Laureates of the Japan Prize


Dr. Erkki Ruoslahti

2005 (21st) Japan Prize Laureate

Cell Biology
Fundamental contribution in elucidating the molecular mechanisms of cell adhesion
Commemorative Lecture
From integrin-binding RGD peptides to vascular homing peptides
Nationality: USA
Date of Birth: February 16 1940
Academic Degrees:
1961 B.M. in Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland
1965 M.D. in Medicine, University of Helsinki
1967 Ph.D. in Immunology, University of Helsinki
Professional Career:
1970-75 Assistant Professor and Acting Associate Professor Department of Serology and Bacteriology, University of Helsinki, Finland
1975-76 Professor, Bacteriology and Serology, University of Turku, Finland
1976 Senior Research Scientist, Dept. Immunology, City of Hope, National Medical Center, USA
1976-79 Director, Immunology, Div. Immunology, City of Hope
1979-80 Associate Scientific Director, The Burnham Institute
1980-95 Scientific Director, The Burnham Institute
1982-89 Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, The Burnham Institute
1989-2001 President and CEO, The Burnham Institute Director, NCI Cancer Center, The Burnham Institute
1980-2004 Adjunct Professor, Pathology Department, University of California, San Diego
2002-present Distinguished Professor, The Burnham Institute
2003-present Adjunct Professor, Department of Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego
Title: Distinguished Professor, The Burnham Institute
Major Publications:
  1. Pierschbacher, M.D .and Ruoslahti, E. (1984) Cell attachment activity of fibronectin can be duplicated by small synthetic fragments of the molecule. Nature 309, 30-33.
  2. Pytela, R., Pierschbacher, M.D. and Ruoslahti, E. (1985) Identification and isolation of a 140 kd cell surface glycoprotein with properties expected of a fibronectin receptor. Cell 40, 191-198.
  3. Suzuki, S., Argraves, W.S., Pytela, R., Arai, H., Krusius, T., Pierschbacher, M.D. and Ruoslahti, E. (1986) cDNA and amino acid sequences of the cell adhesion protein receptor recognizing vitronectin reveal a transmembrane domain and homologies with other adhesion protein receptors. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 83, 8614-8618.
  4. Argraves, W.S., Suzuki, S., Arai, H., Thompson, K., Pierschbacher, M.D. and Ruoslahti, E. (1987) Amino acid sequence of the human fibronectin receptor. J. Cell Biol. 105, 1183-190.
  5. Suzuki, S., Argraves, W.S., Arai, H., Languino, L.R., Pierschbacher, M.D. and Ruoslahti, E. (1987) Amino acid sequence of the vitronectin receptor alpha subunit and comparative expression of adhesion receptor mRNAs. J. Biol. Chem. 262, 14080-14085.
  6. Ruoslahti, E. and Pierschbacher, M.D. (1987) New perspectives in cell adhesion: RGD and integrins. Science 238, 491-497.
Major Awards Received:
  • Outstanding Investigator Award National Cancer Institute (1986-93)
  • G.H.A. Clowes Award American (1990)
  • Robert J. and Claire Pasarow Foundation Award (1991)
  • Honorary Doctor of Medicine, University of Lund (1991)
  • Leila Gruber Cancer Research Award (1993)
  • Abbott Award (International Society for Oncodevelopmentl Biology and Medicine) (1995)
  • Gairdner Foundation International Award (1997)
  • Jacobaeus International Prize (1998)
  • The Jubilee Award, The British Biomedical Society (2003)
Major Honors:
  • Member, Societas Scientiarum Fennica (Finnish Academy of Sciences) (1989)
  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1993)
  • Knight, Order of the White Rose of Finland (1994)
  • Nobel Fellow, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm (1995)
  • Member, U.S. National Academy of Sciences (1999)
  • Member, European Molecular Biology Organization (2001)
  • Member, Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academies (2002)

( At the time of receipt of the Prize )

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