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Yasutomi Nishizuka: Wikis


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Yasutomi Nishizuka (1932–2004) is a Japanese biochemist who discovered protein kinase C (PKC) and made important contribution to the understanding of molecular mechanism of signal transduction across the cell membrane.


Birth and education

Nishizuka was born in 1932 at Ashiya-city in Japan. He obtained his M.D. from Kyoto University, Faculty of Medicine in 1957. Then, he completed his PhD degree from Kyoto University in 1962. After completing his studies in Japan, he spent one year as a postdoctoral fellow in the Prof. Fritz Lipmann's laboratory at the Rockefeller University, USA.

Academic career

From 1962 to 1964, he was the Research Associate at Department of Medical Chemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University. From 1964 to 1968, he was an Associate Professor at Department of Medical Chemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University.

From 1969 to 2004, was the professor and chairman of the Department of Biochemistry, Kobe University School of Medicine. He also served as the president of Kobe University.


Nishizuka is known for the construction of the fundamental concepts of the intracellular signal transduction cascade through his discovery of "protein kinase C," also known as "C kinase," and his analysis of its function, which revealed a new intracellular signal transduction system and elucidated the regulatory mechanisms involved in many biological phenomena, including cancer cell growth.

Awards and honors

Nishizuka received several awards and honors in his life. The major awards received by him are the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award and the Wolf Prize in Medicine.

He won the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award in 1989 for "his profound contributions to the understanding of signal transduction in cells, and for his discovery that carcinogens trigger cell growth by activating protein kinas C".[1]

He won the Wolf Prize in Medicine along with Michael J. Berridge of the University of Cambridge for "their discoveries concerning cellular transmembrane signalling involving phospholipids and calcium".[2]

The other major awards and honors received by Nishizuka are:


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