Hidesaburo Hanafusa

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Hidesaburo Hanafusa
Native name 花房 秀三郎
Born (1929-12-01)December 1, 1929
Hyogo Prefecture
Died March 15, 2009(2009-03-15) (aged 79)
Osaka Prefecture
Cause of death Liver cancer
Nationality Japanese
Alma mater Osaka University
Known for Discovery of oncogenes
Spouse(s) Teruko
Awards Lasker Award (1982)
Order of Culture (1995)
Scientific career
Fields Oncology
Institutions Rockefeller University
Osaka Bioscience Institute

Hidesaburo Hanafusa (花房 秀三郎, Hanafusa Hidesaburō, December 1, 1929 – March 15, 2009) was a Japanese virologist. He shared the 1982 Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research with Harold E. Varmus and J. Michael Bishop for demonstrating how RNA tumor viruses cause cancer, and elucidating their role in combining, rescuing and maintaining oncogenes in the viral genome.[1]


Hidesaburo Hanafusa was born on December 1, 1929, in Hyogo Prefecture.[2] He received his PhD in Biochemistry in 1960 from Osaka University, where he also met his future wife, Teruko.[2] After his research in the US and France, he was appointed as professor of molecular oncology at the Rockefeller University in 1973, and returned to Japan in 1998, becoming director at the Osaka Bioscience Institute.[2] He was a foreign associate of the US National Academy of Sciences and a member of the Japan Academy.[3]

He died on March 15, 2009, of liver cancer, at the age of 79.[3][4]


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  1. ^ 1982 Winners, Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "自分の頭で考える~ウイルス研究からがん遺伝子の発見へ~" Biography of Hidesaburo Hanafusa (in Japanese)
  3. ^ a b Feller, S. M. (2009). "Obituary: Hidesaburo Hanafusa 1929–2009". Cell Communication and Signaling. 7: 7. doi:10.1186/1478-811X-7-7. PMC 2673226Freely accessible. PMID 19379504. 
  4. ^ Foster, David A.; Darnell Jr, James E. (2009-04-08). "Obituary: Hidesaburo Hanafusa (1929–2009)". Nature. Japan: Nature Publishing Group. 458: 718. doi:10.1038/458718a. Retrieved 2014-02-01. 

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