Born in Tokyo on January 9, 1917
In March 1934, he graduated from Private Azabu Junior High School and decided to pursue a medical career with a strong desire to work on "research to find new cures” particularly in the light of the death of his eldest brother from tuberculosis at the age of 22.
1941 - June Graduated from Keio University School of Medicine
1941 - October Assistant Professor of Physiology, Keio University School of Medicine, he went to the Physiology department to study the treatment through the search for the truth.
1956 - Associate Professor of Keio University
1966 - Received honorary degree of PH.D. in medicine from Lund University (Sweden)
1975 - Dean of Kobe University Faculty of Medicine
1980 - Retired Kobe University
1980 - Representative of Kobe Research Project on Thrombosis and Hemostasis
2004 - He died
Getting close to blood Physiology
Straight after the graduation in 1941, I entered the laboratory of Dr. Takashi Hayashi, who was an assistant professor. As an elementary stage of brain chemistry, we investigated changes in amino acids in the brain. I was particularly interested in brain proteins and taking Dr. Hayashi’s advice that I should study immunological techniques to work in that area, I started studying at the University of Tokyo Imperial from September 1942 while still belonging to Keio University. I was under Dr.Tomio Ogata who is an assistant professor of serology department. Dr. Ogata had a deep appreciation of the relationship between disease and hematology and he taught me the essence of the know-how of applied research.
Experience of studying abroad
My university graduation was in June 1941, so it was just before World War II. My father was thinking of sending me to the United States to study and was saving money for the funds to do so, but this never happened. I read the books of Swedish scholars and was hoping to go to Sweden. However, the road via the Siberian Railway was closed due to the poor relationship with the Soviet Union. After the war, I went to Sweden many times and collaborated with Swedish researchers on many studies. I was particularly pleased to receive an honorary doctorate in medicine in May Showa 41, from Lund University the second oldest university in Sweden.
Birth of antiplasmin drug, epsilon.
One day in the summer of 1948, a female assistant in the laboratory raised a loud voice saying, "Oh my, Lysine works!” Lysine, a natural amino acid that exists in living organisms, stops fibrin breakdown by plasmin at a 'very low concentration'. I rushed to her and immediately repeated the experiment. The inhibitory effect was real. The action was incomparably powerful to the other materials that have been tested before. Furthermore, lysine became epsilon aminocaproic acid (EACA) with only a small chemical modification, and its antiplasmin action was ten times stronger than lysine. Lysine is an essential amino acid in the living body and so toxicity is extremely low. Naturally, being an analogue of lysine, EACA was also a safe, low-toxic substance. In this way Esilon became the world's first anti-plasmin drug.
Joint research with Mitsubishi Kasei Cooperation
After the end of the war in September, I resumed my research, and became a full-time lecturer at the Keio University School of Medicine. At that time, Dr. Hayashi set up The Hayashi Research Institute at his own expense which then partnered with Mitsubishi Kasei Research Institute to initiate joint research. I was appointed as the head of the pharmacology laboratory based in the company's central research institute in Mizonokuchi in the suburb of Tokyo. The request came from Mitsubishi Kasei side and I think this was one of the first 'Industry-academia joint' studies. It was the representative of Mitsubishi Kasei side, Dr. Fujio Nagasawa who was the deputy director of the central research institute, that negotiated the bureaucratic hurdles to get the research going. He suggested the following three conditions for me as a young researcher to consider in leading the joint research.
(1) The topic should avoid current trends and make an original contribution to the literature
(2) The techniques should exceed international standards
(3) There should be the potential to develop a new drug
After a long discussion, the area of fibrinolysis was selected and specifically we decided on a research on substances that inhibit fibrinolysin enzyme plasmin.
Words to give to young researchers.
It is important "to choose competent mentors, despite whether they are from inside or outside of the country" That means even if they are top-notch researchers, you should contact them without hesitation. When choosing "mentors", first read their thesis carefully. Then you should verify
Firstly, whether their thesis is clear and logical,
Secondly whether the future prospects have been indicated
Thirdly, whether their processing of history is accurate. Through such efforts, I think it is possible to determine the contribution of your own research on the international stage.
(Excerpt from interview article "Medical Who's Who")