It is with deep sadness that I announce the passing of our esteemed professor, Dr. Ko Shimamoto (63), head of the Plant Molecular Genetics Laboratory in the Graduate School of Biological Sciences, who died peacefully on September 28, 2013.
A world-renowned researcher and respected educator of young scientists, Professor Shimamoto worked tirelessly and continuously since beginning his tenure at NAIST in 1994.
He is widely recognized for his contributions in the field of rice molecular biology, including research on disease resistance and his groundbreaking discoveries on the nature of florigen and its role in the flowering process. His accolades include numerous publications in top peer-reviewed journals, including Nature and Science. and he was recently awarded the coveted Purple Ribbon Medal of Honour (Cabinet Office, 2012) as well as the Prize for Science and Technology from Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT; April 2011).
Among his notable accomplishments as an educator, Professor Shimamoto led NAIST's Global COE project in the Graduate School of Biological Sciences by developing strong ties with UC Davis and the Chinese Academy of Science, thus establishing a triad of rich educational collaboration.
Prior to coming to NAIST, he created the first-ever transgenic rice plants while working at Plantech Research Institute in Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation.
Professor Shimamoto received his BS degree in 1974 from Kyoto University and his Ph.D. degree in Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1980.
On behalf of all NAIST faculty and staff, I offer my heartfelt condolences to Professor Shimamoto's family, friends, and colleagues around the world.
We have lost a dear and trusted colleague who will not soon be forgotten.
Naotake Ogasawara, PhD
President, Nara Institute of Science and Technology
See Professor Shimamoto's research at the links below: