Yasuo Fukami was born in Hyogo, Japan. He graduated from Faculty of Science, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan, in 1973. He obtained his Ph.D. degree in biochemistry from the Graduate School of Science, Osaka University, in 1978. From 1978 to 1980, he worked as a Research Fellow at the Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, where he investigated the cellular immune responses against reconstituted hybrid envelopes of Influenza and Sendai viruses in mice. In 1980, he moved to the Laboratory of Nobel Laureate Dr. Fritz Lipmann at the Rockefeller University, New York, USA, where he started his present-going studies on the function of oncogene products in malignant cell growth. In New York, he succeeded in the purification of the first identified oncogenic protein-tyrosine kinase, Src, and showed that the tyrosine-phosphate bond in the target protein is a kind of high-energy phosphate bond with a similar deltaG0 value to that of gamma-phosphate bond in ATP. In 1982, he returned to Japan and initiated his own research group of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Kobe University. Since then, he has been interested in the role of protein tyrosine kinases involved in physiological and pathological signal transduction mechanisms such as in the malignancy of cancer cells and in the fertilization signaling in Xenopus eggs. He has also been engaged in the collaborative production of inhibitors of protein kinases. Among such inhibitors, genistein is one of the most often used tyrosine kinase inhibitors in the world. Currently, he is a Professor and the Director of the Research Institute for Environmental Genomics, Organization of Advanced Science and Technology, Kobe University, and jointly appointed at the Department of Biology, Graduate School of Science.
Biography Updated on 22 December 2009