On Wednesday, January 11, 2017, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced that the Crafoord Prize would be awarded to Specially Appointed Professor Shimon Sakaguchi of the Immunology Frontier Research Center (IFReC).
The award ceremony will be held this May in Stockholm.
The Crafoord Prize is awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences annually in one of 4 different fields: astronomy and mathematics, geosciences, biosciences, and polyarthritis. Professor Sakaguchi is the 4th Japanese researcher to receive the award, and the 3rd from Osaka University following former Osaka University President Tadamitsu Kishimoto (now Specially Appointed Professor, IFReC) and former Osaka University President Toshio Hirano.
This award in the field of polyarthritis was awarded to three individuals including Professor Sakaguchi "for their discoveries relating to regulatory T cells, which counteract harmful immune reactions in arthritis and other autoimmune diseases."
Comment from Professor Sakaguchi:
Being able to receive this award in the footsteps of Professor Kishimoto and Professor Hirano, both distinguished leaders in the fields of autoimmune diseases and arthritis, is a great honor. Researchers of regulatory T cells have increased in the past 20 years, and research toward application to human beings is being carried out all over the world. I will use this award as motivation for my research endeavors in the future.