Shinya Yamanaka MD, PhD

Recipient of the Canada Gairdner International Award, 2009
"For his demonstration that the key transcription factors which specify pluripotency may become reprogrammed somatic cells to pluripotent stem cells."

Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan 


Shinya Yamanaka received his MD from Kobe University in 1987 and his PhD from Osaka City University in 1993. From 1987 to 1989 he was a resident at the National Osaka Hospital. He spent the period from 1993 to 1996 as a postdoctoral fellow in the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, San Francisco where he served as a post-doctoral fellow with the aim of obtaining further research skill and practical field experience, he was particularly interested in production technology of knockout mouse and transgenic mouse.  During his stay at the Gladstone Institute, he discovered NAT 1, which later recognized as an indispensable gene in differentiation of ES cell. He returned to Osaka City University Medical School to take an assistant professor position in 1996, and was then appointed as an associate professor at Nara Institute of Science and Technology in 1999, where he became a full professor in 2003.  He moved on to take up his current position as a professor in Kyoto University in 2004.  At the same time, he received an appointment as a visiting scientist at the Gladstone Institute in 2007.  Having successfully established induced pluripotent stem cell or iPS cell, he was appointed as Director for CiRA, Center for iPS Cell Research and Application at Kyoto University in 2008.  He now has actively conducting iPS cell research with two dozens of researchers and students toward regenerative medicine.

Dr. Yamanaka received the 2012 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.