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The 20th Keio Medical Science Prize Award Ceremony

Update:Dec. 02, 2015

The 20th Keio Medical Science Prize Award Ceremony was held on Wednesday, November 25 at Kitasato Hall inside Kitasato Memorial Library on Shinanomachi Campus.

The Keio Medical Science Prize is awarded to researchers who have made outstanding and creative achievements in the fields of medical and life sciences, and from whom significant activity can be expected in the future, regardless of their nationality. Awarded by the Keio University Medical Science Fund since 1996, it is the only prize of its kind awarded by a Japanese university. Six prize laureates have gone on to win the Nobel Prize.

This year’s recipients were Prof. Jeffrey I. Gordon, a Dr. Robert J. Glaser Distinguished University Professor and Director of the Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and Prof. Yoshinori Ohsumi, Honorary Professor of the Frontier Research Center, Tokyo Institute of Technology.

First, there was a performance by the Keio University Wagner Society Orchestra which set a relaxed mood for the award ceremony that followed. Dean of the School of Medicine Hideyuki Okano, who is also the Chairman of the Keio Medical Science Prize Selection Committee, reported on the rigorous debate to decide this year’s recipients by the review committee, which has members from both within and outside Keio University, and gave an introduction of the two recipients. Then, President Atsushi Seike conferred medals and certificates on Prof. Gordon and Prof. Ohsumi before giving a congratulatory address. Hiroyuki Yoshiie, State Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and Jessica Webster, Minister Counselor for Economic and Science Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Japan also gave their felicitations. Finally, the recipients took turns at the podium to express their joy at receiving the award. They spoke of their research thus far, thanked all those involved in the research, and expressed their passion to continue their research.

At the commemorative lectures that followed, Dean Okano began with a small speech followed by the lectures by both prizewinners. The 300 visitors, including invited guests, Keio faculty and staff members, and students, filled the hall to capacity. They listened intently and participated in a lively question and answer session after each lecture.

Prof. Jeffrey I. Gordon
Prof. Jeffrey I. Gordon
Prof. Yoshinori Ohsumi
Prof. Yoshinori Ohsumi

A commemorative photo after the award ceremony
A commemorative photo after the award ceremony
During the commemorative lectures
During the commemorative lectures

Photo: Susumu Ishito