Setsuro Ebashi

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Setsuro Ebashi
Fields Physiology
Institutions National Institute for Physiological Sciences
University of Tokyo
Rockefeller University
Alma mater University of Tokyo
Known for Troponin
Notable awards Order of Culture
International Prize for Biology (1999)
Imperial Prize of the Japan Academy
Asahi Prize (1968)

Setsuro Ebashi ForMemRS (江橋 節郎 Ebashi Setsurō?, 31 August 1922 Tokyo – 17 July 2006) was a Japanese physiologist who uncovered the regulatory role of calcium in cells.[1] He is famous for discovering the protein troponin in 1965, which is integral to muscle contraction.[2]


Ebashi was born in Tokyo, and received his M.D. in 1944 and Ph.D. in 1954 from the University of Tokyo. He was Guest Investigator of the Rockefeller Institute in New York from January to December 1959, where he studied with Fritz Lipmann. He was Professor and Chair of Pharmacology at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, from May 1959 until March 1983. He was also Professor and Chair of Biophysics at the School of Science, University of Tokyo from May 1971 to March 1983.[3] After retiring from the University of Tokyo and becoming Professor Emeritus, he was offered a professorship in the National Institute for Physiological Sciences in Okazaki. He became Director-General of National Institute for Physiological Sciences in April 1985, and President of Okazaki National Institutes including National Institute for Physiological Sciences in March 1991. After retiring from this position, he became Professor Emeritus of the National Institute for Physiological Sciences in March 1993.

Since 2007 the Japanese Pharmacological Society has awarded the Setsuro Ebashi Award to researchers who made a considerable achievement in the field of pharmacology in honor of Setsuro Ebashi who contributed on a global scale to the field of biomedical research. Shinya Yamanaka, the 2008 Setsuro Ebashi Award winner, received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2012.


He was awarded the 1968 Asahi Prize, the 1972 Imperial Prize of the Japan Academy, the 1999 International Prize for Biology,[4] the Order of the Sacred Treasure, and an Order of Culture.


  • Hiroshi Yoshida, Yashiro Hagihara, Setsuro Ebashi (ed) Advances in pharmacology and therapeutics II Pergamon, 1982, ISBN 978-0-08-028022-6
  • Novel developments on genetic recombination: dna double-strand break and dna end-joining, Japan Scientific Soc. Press, 2004
  • Setsuro Ebashi, E. Ozawa (ed) Muscular Dystrophy: Biomedical Aspects, Springer Verlag, 1983, ISBN 978-0-387-12342-4
  • Protein array: an alternative biomolecular system Japan Scientific Soc. Press, 1997
  • Muscle elastic proteins, Japan Scientific Soc. Press, 1996


  1. ^ Endo, Makoto (31 August 2006). "Obituary: Setsuro Ebashi (1922–2006)". Nature 442 (996). doi:10.1038/442996a. 
  2. ^ Ebashi, S; Kodama, A (1965). "A new protein factor promoting aggregation of tropomyosin". Journal of Biochemistry 58 (1): 107–8. PMID 5857096. 
  3. ^ Godfraind, Théophile (January 2007). "Setsuro Ebashi, PhD". Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology 49 (1): 65–65. doi:10.1097/FJC.0b013e318030bd47. Retrieved 28 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "1999 International Prize for Biology Awarded to Prof. Setsuro Ebashi for His Research in Animal Physiology" (PDF). JSPS Newsletter. Retrieved 28 February 2013. 

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