Professor Mikiko C. Siomi elected as 2018 EMBO Associate Member
Professor Takehiko Kobayashi, The Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (IQB)
Professor Mikiko C. Siomi, Department of Biological Sciences, has been elected as a 2018 EMBO Associate Member. EMBO Members and Associate Members are researchers from around the world who have been recognized for their outstanding achievements and major contributions to the research community. EMBO Associate Members reside outside of the EMBC Member States. As a fellow biologist, I am proud to extend my congratulations to Professor Siomi.
Nowadays, anyone who has studied biology knows about small RNA molecules; however, Professor Siomi began her research on RNA around 20 years ago, during a time when the field was still relatively unknown. She was quick to recognize its importance, and through her many discoveries, became a leader in the field. Professor Siomi’s research on small RNA (piRNA), which is expressed in animal germ cells, is especially remarkable. A large amount of foreign genes, such as transposons, exist in the genomes of animal cells and when expressed, cause damage to important sperm and egg genomes. piRNA functions to silence these genes. Professor Shiomi elucidated a series of processes that generate piRNA. For example, in the ping-pong cycle, sense and antisense RNA alternate like ping-pong balls in order to produce piRNA one after another. Beginning with the unique ping-pong model, Professor Shiomi’s fascinating discoveries in biology have captured the attention of many students.
There are still plenty of crucial and fascinating discoveries yet to be made in the field of RNA research. I wish for Professor Siomi’s continued success in the future.
EMBO is an organization of more than 1800 leading researchers that promotes excellence in the life sciences. The major goals of the organization are to support talented researchers at all stages of their careers, stimulate the exchange of scientific information, and help build a European research environment where scientists can achieve their best work. Its members are leading life scientists from around the world who have been recognized by EMBO for their scientific work, including strengthening the research community in Europe and beyond through their international collaborations and connections.
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