Ph.D

The 2008 Keio Medical Science Prize Awardees

Fred H. Gage, Ph.D

Adler Professor, Laboratory of Genetics, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, U.S.A.
* Website (The Salk Institute for Biological Studies)

Reason for Selection and his Major Achievement:

For the Discovery of Physiological Roles of Adult Neurogenesis in Mammalian Brain

For more than a century, it has been firmly believed that the adult mammalian brain does not create new neuronal cells and could not repair itself. Dr. Fred H. Gage and his colleagues showed that neurogenesis, the creation of new brain cells, actually occurs particularly in hippocampus, the learning center of adult mammalian brain. Small populations of immature nerve cells are found in the adult brain and these immature cells are capable of producing precursor cells with the ability to give rise to a variety of cell types including neurons and glia. He has also demonstrated that environmental enrichment and physical exercise can increase neurogenesis and enhance functional integration of newly born neurons into neuronal circuits in hippocampal dentate gyrus of adult brain. Dr. Gagefs pioneering research provided new details about the nature of adult neurogenesis and his discovery has challenged the old doctrine according to which the central nervous system is resistant to regeneration. The implications go even further offering new insight into the mechanism that triggers clinical depression and suggesting a more focused approach to understanding the mental illness. Dr. Gage opens up new directions of research as well as development of therapeutic strategy for trauma and diseases of the central nervous system.

Background

9/74-6/76

NIMH Predoctoral Fellow, The Johns Hopkins University

9/76-6/80

Assistant/Associate Professor, Texas Christian University

6/81-6/85

Associate Professor, Dept. of Histology, University of Lund, Lund, Sweden

6/85-6/88

Associate Professor, Dept. of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego

6/88-

Professor, Dept. of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego

6/95-

Professor, Laboratory of Genetics, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA

(as of October 2008)
Shimon Sakaguchi, M.D.

The 2008 Keio Medical Science Prize Awardees

Shimon Sakaguchi, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Experimental Pathology, Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences, Kyoto University, Japan
* Website (Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences, Kyoto University)

Reason for Selection and his Major Achievement:

For the Discovery of Regulatory T cells and Their Roles in Immunological Diseases

Understanding how the unresponsiveness of lymphocytes to self-constituents (i.e., immunological self-tolerance) is maintained has been a key issue in immunology and medicine. In the 1980s, Dr. Shimon Sakaguchi showed that the depletion of a particular subpopulation of T cells was able to produce autoimmune disease in otherwise normal animals. This study led him to discover regulatory T cells (Tregs), which are present in normal individuals and are specialized for immune suppression and tolerance. Since his discovery of Tregs, Dr. Sakaguchi has greatly contributed to our understanding of the molecular basis of the development and function of Tregs and also their roles in controlling a variety of physiological and pathological immune responses, including autoimmune disease, allergy, transplantation tolerance, and tumor immunity. Active research on Tregs is now underway throughout the world in an attempt to develop novel ways of immune suppression and intervention.

Background

1976-1978

Resident, Department of Pathology, Kyoto University Medical School and Hospital

1978-1981

Visiting Investigator, Laboratory of Pathology, Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute

1981-1983

Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Immunology, Kyoto University Medical School

1981-1983

Joint Appointment at the Blood Transfusion Service, Kyoto University Hospital

1983-1985

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

1986-1987

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Biophysics, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

1987-1989

Visiting Scientist, Division of Immunology and Rheumatology, Stanford University Medical Center

1989-1991

Assistant Professor, Department of Immunology, Scripps Research Institute

1992-1994

Investigator, Science and Technology Agency of Japan

1994-1999

Head, Department of Immunopathology, Tokyo Metropolitan, Institute of Gerontology

1999-2007

Professor and Chair, Department of Experimental Pathology, Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences, Kyoto University

2007-present

Director and Professor, Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences, Kyoto University

2007-present

Adjunct Professor, WPI Immunology Frontier Research Center, Osaka University

(as of October 2008)

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