Nobel Laureate Shinya Yamanaka, honorary doctorate from the University of Salamanca

The University of Salamanca has incorporated the Japanese physician and Nobel Prize for Medicine Shinya Yamanaka to its faculty of doctors. His investiture as doctor honoris causa was presided over by the rector of the USal, Ricardo Rivero.

José-Abel Flores Villarejo, director of the Spanish-Japanese Cultural Center, acted as godfather of the new doctor honoris causa. He emphasized that, with his research, Dr. Yamanaka “opened a hitherto unknown, unsuspected spectrum (…) The fact of obtaining iPS cells in people with a disease or genetic dysfunction, has defined the line that is providing medical discoveries with potential to define new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies”.

The ceremony was attended by the Japanese ambassador in Spain, Takahiro Nakamae; the director of the Japan Foundation in Madrid, Keiko Morito; the general director of Casa Asia, Javier Parrondo, and the deans of the Faculties of Medicine and Biology, José Carretero and José Ángel Sánchez Agudo, respectively.

Shinya Yamanaka said he was “deeply honored to receive this award from the University of Salamanca”. In his speech he spoke about the beginnings of his career and the innovative projects he is currently developing in the field of regenerative medicine research with iPS cells. His research can benefit ailments such as Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Parkinson’s disease and immunotherapy against cancer and other activities.

The rector of the USal, Ricardo Rivero, emphasized that the academic recognition of Yamanaka “exemplifies the appreciation of this ancient University for the best version of science that you personify and extends the academic bridge from Salamanca to Japan”.

Dr. Yamanaka, a researcher at Kyoto University since 2004, has been awarded the most prestigious international prizes, including the Nobel Prize in 2012. He has also received outstanding recognitions with links to Spain, such as the Frontiers of Knowledge Award or that of Honorary Academician of the Royal National Academy of Medicine, among others.

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