Division Awards

Division of Biological Science acknowledges excellent achievements of students and researchers by offering following awards.

Umesono Prize

The Umesono Prize has been awarded annually since 2004 to young researchers in Graduate School (Division) of Biological Sciences at NAIST who significantly contributed to biological sciences during his/her years at the institute.

The prize was established to commemorate the achievements of Dr. Kazuhiko Umesono who was an up-and-coming associate professor in the early years of NAIST. He was a true scientist, brilliant and creative. In 1990s, virtually any molecular biologist knew and respected him. When steroid hormone receptors were mentioned in a lecture, everyone referred to his achievements.

Before joining NAIST in 1994, he published 10 Nature and Cell papers and a total of 24 manuscripts during seven years in the laboratory of Professor Ronald M. Evans at the Salk Institute in the United States. He first recognized and proved that many hormone response elements are comprised of direct repeats (DRs) and then established that specificity could be achieved by unique spacing of common half-sites. A vitamin D3 response element was a DR-3 (direct repeat spaced by 3 nucleotides), a DR-4 for a thyroid hormone, and a DR-5 for retinoic acid. The spacing paradigm was termed the 3-4-5 rule. In 1997, he became a Professor at Kyoto University.

Regretfully, he passed away in April 1999 at the age of forty. In the short time from his return to Japan, he published 16 papers, and had achievements including the cloning of a novel eye-specific orphan receptor and the discovery of a unique role for TLX, another receptor, in eye development.

With his family's donation, we established Umesono Prize to promote his enthusiasm for scientific research. The prize is awarded to young researchers with a bright future to follow in the footprints of Dr. Umesono, who enriched us with his personal and intellectual generosity. His spirit continues to inspire us and light our way.

The award is mainly based on the originality and academic value of a paper which the awardee wrote as a first author.

Award Recipient List

Year Recipient and Research Title
FY 2018
The 15th
Hisashi TATEBE
Assistant Professor, Laboratory of Cell Signaling
Substrate specificity of TOR complex 2 is determined by a ubiquitin-fold domain of the Sin1 subunit
FY 2017
The 14th
Yoshinori HIRANO
Lecturer, Yokohama City University (Former Assistant Professor, Laboratory of Structual Biology)
Structure of the SHR-SCR heterodimer bound to the BIRD/IDD transcriptional factor JKD
FY 2016
The 13th
FY 2015
The 12th
Ken-ichi KUBO
Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Intercellular Communications
Gene duplication and genetic exchange drive the evolution of S-RNase-based self-incompatibility in Petunia
FY 2014
The 11th
Assistant Professor, Laboratory of Plant Morphological Dynamics
MAB4-induced auxin sink generates local auxin gradients in Arabidopsis organ formation
FY 2013
The 10th
Daisuke SAITO
Assistant Professor, Laboratory of Molecular and Developmental Biology
Developmental control of sympathetic nervous system formation: a perspective from neuro-vascular interaction
FY 2012
The 9th
Assistant Professor, Laboratory of Molecular and Cell Genetics
A Pause for A Homeostatic Regulation of The Endoplasmic Reticulum
FY 2011
The 8th
Tsubasa SHOJI
Assistant Professor, Laboratory of Plant Cell Function
Molecular identification of master transcription factors for nicotine biosynthesis in tobacco
FY 2010
The 7th
Assistant Professor, Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience
Committed Neuronal Precursors Confer Astrocytic Potential on Residual Neural Precursor Cells
FY 2009
The 6th
Assistant Professor, Laboratory of Microbial Molecular Genetics
A Dynamic Polymerase Exchange with Escherichia coli DNA Polymerase IV Replacing DNA Polymerase III on the Sliding Clamp
FY 2008
The 5th
Shojiro TAMAKI
Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics
Hd3a protein is a mobile flowering signal in rice
FY 2007
The 4th
Assistant Professor, Laboratory of Structual Biology
Structural basis for genome maintenance by Werner syndrome protein
FY 2006
The 3rd
Year 3, Doctoral Course Student, Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics
Analysis of signaling network of rice flowering time by night break
FY 2005
The 2nd
Year 3, Doctoral Course Student, Laboratory of Gene Function in Animals
Suppression of nonsense-mediated mRNA decay permits unbiased gene trapping
FY 2004
The 1st
Year 3, Doctoral Course Student, Laboratory of Molecular and Developmental Biology
The Role of Maternal Factors in Zebrafish Germ Cell Development
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