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SF Scientist Shinya Yamanaka shares Nobel medicine prize

Suzanne Kai

 October 8, 2012

DR-SHINYA-YAMANAKA-Photo-by-Chris-Goodfellow-Gladstone-Institutes-SFDr. Shinya Yamanaka - Photo by Chris Goodfellow Gladstone Institutes SF

 The world of medicine has taken a huge leap forward with the startling discoveries by Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, 50, and British researcher Sir John Gurdon, 79.

Yamanaka and Gurdon are winners of the Nobel Prize for medicine announced today for their joint discoveries in stem cells.

As a post-doctorate scientist at Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco, Yamanaka began what would become his life's work to unlock the code to creating stem cells.

By 2006, he succeeded in unlocking the code, furthering the research published in 1962 by Sir John Gurdon, who now works for the University of Cambridge.

The groundbreaking discoveries prove that it is possible to take genetic material from any cell in the body, such as skin cells, and tranplant and reprogram them into a stem cell to become any other cells in the body. 

Dr. Yamanaka, currently a professor at Kyoto University in Kyoto, Japan still works and commutes monthly to San Francisco for Gladstone, which is affiliated with the health-sciences institution University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). 

Related stories:

Nobelprize.org

Nobel medicine prize goes to SF scientist by Erin Allday, San Francisco Chronicle

British, Japanese scientists share Nobel Prize for stem cell work by Eryn Brown and Jon Bardin, Los Angeles Times