JAPAN
Osaka University

Shizuo Akira, M.D., Ph.D., a 2007 laureate, has made an undeniable impact on our understanding of the immune system and how our bodies defend us from disease. Through his laboratory’s prolific creation of genetically modified models, Dr.Akira has made many ground breaking discoveries that provided insight into the function of toll-like receptors (TLRs), a vital component in our immune systems’ automatic response.

He is by all accounts a humble man, but is also a bona fide rock star in the research community. He is the world’s most cited scientist, and in 2005 and 2006 Thomson Reuters’ Science Citations Index named him as the hottest researcher with eleven hot papers published in two years.

Dr. Akira is a professor at the Research Institute for Microbial Diseases at Osaka University, Japan), and a project director of AKIRA Innate Immunity, ERATO (Exploratory Research for Advanced Technology) of Japan Science and Technology Corporation (JST).