A Conversation Between the 26th Keio Medical Science Prize Awardees and President Itoh
November 15, 2021
On Tuesday, October 26 and Monday, November 8, Kohei Itoh, President of Keio University, sat down to speak with the 26th Keio Medical Science Prize recipients at the Hall of Mita Campus East Research Building. The first meeting (October 26) was for the international award recipient while the second (November 8) was held for the domestic awardee.
Beginning in 1996, the Keio Medical Science Prize is an annual award under the Keio University Medical Science Fund and recognizes researchers from Japan and overseas who have made outstanding and creative advancements in the fields of medicine and the life sciences and whose future research holds promise of further achievements. It is the only prize of its kind awarded by a Japanese university, with eight recipients having gone on to become Nobel Laureates.
This year's awardees were Dr. Osamu Nureki and Dr. Katalin Karikó. Dr. Nureki is a professor at the University of Tokyo's Graduate School of Science and was chosen for his research related to the structural biology of functional molecules that are crucial for biological processes. Dr. Katalin Karikó is an adjunct professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine and was chosen for her foundational research on messenger RNA vaccine development.
As Dr. Katalin Karikó is originally from Hungary, Norbert Palanovics, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Hungary, also participated in the Zoom discussions led by President Kohei Itoh and the chairperson for the selection committee of the Keio Medical Science Prize, Haruhiko Siomi.
During the second meeting, President Itoh personally conferred both a medal and certificate for the Keio Medical Science Prize to Dr. Nureki and then engaged in an active discussion with all present members including chairperson Siomi.
The participants in the respective sessions congratulated both researchers for their hard work, wishing them further success in the future. The recipients, in turn, expressed their gratitude for the awards, appreciation for their research colleagues, and ambitions moving forward with their research.
The recordings taken at this time will be made available through the Keio University Medical Science Fund website at a later date.