Yasutomi Nishizuka

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Yasutomi Nishizuka
Nishiz, yasutomi.jpg
Born (1932-07-12)July 12, 1932
Ashiya, Hyōgo
Died November 4, 2004(2004-11-04) (aged 72)
Nationality  Japan
Fields biochemistry
Institutions Kobe University, Kyoto University, Rockefeller University
Alma mater Kyoto University
Doctoral advisor Osamu Hayaishi
Other academic advisors Fritz Lipmann
Known for protein kinase C
Notable awards Asahi Prize (1985)
Gairdner Foundation International Award (1988)
Albert Lasker Award (1989)
Kyoto Prize (1992)
Wolf Prize in Medicine (1994/95)

Yasutomi Nishizuka (西塚 泰美?, Nishizuka Yasutomi, July 12, 1932 – November 4, 2004)[1] was a Japanese biochemist who discovered protein kinase C and made important contribution to the understanding of molecular mechanism of signal transduction across the cell membrane.[2]

Birth and education[edit]

Nishizuka was born in 1932 at Ashiya-city in Japan. He obtained his M.D. from the Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University, in 1957. Then, he completed his PhD degree from Kyoto University under the supervision of Osamu Hayaishi in 1962. After completing his studies in Japan, he spent one year as a postdoctoral fellow in Fritz Lipmann's laboratory at the Rockefeller University.

Academic career[edit]

From 1962 to 1964, Nishizuka was the Research Associate at Department of Medical Chemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University. From 1964 to 1968, he was an Associate Professor at the Department of Medical Chemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University.

From 1969 to 2004, he was the professor and chairman of the Department of Biochemistry, Kobe University School of Medicine. He also served as the president of Kobe University.


Nishizuka is known for the construction of the fundamental concepts of the intracellular signal transduction cascade through his discovery of protein kinase C, also known as C kinase, and his analysis of its function, which revealed a new intracellular signal transduction system and elucidated the regulatory mechanisms involved in many biological phenomena, including cancer cell growth.

Awards and honors[edit]

Nishizuka received several awards and honors in his life. The major awards received by him are the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award and the Wolf Prize in Medicine.

He won the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award in 1989 for "his profound contributions to the understanding of signal transduction in cells, and for his discovery that carcinogens trigger cell growth by activating protein kinase C".[3]

He won the Wolf Prize in Medicine along with Michael J. Berridge of the University of Cambridge for "their discoveries concerning cellular transmembrane signalling involving phospholipids and calcium".[4]

The other major awards and honors received by Nishizuka are:


  1. ^ Yamamura, H.; Nakamura, S. -I. (2006). "Yasutomi Nishizuka. 12 July 1932 -- 4 November 2004: Elected ForMemRS 1990". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 52: 219–230. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2006.0016. PMID 18543473. 
  2. ^ Nakamura, S. -I.; Yamamura, H. (2010). "Yasutomi Nishizuka: Father of protein kinase C". Journal of Biochemistry. 148 (2): 125–130. doi:10.1093/jb/mvq066. PMID 20668066. 
  3. ^ 1989 Winners of the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research
  4. ^ "The Wolf Prize in Medicine". Wolffund.org.il. Retrieved 2010-04-29. 

External links[edit]