Takashi Yoshimura, a professor at the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) at Nagoya University in Japan, has won the 2015 Van Meter Award for his contributions to thyroid research.
The Van Meter Award, which was established in 1930 is presented by the American Thyroid Association (ATA) to a young clinical scientist who has made outstanding contributions to research on the thyroid gland and hormones.
"When I first started research, I had never imagined that I would be carrying out research on thyroid hormones. As we were unraveling the mystery of seasonal sensing in animals, we found that the thyroid hormone and the thyroid-stimulating hormone play an important role," Yoshimura said. "Through further studies, I wish to continue to uncover the sophisticated survival strategies of animals."
Yoshimura's achievements consist of a series of discoveries made in birds, mammals and fish on elucidating the role of thyroid hormones in seasonal reproduction. His research is expected to lead to advances in understanding and improving human reproductive health and mood disorders related to seasonal changes.
Yoshimura is the third Japanese winner after Takashi Yamada (1959) and Kenjiro Inoue (1967) to receive the award among the 83 winners since its establishment. He is also the first winner whose research originated from Japan as well as the first recipient of the award whose scientific specialty is not in thyroid research.
The Van Meter Award is supported by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publisher of the journal Thyroid, and was presented at the 85th Annual Meeting of the American Thyroid Association (ATA) held in October 2015 in Florida, USA. Yoshimura also delivered the award lecture entitled "Novel roles for TSH and TH identified by discovery-driven approach".
The ATA is the leading worldwide organization dedicated to the advancement, understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disorders and thyroid cancer.
The World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI) for the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) at Nagoya University in Japan is committed to advance the integration of synthetic chemistry, plant/animal biology and theoretical science, all of which are traditionally strong fields in the university. As part of the Japanese science ministry's MEXT program, ITbM aims to develop transformative bio-molecules, innovative functional molecules capable of bringing about fundamental change to biological science and technology. Research at ITbM is carried out in a "Mix-Lab" style, where international young researchers from multidisciplinary fields work together side-by-side in the same lab. Through these endeavors, ITbM will create "transformative bio-molecules" that will dramatically change the way of research in chemistry, biology and other related fields to solve urgent problems, such as environmental issues, food production and medical technology that have a significant impact on the society.