Professor Masashi Yanagisawa of the University of Tsukuba (Director of the International Institute for Integrative Sleep Medicine (IIIS)) received the 23rd Keio Medical Science Prize, presented by the Keio University Medical Science Fund. The award ceremony was held at Keio University on December 18. The Keio Medical Science Prize was established in 1996 to honor outstanding and creative achievements of researchers in the fields of medicine and life sciences, in particular to those contributing to scientific developments in medicine. Professor Yanagisawa has been selected as a recipient in recognition of his "Elucidation of sleep control mechanisms and applications in drug discovery."
Professor Yanagisawa’s Speech at the Award Ceremony
In modern life science research, the importance of team work cannot be emphasized enough, as there are limits working alone. Thus, I would like to express my deepest appreciation to the members of my laboratory and the collaborators who supported my research. On behalf of everyone, I am honored to accept this prestigious award.
Ever since the start of my career, I have been a scientist that engage in exploratory research. This research style does not rely solely on the hypothesis for the outcome, rather it aims to explore new findings through the process. The awarded achievement on the "Elucidation of sleep control mechanisms and applications in drug discovery" was also of an unexpected outcome. When I discovered orexin, I did not expect its prominent role to be on sleep/wake regulation, and certainly did not aim for the development of new drugs. I believe that research without any "exit" is the true form of science. In order to carry out a meaningful research, we need continuous support based on long-term perspectives. I hope to continue conducting research in a free and unrestricted manner to elucidate unsolved mysteries.
Professor Masashi Yanagisawa making a speech at the ceremony
Professor Masashi Yanagisawa, the 3rd from the left, and Professor Feng Zhang of Neuroscience at MIT, co-winner of the award, the 4th from the left
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