Academy of Achievement Logo
Achiever Gallery
  The Arts
  Public Service
 + Science & Exploration
  My Role Model
  Recommended Books
  Academy Careers
Keys to Success
Achievement Podcasts
About the Academy
For Teachers

Search the site

Academy Careers


If you like Shinya Yamanaka's story, you might also like:
Elizabeth Blackburn,
Linda Buck,
Francis Collins,
Gertrude Elion,
Judah Folkman,
John Gearhart,
Susan Hockfield,
Eric Lander,
Robert Langer,
Robert Lefkowitz,
Jonas Salk,
John Sulston,
James Thomson,
Bert Vogelstein,
James Watson
and Ian Wilmut

Related Links:
Gladstone Institute
Nobel Prize
Kyoto University

Share This Page
  (Maximum 150 characters, 150 left)

Shinya Yamanaka
Shinya Yamanaka
Profile of Shinya Yamanaka Biography of Shinya Yamanaka Interview with Shinya Yamanaka Shinya Yamanaka Photo Gallery

Shinya Yamanaka Profile

Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Print Shinya Yamanaka Profile Print Profile

  Shinya Yamanaka

In 2007, the world of science was stunned to learn that a lone researcher, working in a small, underfunded laboratory in Kyoto, Japan had made a historic breakthrough.

For a decade, the debate over human stem cell research had pitted the ethical concerns of religious leaders and policy makers against the demands of medical research. Human stem cell research has long offered the promise of curing and preventing otherwise untreatable diseases and injuries, but the only pluripotent stem cells available for experimentation were those harvested from fetal tissue or from discarded human embryos. Moral objections to this research led a number of governments -- including those of Japan and the United States -- to impose stringent restrictions on further research.

When Dr. Shinya Yamanaka of the University of Kyoto succeeded in converting the skin cells of adult mice back into a stem cell-like pluripotent state, the news spread like wildfire through the scientific world. Everywhere, the same question sprang to mind. Would Yamanaka's technique work with humans as well as mice? By the end of the year, Yamanaka had duplicated the results with human cells. His discovery was hailed by scientists and religious leaders as a breakthrough that overcame the moral objection to stem cell research.

This page last revised on Jan 10, 2013 20:46 EDT
How To Cite This Page