Keith Yamamoto

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Keith R. Yamamoto
Born 1946
Des Moines, Iowa,
United States
Nationality American
Fields Biochemistry
Institutions University of California, San Francisco
Alma mater Iowa State University, Princeton University

Keith R. Yamamoto (born 1946) is Vice Chancellor for Research, Executive Vice Dean of the School of Medicine, and Professor of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology at the University of California, San Francisco, UCSF. He is known for his Molecular Biology and Biochemistry research on nuclear receptors and his involvement in science policy. He identified the genomic sequences to which the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) binds in order to control gene transcription[1] termed "glucocorticoid response elements".[2] He is also a leader in science policy, serving as Chairman of the Board on Life Sciences at the National Academy of Sciences,[3] as well as numerous government and public advisory boards, including the NIH Center for Scientific Review Advisory Council.

Research career[edit]

Dr. Yamamoto was born in Des Moines, Iowa, and graduated from Iowa State University with a B.S. in Biochemistry and Biophysics in 1968. At Iowa State, he was a member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity.[4] He earned his doctorate in Biochemical Sciences at Princeton University in 1973 in the laboratory of Bruce Alberts for his research on the estrogen receptor (ER).[5] He then began his research on the glucocorticoid receptor as a postdoctoral fellow with Gordon Tomkins at UCSF. In 1976, Dr. Yamamoto joined the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at UCSF as an Assistant Professor. In 1978, he became an associate professor and in 1983 a full professor. He also took on the role of Vice-Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco in 1985. He was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1988,[6] elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1989, and to the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2002. Dr. Yamamoto currently runs a research lab focused on understanding signaling and transcriptional control by nuclear receptors and continues to teach graduate courses in molecular biology and biochemistry at UCSF.

Political career[edit]

Throughout his career, Dr. Yamamoto has also been committed to public and science policy. In the 1980s he argued against the development of biological warfare by the U.S. Department of Defense.[7][8] In 1986 he co-authored a book, "The Rebirth of American Biological Warfare:GENE WARS Military Control Over the New Genetic Technologies", disclosing the history of the use of biological weapons in the United States and advising against continuing these programs.[9] Dr. Yamamoto has served on several committees that oversee the NIH peer review process which allocates funding to research investigators. He was Chairman of the NIH Center for Scientific Review Advisory Committee from 1996-2000. From 2007-2008 he co-chaired The Advisory Committee to the Director Working Group on Peer Review and the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director from 2007-2010. He had advocated for streamlining the science grant review process and for devising strategies for focusing NIH funding on research that will have the greatest impact in the field.[10] In 2008, he was nominated as one of 10 Influential People to Watch in Biomedical Policy.[3]


Research publication at Pubmed


  1. ^ Ucker, DS; Ross, SR; Yamamoto, KR (December 1981). "Mammary tumor virus DNA contains sequences required for its hormone regulated transcription". Cell. 27 (2 Part 1): 257–266. PMID 6277499. doi:10.1016/0092-8674(81)90409-8. 
  2. ^ Chandler, VL; Maler, BA; Yamamoto; KR (June 1983). "DNA sequences bound specifically by glucocorticoid receptor in vitro render a heterologous promoter hormone responsive in vivo". Cell. 33 (2): 489–499. PMID 6190571. doi:10.1016/0092-8674(83)90430-0. 
  3. ^ a b Schubert, Charlotte (2008). "10 influential people to watch in biomedical policy". Nature Medicine. 14 (10): 1004–1005. doi:10.1038/nm1008-1004. 
  4. ^ Bomb Yearbook. Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University of Science and Technology. 1968. p. 200. 
  5. ^ Yamamoto, Keith; Bruce Alberts (1 August 1972). "In vitro conversion of estradiol-receptor protein to its nuclear form: dependence on hormone and DNA" (PDF). Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 69 (8): 2105–2109. doi:10.1073/pnas.69.8.2105. 
  6. ^ "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter XYZ" (PDF). American Academy of Arts, and Sciences. Retrieved 6 April 2011. 
  7. ^ Croddy, Eric (1997). Chemical and Biological Warfare: An Annotated Bibliography. Maryland: Scarecrow Press. p. 124. 
  8. ^ Yamamoto, Keith R. (August 1989). "Retargeting Research on Biological Weapons". Technology Review: 23–24. 
  9. ^ Kelves, Daniel (8 May 1988). "The Rebirth of American Biological Warfare : GENE WARS Military Control Over the New Genetic Technologies by Charles Piller and Keith R. Yamamoto". Los Angeles Times. 
  10. ^ Pfeffer, Suzanne (February 2011). "The Yamamoto Plan". ASBMB Today. 

External links[edit]