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Tanaka Memorial Foundation Announces Recipients of Precious Metals Research Grants 2018-04-04 04:15:59
- Yoshiho Ikeuchi, a Lecturer at The University of Tokyo, wins Gold Award for the development of a platinum electrode device for manipulating artificial nerve tissues produced from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), and Katsunori Tanaka, a Chief Scientist at RIKEN, wins Gold Award for in vivo precious metal catalysis in mammals for treatment of disease

- Prizes won for developing technology for a device using platinum for efficient analysis of neurological disorders such as ALS, and next-generation drug development technology using precious metals catalysis to contribute to future treatments for cancer

TOKYO, Mar 29, 2018 - (ACN Newswire) - The Tanaka Memorial Foundation (Representative Director: Hideya Okamoto) today announced the recipients of the FY2017 Precious Metals Research Grants.

Following a rigorous screening, two-million yen Gold Awards were granted to Yoshiho Ikeuchi, a Lecturer at The University of Tokyo, and Katsunori Tanaka, a Chief Scientist at RIKEN. Besides, five research projects received Silver Awards, and two Young Researcher Awards were granted.

The Tanaka Memorial Foundation undertakes programs designed to foster development in new precious metal fields and contribute to the advancement of science, technology, and socio-economics so that numerous people can experience an enriching society through advances in science and technology. The research grant program was launched in FY1999 and has been conducted every year since to support the various challenges faced in the "new world opened up by precious metals." This year, the 19th of the program, 167 applications were received in a wide range of fields where precious metals can make contributions to research and development of new technologies. A total of 15.2 million yen in research grants was awarded for 23 projects.

The recipients of the two Gold Awards, their research topics, and the reasons for the awards are shown below.

- Yoshiho Ikeuchi, Lecturer at The University of Tokyo

Development of a platinum electrode device for manipulating artificial nerve tissues produced from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)

In this research, a technique was created for developing a tissue culture device for reproducing human neuron diseases in vitro to find treatments. In the tissue culture device developed, three-dimensionally processed electrodes made of platinum were embedded with the aim of creating artificial tissues and simultaneously electrically and genetically manipulating them. The new device will enable understanding of the pathogenesis of diseases, which may lead to the establishment of treatments. This research has been highly evaluated for indicating the possibility of establishing treatments for intractable neurodegenerative disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and enabling precious metals to contribute to improving the quality of life of many patients currently fighting those diseases.

- Katsunori Tanaka, Chief Scientist at RIKEN

In vivo precious metal catalysis in mammals for treatment of disease

This research provides a method of in vivo synthesizing of highly active anticancer agents in areas surrounding cancer tissues through separately injecting inactive precursors to the anticancer agents after in vivo incorporation into the cancer cells of precious metals-catalyzed proteins through the binding of proteins and lipids using sugar chains that mainly exist on cell surfaces. It presents the possibility of being able to use anticancer agents that are highly active but have had no practical application because they are also very toxic. This research has been highly evaluated for the possibility of precious metals being able to contribute to future in vivo treatments that produce far less damage (highly non-invasive therapies).

Five Silver Awards, Two Young Researcher Awards, and 14 Encouragement Awards were also granted. The recipients of these awards and an overview of the Precious Metals Research Grants are indicated below. Applications for the FY2018 research grants are scheduled to open in the autumn.

List of Recipients the 2017 Precious Metals Research Grants

- Platinum Award (0 award, 5 million yen)

Non granted

- Gold Award (2 award, 2 million yen each)

Yoshiho IKEUCHI, Lecturer, The University of Tokyo

Development of a platinum electrode device for manipulating artificial nerve tissues produced from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)

Katsunori TANAKA, Chief Scientist, RIKEN

In vivo precious metal catalysis in mammals for treatment of disease

- Silver Awards (5 awards, 1 million yen each)

Yoshitomo MAEDA, Assistant Professor, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

Proof of concept of large area super resolution x-ray telescopes with precious metal reflective surfaces

Tadatomo SUGA, Professor, The University of Tokyo

Ultra-low temperature bonding of precious metal materials through surface activation

Shigeki TOYAMA, Professor, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology

Stent robot

Yasuhiro IWAMURA, Professor, Tohoku University

Research relating to abnormal heat generation reaction due to interaction of palladium nanoparticles and deuterium/hydrogen

Hisashi KINO, Assistant Professor, Tohoku University

Development of charge retention layer with ultra-high density platinum nanoparticles for high capacity, low cost and high reliability 3D NAND flash memory

- Young Researcher Awards (2 awards, 1 million yen each)

Tso-fu Chang, Assistant Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology

Development of precious metal - silk fiber flexible composite material with high biocompatibility for application to wearable devices

Akichika KUMATANI, Associate Professor, Tohoku University

Development of platinum-incorporated two-dimensional materials with high oxygen reduction reactivity through nano electrochemical imaging

- Encouragement Award (14 awards, 300,000 yen each)

Hirobumi TOBE, Assistant Professor, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

Caifu Li, Assistant Professor, Osaka University

Hiromasa YAGYU, Associate Professor, Kanto Gakuin University

Masaharu TSUJI, Research Professor, Kyushu University

Hiroshi YOSHIDA, Assistant Professor, Kumamoto University

Kazuhiko MASE, Associate Professor, High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK)

Tomoyuki MOCHIDA, Professor, Kobe University

Yoshihiro IIDA, Research Scholar, Kobe University

Enoch Y. Park, Professor, Shizuoka University

Makoto HASEGAWA, Professor, Chitose Institute of Science and Technology

Hiroshi NAGANUMA, Assistant Professor, Tohoku University

Takayuki HARADA, Assistant Professor, Tohoku University

Hsin-Hui Huang, Researcher, Toyota Technological Institute

Tatsuya OSHIMA, Associate Professor, University of Miyazaki

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