The Gladstone Institutes was honored to host Prime Minister Shinzo Abe from Japan. Prime Minister Abe and Dr. Shinya Yamanaka emphasized the importance of collaboration between the U.S. and Japan. [Photo: Chris Goodfellow]

 

The Gladstone Institutes was honored to host Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday, April 30.

The Prime Minister met with Deepak Srivastava, MD, the director of the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease and director of the Roddenberry Center for Stem Cell Biology and Medicine at Gladstone, and Nobel Prize winner Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD, a senior investigator at Gladstone, as well as Daniel Lowenstein, MD, the executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and former United States ambassador to Japan John Roos.

Prime Minister Abe, Dr. Yamanaka, and Mr. Roos spoke to an audience of Japanese scientists and physicians from Gladstone and UCSF about the value of collaboration between the U.S. and Japan, particularly in the fields of science and technology. Dr. Yamanaka, who is also the director of the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA) at Kyoto University and professor of anatomy at UCSF, reflected on his own experience as a postdoctoral researcher in the United States at the Gladstone Institutes.

“The opportunity to come to the U.S. as a postdoc exposed me to cross-disciplinary science teams, high-risk exploration, and the hard-to-define ‘American spirit,’ which helped spur my research career,” said Dr. Yamanaka. “I hope others see the benefit in exploring the opportunities that can come from a Japanese-American scientific exchange.”

Dr. Yamanaka won the 2012 Nobel Prize for his discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells, revolutionizing both personalized and regenerative medicine.

Dr. Srivastava, who is also a professor of pediatrics and biochemistry & biophysics, and the Wilma and Adeline Pirag distinguished professor in pediatric developmental cardiology at UCSF, welcomed Prime Minister Abe on behalf of the Gladstone Institutes, saying, “It is a privilege to host Prime Minister Abe, and we are humbled by such an honor. We are very fortunate to have many Japanese scientists and students involved with Gladstone and UCSF, and we look forward to many years of productive partnership with our scientific colleagues from Japan.”