Awards & Prizes

DATE2024.03.21 #Awards & Prizes

Professor Mikiko Shiomi received the Naito Memorial Prize for the Promotion of Science 2023

Disclaimer: machine translated by DeepL which may contain errors.

Professor Mikiko Shiomi

Professor Mikiko Shiomi of Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, has received the Naito Memorial Prize for the Promotion of Science 2023. We offer our sincere congratulations.
The theme of the award is "Elucidation of Molecular Mechanisms of RNA Silencing Mechanisms Essential for Biological Homeostasis".

DNA is the main body of genes and has a long history of research as "genetics". In contrast, RNA was previously known only for its limited function as a "copy of genes". However, since the discovery of "small RNA," new functions continue to be discovered one after another. As a DNA researcher, I envy those discoveries. Among them, Professor Shiomi's research results are outstanding.
RNA silencing is a mechanism to suppress gene expression triggered by small RNAs. A typical example is RNA interference, which acts as an immune mechanism to protect the body from viral infections. MicroRNAs are widely known as small RNA molecules that cause RNA silencing. Each cell expresses different microRNAs and regulates cellular functions by controlling different target genes.
Professor Shiomi and her colleagues used genetic and biochemical analyses of Drosophila to elucidate the molecular mechanism of Argonaute 2, a central factor in RNA interference, and to clarify its physiological role. They also studied small RNA molecules that repress transposons in a germline-specific manner and found that they protect the germline genome and maintain fertility.

RNA silencing research will continue to contribute greatly to our understanding of the mechanisms of life and to the development of treatments and diagnostic agents. We look forward to Professor Shiomi's continued success.

Naito Memorial Prize for the Promotion of Science (Only in Japanese)

(Responsibility: Professor Takehiko Kobayashi, Institute for Quantitative Biosciences)