Hiroshi Tamiya

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Hiroshi Tamiya
Born (1903-01-05)January 5, 1903
Died March 20, 1984(1984-03-20) (aged 81)
Nationality Japanese
Citizenship Japan
Alma mater Tokyo University
Scientific career
Fields Biochemistry, Microbiology

Hiroshi Tamiya (田宮 博, Tamiya Hiroshi, born January 5, 1903, Tokyo; died March 20, 1984) was an important[1] Japanese plant biochemist and microbiologist who was notable for mid-twentieth century research he did on the thermodynamics of the light-independent reactions of photosynthesis.[2] Tamiya was a student of acclaimed Japanese plant physiologist Keita Shibata as a student at Tokyo University.[3] American biologist Andrew Benson, who was instrumental in understanding carbon fixation in plants considered Tamiya inspirational in Benson's success as a scientist.[2] Tamiya worked and studied in Japan, Europe, and the United States collaborating internationally with a variety of scientists of the early and mid-twentieth century.

After World War II, during the Allied Occupation of Japan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicist Harry C. Kelly selected Tamiya to assist him in evaluating legitimate scientific research in Japan.[4][5][6] The mission was largely in response to the destruction of cyclotrons by the United States Army acting out of fear the Japanese had been researching and developing a nuclear weapon during the war.[4] One of the cyclotrons destroyed was an instrument that Tamiya required for his research.[4]

In 1953 Tamiya, working with other Japanese scientists, developed important techniques for the synchronous culture of the green algae Chlorella, a model organism used by German Nobel Laureate Otto Heinrich Warburg whom Tamiya greatly admired.[1][7] In this technique Tamiya was able to culture algal cell lines that were all in the same developmental stage, an important technique used by later scientists to decipher the life cycles of other single celled eukaryotic organisms.[1][7]

In 1966 Tamiya was made a foreign associate member of the United States National Academy of Sciences.[4][8] In 1977 Tamiya was given the Japanese Order of Culture for his contributions to science in Japan.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Machlis, Leonard (August 9, 1963). "Review: Tamiya Volume". Science. American Association for the Advancement of Science. 141 (3580): 514–515. Bibcode:1963Sci...141..514P. doi:10.1126/science.141.3580.514. 
  2. ^ a b Benson, A.A. (2006). "Following the path of carbon in photosynthesis: a personal story". In Govindjee, J.F.; Allen, J.F.; Beatty, J.T.; et al. Discoveries in photosynthesis. Springer-Verlag New York, LLC. ISBN 978-1-4020-3323-0. 
  3. ^ Frederic, Louis (2005). Japan Encyclopedia. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-01753-6. ISBN 9780674017535. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Benson, Andrew A. (2005). Hiroshi Tamiya 1903-1984: A Biographical Memoir. National Academies Press. 
  5. ^ Dees, Bowen (1997). The Allied Occupation and Japan's Economic Miracle: Building the Foundations of Japanese Science and Technology 1945-52. Taylor & Francis, Inc. p. 104. ISBN 1-873410-67-0. ISBN 9781873410677. 
  6. ^ Nakayama, Shigeru; Goto, Kunio; Yoshioka, Satoshi, eds. (2005). A Social History of Science and Technology in Contemporary Japan: 1952-1959, Vol. 2. Trans Pacific Press. ISBN 978-1-876843-70-0. 
  7. ^ a b Preisig, Hans R.; Robert A. Anderson (2005). "Historical review of algal culturing techniques". In Anderson, Robert A. Algal Culturing Techniques. Elsevier Science & Technology Books. ISBN 978-0-12-088426-1. 
  8. ^ "NAS Elects Members". Science News. Society for Science & the Public. 89 (19). May 7, 1966. 
  9. ^ IPNI.  Tamiya.